HARLINGEN, Texas – The UTRGV School of Medicine will graduate its charter Class of 2020 in a virtual Spring Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 9.

In the attached audio, Dr. John H. Krouse, dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and UTRGV’s executive vice president for Health Affairs, acknowledged that no one could have envisaged the school’s first graduation class to be held “virtually.”

The virtual ceremony will include messages from Krouse, along with Kevin P. Eltife, chair of the UT System Board of Regents; Dr. Nolan Perez, regent of the UT System; James B. Milliken, chancellor of the UT System; and UTRGV President Guy Bailey. 

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Kenneth Shine, former executive vice chancellor for Health Affairs for the UT System.

Dr. John H. Krouse

Krouse said the ceremony has been created to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of the UTRGV School of Medicine’s inaugural class.

“As they take the next step in their medical careers, it is our honor to take part in this historic event. This commencement officially sends off our first class of medical students, and they will proudly carry the UTRGV name across the country as they enter residency training. This ceremony represents the success of the School of Medicine, and includes the faculty, administration, students and community who have dedicated so much to this program.”

Krouse said that for the virtual ceremony, students will log onto a designated Commencement 2020 webpage starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. He said they will hear messages from UTRGV leadership and special speakers and will hear their names called to virtually receive their degrees.

The link is open to the public and anyone interested in watching the ceremony will be able to access it online at UTRGV.edu/SOMGrad.

Dr. Leonel Vela, the School of Medicine’s senior associate dean for Educational Resources and senior associate vice president for Education, said this virtual commencement event will be unique to accommodate the need for physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We understand that this year’s graduation celebrations will be different,” Vela said. “But we definitely want to celebrate the achievements of the School of Medicine’s Charter Class of 2020. We want to share the pride and joy of the graduates’ families and friends, the faculty, and the university and Valley communities.”

To watch UTRGV’s School of Medicine virtual commencement ceremony, log on to UTRGV.edu/SOMGrad.  

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story was taken for UTRGV by David Pike.

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