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Congratulations to the

Public Health and Professional Degree Programs
Class of 2021

Using the Power of Public Health to Create a New Normal

The term “a new normal” has come to mean what life will be like once pandemic restrictions have eased. At the commencement ceremony for graduates of the Public Health and Professional Degree Programs at the School of Medicine, speakers envisioned something beyond business as usual, particularly when it comes to societal inequities.

“Once again and shamefully the burden of health and economic consequences of the pandemic are born disproportionately by those historically marginalized: people of color and the poor,” said Aviva Must, dean for Public Health and Professional Degree Programs. “The rollout of the vaccine again has laid bare the profound chasm of unequal and inequitable opportunities for health.”

She called on the graduates—who received degrees in public health, pain research education and policy, biomedical sciences, medical science, and, for the first time, health informatics and analytics—to use their Tufts education as workers and activists to “directly impact these formidable challenges.”

Roommates and classmates Sahar Tirmizi and Amanda Jung, who both received master of public health degrees, echoed those thoughts in their class address. This past year “has taught us that inequity is, in and of itself, a pre-existing condition,” Jung said.

“Do not let what is normal lend an excuse for complacency,” she said. “Let us get to work so that decades from now we can look around and say we left things better than we found them. The Class of 2021 will not be defined by what we lost, but rather how we respond.”

Tirmizi asked the graduates to memorialize the ways in which these times have revealed what truly matters—“the resilience of our cities, the well-being of our loved ones, and the sacrifices made by those who dedicate themselves to serving others.”

In his keynote speech, The Reverend Emmanuel Daphnis, MG00 (MPH), pastor of Restoration Community Church in Brockton, said that there is a charge to the leaders and future leaders of this generation, “a clarion call that screams from the mountaintops to the very space where you find yourself at this exact moment. It screams for the voiceless and the marginalized, it cries for the disenchanted and the disenfranchised: Might someone care enough to see me? Might someone care enough to give their life so that subsequent generations might live? Will you answer the call and walk in your fullest self?”

“Your voice as a public health practitioner,” he said, “sits right at the intersection of change for all people.” —Julie Flaherty, University Communications and Marketing

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Commencement Speakers

Dean Aviva Must

Dean Aviva Must
Greetings & Remarks

Amanda Jung

Amanda Jung
Class Address

Sahar Tirmizi

Sahar Tirmizi
Class Address

Rev. Emmanuel Daphnis

Rev. Emmanuel Daphnis
Keynote Address

Class of 2021: Selected Student Profiles

A Jumbo-Sized Collection of Congrats!

Enjoy highlights of well-wishing messages from families, friends, and faculty!

You did it, Class of 2021! Now, these folks would like to say "Congrats!"

Hundreds of fans of the Class of 2021 came together from every campus and all around the world to congratulate the newest Tufts graduates. Watch all their video messages now!

Photos of the Class of 2021

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)