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Convocation 2007

blank Ed Norton
Capped, gowned waiting for the ceremonies to begin. (Photos: Zuhair Kareem)

Craning their necks and waving excitedly, family and friends watched proudly as 122 M.D., 86 Ph.D. and 15 master’s degree candidates strutted down the aisles of Meyerhoff Symphony Hall as commencement ceremonies began on May 17.

Members of the faculty, resplendent in their emerald green, yellow, scarlet and blue striped gowns, recognized the students’ years of hard work that culminated in this day of celebration.

For the first time, both student speakers were women. Lorrel Elizabeth Brown, representing the medical students, recalled surviving “four years in the pressure cooker of one of the most renowned medical schools.” Graduate student Paria Mirmonsef, who immigrated from Iran in 1989, remembered the bitter disappointments when experiments didn’t work. “One must really love research for the love of knowledge,” she said, because the thrill of major scientific breakthroughs comes rarely.

Student awards were announced, as were the annual teaching awards. Among the recipients: Donna Magid, an associate professor of radiology and orthopedic surgery, who won the coveted George J. Stuart Award for outstanding clinical teaching.

Keynote speaker Atul Gawande, an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, MacArthur Fellow, and acclaimed writer of books and articles, told graduates that the difference between outstanding and average performance is diligence and attention to detail, ingenuity, and above all, integrity. His challenge: “Rise above the bell curve and alter possibilities.”

Make way for the Class of 2007 as they set off to change the world.

—Lydia Levis Bloch

Ed Norton
Speaker Atul Gawande.
Ed NortonPomp and circumstance at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
Ed NortonAmong the many babies in the audience, this newborn snagged a role on stage.




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