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Congratulations to the

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Class of 2021

After a Difficult Year, Coming Out on Top

In a virtual ceremony, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences recognized the 24 PhDs, five MD/PhDs, and 19 master’s degree students who graduated in the past year. Acknowledging that the pandemic has upended traditions for more than 14 months, the school also celebrated the previous year’s class of 15 PhDs, three MD/PhDs, and 27 master’s students.

Dan Jay, dean of the school, said this difficult year involved facing not only a pandemic but the realities of systemic racism. GSBS mobilized for the mission to make the school an anti-racist institution by forming working groups of students, faculty, and staff.

“These efforts are beginning to bear fruit,” he said, pointing to an incoming PhD class in which half of matriculants come from underrepresented groups, a record for the school.

“Our institution and our society has reached an inflection point, recognizing that we must broaden who is invited into the academic world to ensure that the GSBS community reflects the diversity of the broader community,” Jay said. “More diversity will only enhance our science and increase innovation and equity as we address the important health issues of today.”

Student speaker Elizabeth Moss, who received her MD/PhD, said that this year has shown “on an unprecedented scale” how important the work of GSBS is.

“We fluently speak the language of mRNA, inflammatory regulation, viral vectors, statistical significance,” she said. “All of these core scientific concepts that have exploded into the public discourse during this pandemic. Now more than ever there is a huge need for people who understand how to translate biological science to medical advancement. And here we are, perfectly poised, to do just that.”

The ceremony also featured a pre-recorded hooding of PhD recipients from the classes of 2020 and 2021. Faculty and students added masks to their Commencement attire of robes and caps. And rather than a handshake, faculty advisors congratulated the new doctors with an elbow bump. Perhaps a new tradition? —Julie Flaherty, University Communications and Marketing

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Class of 2021: Selected Student Profiles

View Commencement Weekend Ceremonies

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

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences PhD and OTD Hooding Ceremony

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

All-University Commencement Ceremony

Sunday, May 23 at 10 a.m. EDT

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

The Fletcher School

School of Engineering (Graduate Programs)

School of Engineering (Undergraduate Programs)

School of Arts and Sciences (Including the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts)

Sunday, May 23 at 12 p.m. EDT

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Sunday, May 23 at 1 p.m. EDT

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine (Master’s)

Sunday, May 23 at 2 p.m. EDT

School of Medicine (Public Health and Professional Degree Programs)

School of Medicine (MD Program)

School of Dental Medicine

Sunday, May 23 at 3 p.m. EDT

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)