This past weekend, I had the great fortune of returning to my alma mater, Georgetown University, to observe commencement, as the son of one of my good friends was graduating. My visit prompted much reminiscing about my time at Georgetown. Although it was many, many years ago – too many to think about – my memories are fond: the high quality of the education I received, as well as how well that education prepared me for both a career and life. Attending my friend's son's graduation also gave me the chance to revisit my memories of my own decades earlier.
Several aspects of Georgetown's commencement ceremony made me think about our own school's upcoming commencement, and the qualities that all commencement days share. First of all, there is the excitement of the parents, friends, and members of the family on this extraordinary day. Second, the excitement of the graduates themselves, and their gratitude for the quality of education that the school has provided for them in preparing them for both careers and life. Third, the comments of the various speakers encouraging the graduates to be members of the community, and to provide leadership as the world continues to change. Finally, the excitement of the faculty and administration. It came across clearly that they believed the purpose of the university's existence, and their role as part of it, is to prepare graduates for the world.
All of these elements seemed very familiar. The families and friends of our graduates are certainly excited for this great day. Our students are also excited about their accomplishments. The years of study have been long, but now they begin to go on to the next phase of their lives. Both our faculty and administration should feel good about the quality of our graduates, who are not only competent in providing oral health care, but who will also be leaders and provide services, not only to the local communities, but the community at large.
I know everyone at Pacific Dugoni is excited about the upcoming commencement. It is a time to celebrate, as we did at Georgetown. My best wishes to all of the graduates, their families and friends. My extreme gratitude goes out to the faculty and staff of Pacific Dugoni, who created this healthy environment so that our students not only become great dentists, but also great people of the world. They continue to make us proud and justify our very existence as an institution.