2021 Commencement Celebration
Congratulations to the Class of 2021! The graduating students gathered on the lawn outside the veterinary hospital on Friday, May 21, for their commencement ceremony.
In accordance with current state and local guidelines, students and a few faculty members participated in person, while the ceremony was live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube for friends and family.
Dr. Karl Jandrey opened the ceremony and immediately became choked up with emotion—a common theme as the evening proceeded with addresses by Dean Michael Lairmore and Dr. Joie Watson.
With the gathering limited in size, only a few faculty members were present as part of the stage party, along with a few guest speakers. Dr. Patricia Pesavento, chair of the faculty, served as marshal of the ceremony. Dr. Mary Croughan, provost and executive vice chancellor of UC Davis, gave introductory remarks. While she was neither a veterinary or graduate student at the school, Croughan shared warm memories of taking the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine curriculum, which proved to be exceptional experience for her PhD training at Johns Hopkins.
Dr. Bernadette Cruz provided the keynote speech and encouraged the graduates to try the BALANCE acronym when feeling overwhelmed: Breathe, Apologize, Listen, Advocate, New, Community, Empathy.
Watson presented two students with the School Medal: Sarah Michelak and Ferdie Liard Ramirez.
Dr. Po-Yen Chou, the faculty speaker chosen by the Class of 2021, delighted the graduates when he opened his speech with a shout out to his mom watching on YouTube.
Stephanie Ryan, the student speaker, kept the graduates laughing with tales of shared experiences through the past four years.
And toward the end, Jandrey turned his time on stage into a stand-up comedy routine “as the world watched” while students who had taken turns hooding each other on stage finished having their photos done and returned to their seats.
After more than a year of completely modifying how the DVM curriculum was delivered, being able to celebrate this milestone in a modified in-person ceremony was a joy for everyone involved. Please watch the recordings below for full speeches and comments.