“The End of the Beginning”: GMS Celebrates First In-Person Commencement Since 2019

Pomp and circumstance returned to Graduate Medical Sciences for the first time since 2019 at last week’s commencement ceremonies.

Over 300 students walked during the in-person exercises at the BU Track & Tennis Center, including graduates from September 2021 and January 2022, as well as May 2022 and August 2022 degree candidates. It was also the first time in University history that the Physician Assistant Master’s Program attended the GMS-wide commencement instead of hosting an individual ceremony.

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Altogether, GMS has conferred or will confer the following degrees:

  • 39 PhD
  • Five dual MD/PhD
  • 44 MA
  • 479 MS (including degree candidates for August 2022)
  • Seven dual MS/MPH
  • Three dual MS/MS

Four student speakers were chosen to represent their peers at the Master’s and MD & PhD ceremonies. At the Master’s ceremony, Christian Arbelaez, Kara McNeil and Elizabeth Wade took the stage to speak on their time at GMS. Jeffrey Kuniholm spoke at the following MD & PhD ceremony.

Arbelaez represented the MS in Medical Sciences (MAMS) program. He has earned a place at Boston University School of Medicine and will soon return to begin his medical education here.

McNeil is a degree candidate from the Physician Assistant Program. She plans to return home to Long Island and pursue a career in addiction medicine or emergency medicine.

Wade represented the Biomedical Forensic Sciences program. She has accepted a position as a criminalist at the San Diego Police Department Crime Laboratory in her home state of California.

Kuniholm graduated with a PhD in Microbiology. He has begun a position at Visterra Inc., a biotechnology company located in Cambridge focused on the discovery and engineering of antibodies against challenging targets relevant to human disease.

The exercises also included speeches from BUMC Provost and BUSM Dean Karen Antman, MD, and Associate Provost and GMS Dean C. James McKnight, PhD. Both Antman and McKnight commended the graduates on their perseverance and resilience throughout their education marked by unprecedented transitions and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more about the ceremony and the speeches from students, Antman and McKnight here and this article entitled MD and PhD Class of ’22: ‘You Have Already Proven Your Mettle’.

You can access a full recording of both ceremonies here. A Facebook album of commencement pictures is available for viewing here.