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Dedicated Healers Graduate

June 13, 2008

June 13, 2008

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With standing ovations for newly-minted graduates and their supportive families, Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef, Dean Bennie Osburn, and members of the veterinary faculty conferred 114 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees at commencement June 13.

At the ceremony in the Mondavi Center for the Arts, 21 Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine candidates and 39 hospital residents received their certificates of completion.  Six continuing DVM students received bachelor's degrees in veterinary science.

The School of Veterinary Medicine Medal, the highest school honor for a veterinary student, went to Ryan Garcia.

Student speaker Trevor Arnold reminded classmates that, although they have a huge array of interests and diverse backgrounds, all share a common thread. "Each and every one of us loves animals." 

Stanley Marks, chosen by students to give the faculty address, said, "Discoveries are transforming the practice of veterinary medicine." Marks encouraged the class to make the most of the opportunities available in a "whirlwind of medical advances" for animals. He challenged them to use their talents, take risks, treasure their veterinary school friendships, and maintain a sense of purpose, humor and curiosity. 

Dr. Jeffrey Smith, president of the California Veterinary Medical Association, led the students, faculty and other veterinarians in attendance in the recitation of the Veterinarian's Oath. After the official oath, Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef addressed the graduates as "dedicated healers" and told them, "You will live the ideals of the school and the university."


Six graduates of the school returned for the day to receive Alumni Achievement Awards. (See related story). John Pascoe, executive associate dean, announced the recipient of the Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award, Robert BonDurant. Earlier this week, the school gave Janine Kasper the Faculty Teaching Award, and Stephen Barthold received the Pfizer Faculty Research Award. 

The school community bid farewell to retiring faculty members Michael Bruss, Robert BonDurant, Alex Ardans, Dean Cliver, Jeanne George, Timothy O'Brien, Mark Thurmond and Clare Gregory.  (See related story)


The majority of veterinarians will go to private practice. Of this year's graduates, 46 are pursuing internships for further clinical training, while three will remain at the school to earn Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degrees. One is headed for military service as an officer in the Army Veterinary Corps.

Mother and Daughter Graduate Together

While vets do see children or other family members follow in their footsteps to veterinary careers, Sharon Hunt Gerardo and her daughter, Angelina Gerardo, are the first parent and child at the school to complete their DVM degrees at the same time. Dr. Hunt Gerardo's late husband, Michael Angel Gerardo, also graduated from the school, earning his DVM degree in 1982.  (See related story)

Click here to see a Webcast of the 2008 Commencement: