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Twin graduates raquel and Richelle Charles

Derek Neil Jantz, graduate student

Karen Jennifer Ryback (and family) pick up a diploma

Elias Zerhouni, convocation speaker

Stage at the Meyerhoff

Faculty member Fouad Gellad hoods his son, Class President Ziad Gellad

True, the Class of 2003 could tell stories of mistaking a booty for a surgical cap, of dressing up as a human "chad" in protest of the 2000 presidential election, or of misplacing a wedding ring in a bag of body parts in anatomy class. They could tell you what it felt like to don their white coats and stethoscopes for the first time, or to sit bleary-eyed in lectures after staying up all night tracking the never-ending presidential election, or what rotation they were on when they heard that the Twin Towers had fallen. But these days, they'd be more likely to relate the rush of pride they experienced during the rite of passage in which they became M.D.'s: Convocation 2003.

On May 22, the School of Medicine rounded off the school year by conferring degrees on the 108th class to graduate since the school opened in 1893. Students from 32 states and 10 foreign countries received awards for outstanding work; faculty, for outstanding teaching. All in all, the ribbon-tied scrolls added up to 116 degrees for doctor of medicine, 60 for doctor of philosophy and 11 for master of arts.

The packed auditorium felt the weight of the new grads' future careers through M.D. candidate and speaker Greg Roehrig: "True struggle is not sitting through an endless exam. It's being sick with a disease without a cure." They shared laughs with speaker and Ph.D. candidate Derek Jantz: "Graduate school was the best period of indeterminate length of my life." And they received inspiration from the director of the National Institutes of Health and former Hopkins radiology chief and executive vice dean Elias Zerhouni: "Do not have half dreams. Have a big, bold vision for yourself, and go for it."

Students and teachers were honored with awards. As always, faculty members hooded each doctoral candidate with the cowl of black silk rimmed with green for medicine, or blue for philosophy. This year, three performed the ceremony for their own children. Wilmer Director Mort Goldberg hooded his son Michael Goldberg; assistant professor of radiology Fouad Gellad did the honors for his son, class president Ziad Gellad; and Kennedy Kreiger Vice President Bruce Shapiro hooded his daughter, Rachael Glaser.

Finally the graduates listened as Director of Pastoral Care Stephen Mann sent them off with this advice: "Make your mark on the world, but never stop learning."

-LR, with thanks to Josh Zeichner for lending anecdotes from the 2003 SOM Yearbook, and to Dan Mollura for his reflections.

> View this year's Awards



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