“Our bond strength has perfectly prepped us for lifelong tight contact,” Joseph Dudlek, D21 class president, told his fellow Tufts University School of Dental Medicine graduates at the school’s commencement ceremony.
Dental puns aside, Dudlek’s statement captured the sentiment expressed over and over during the May 23 online event, and the essence of what distinguishes this group of new dentists. With most of their clinical training years dominated by a worldwide pandemic, the 241 students who earned their DMD degrees demonstrated the ability to adapt, persevere, and perhaps most notably, help each other through unexpected and uncertain circumstances.
“We laughed, we cried, we bickered. We started families; we faced personal adversity. We jumped through each and every hoop,” Dudlek said. “And we did it together.”
Modar Al-Roomi, president of the DIS international student class, recounted how students in an online study group were as eager to help each other with personal difficulties as with meeting dental school requirements. “I realized my colleagues always know what matters,” he said. “I envisioned giving a speech in the spacious tent on the Medford campus, looking at your smiling faces, throwing our hats together,” said Al-Roomi.
But a recorded ceremony gives the world a chance to see how the dental students “did not flinch or think of backing down,” he said. “We used the opportunity to do what we were here for, to put patients first regardless of circumstances.” He ended his remarks by throwing his cap into the air on behalf of the whole class.
The D21s “will always have a special place in my heart,” said Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Aruna Ramesh.
TUSDM also granted master’s degrees to 12 candidates, and awarded emeritus status to former Dean Huw Thomas and four professors who guided several generations of students, reached out to those who needed care both at home and around the world, and made significant contributions to the dental profession: Roger Galburt, Kanchan Ganda, Noshir Mehta, and Charles Rankin. — Helene Ragovin, University Communications and Marketing
The all-university event is inclusive of the graduates of all schools. This ceremony included the Commencement address as well as the granting of honorary degrees. No individual graduates were recognized at this event. Instead, individual graduates were recognized at the school-specific ceremonies (listed below).
|Saturday, May 22 at 1 p.m. EDT
Saturday, May 22 at 2 p.m. EDT
Baccalaureate (features interviews, a musical performance, speeches, and multifaith blessings from our chaplains)
Sunday, May 23 at 9 a.m. EDT
|Sunday, May 23 at 10 a.m. EDT
Sunday, May 23 at 12 p.m. EDT
|Sunday, May 23 at 1 p.m. EDT
Sunday, May 23 at 2 p.m. EDT
Sunday, May 23 at 3 p.m. EDT