MSM’s 36th Commencement Going Virtual May 16
Amid the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our students, trainees, faculty, and staff remain our highest priorities. Out of an abundance of caution, and in keeping with federal and CDC guidelines, we have made many adjustments to our institutional operations to ensure they remain safe.
As we approach Commencement season— a joyous celebration for the entire Morehouse School of Medicine community, including students, graduates, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as graduate’s family members and friends, our institutional partners, MSM Board of Trustee members and esteemed speakers—we’ve carefully assessed potential challenges and opportunities for this year’s celebration.
In consultation with MSM’s trustees, executive leadership team and student leaders, President and Dean Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, announced that MSM will modify its 36th Commencement exercises to a virtual ceremony!
“It is certainly a difficult decision for us all,” said Dr. Montgomery Rice. “However, we are planning an interactive virtual ceremony that allows us to celebrate our graduates in real-time, providing them and their families with a memorable experience that adheres to best practices regarding social distancing.”
Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., is Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he oversees the third largest institute at the NIH, with an annual budget of approximately $3 billion and a staff of nearly 2,100 federal employees, contractors, and volunteers. NHLBI provides global leadership for research, training, and education programs to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives. Click below to learn more about Dr. Gibbons.
To deliver the ceremony, MSM is partnering with , a New York City-based company that “exists to create meaningful human connections between people separated by distance and difference.” They specialize in creating online portals that enable one to, in their words, “enter … and come face-to-face with someone in a distant place – as though in the same room.”
“MSM’s Commencement committee is doing everything possible to recreate – or improve on – the elements of MSM’s traditional ceremony,” says Ngozi Anachabe, MD, associate dean, Admissions & Student Affairs. This includes such elements as music, a Commencement speaker, awarding of degrees and hooding, etc., while also allowing for live interaction among participants and audience members. Students will be able to share photos, videos, shout-outs, and more ahead of the ceremony, enabling producers to create a more personalized experience.
MSM leaders have similar plans to convert other traditional Commencement weekend activities such as Class Day, By These Healing Hands, and the alumni reunion event to an online format.
Please check back here regularly for updates.
- 2019 - 35th Commencement Ceremony
- 2018 - Health Equity Leader Dayna Matthew to Deliver 34th Morehouse School of Medicine Commencement Address
- 2017 - Civil Rights Icon Rep. John Lewis Delivers Morehouse School of Medicine's 33rd Commencement Address
- 2016 - Morehouse School of Medicine Graduates 116 at 32nd Commencement
- 2015 - Former U.S. Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen Delivers Morehouse School of Medicine's 31st Commencement Address