2015 Graduates of the Virginia Tech Carilion School Of Medicine enjoy commencement exercises on Saturday, May 9, 2015. (David Hungate/ VTCSOM)

Graduating class of 2015

Forty bright, creative, entrepreneurial students became the second graduating class at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine on May 9. Amid classic pomp and circumstance, each graduate was addressed with the prefix “Doctor” for the first time as they were called to be hooded and receive their diploma.

Diplomas for 40 brand new doctors await their recipients.
Diplomas for 40 brand new doctors await their recipients.
View from the stage inside the Shaftman theater in historic Jefferson Center
Graduation for the second class at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine was held at the beautiful, historic Jefferson Center in downtown Roanoke.
A closeup of the school’s ceremonial mace.
The school’s ceremonial mace was a gift from Virginia Tech. It was carried by Dr. Thomas Kerkering, immediate past chair of the school’s Academic Council.

2015 Graduates of the Virginia Tech Carilion School Of Medicine enjoy commencement exercises on Saturday, May 9, 2015. (David Hungate/ VTCSOM)

Graduate Scott Dart gives a thumbs up as he takes the stage.
Graduate Scott Dart gives a thumbs up as he takes the stage. Dart will pursue his residency in orthopaedic surgery at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Faculty speaker, Thomas Kerkering
Asking the graduates to consider what it meant to be a physician thought leader, faculty speaker Dr. Thomas Kerkering, a professor of internal medicine, challenged them to make it a lifelong passion to serve others.
Dean Cynda Johnson greets guest speaker Dr. Louis Sullivan, founding dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine.
Dean Cynda Johnson greets guest speaker Dr. Louis Sullivan after his introduction. Sullivan is the founding dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine and served as secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services.
Guest speaker Dr. Louis Sullivan.
The guest speaker for the occasion was Dr. Louis Sullivan, renowned health policy leader, minority health advocate, physician, author, and educator, who described the essential characteristics of a great leader. He told the graduates, “This is the beginning of a life of servant leadership.”
Graduating student Sanghee Suh, speaks at graduation
Sanghee Suh, one of two students nominated by the class to speak at graduation, gave credit to the faculty for modeling integrity and passion in doctoring.
Student speaker, Jeeshan Faridi
The other student speaker, Jeeshan Faridi, thanked family and friends for their support. “Today is as much a celebration of your contributions to our success as it is about anything we’ve accomplished,” he said.
Megan Whitham is hooded by Dr. Bruce Johnson and Dr. Michael Friedlander
Megan Whitham is hooded by Dr. Bruce Johnson, associate dean for faculty affairs, and Dr. Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and senior dean for research at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Robert Varipapa is hooded by Dr. Bruce Johnson and Dr. Michael Friedlander
Robert Varipapa is hooded by Dr. Bruce Johnson, associate dean for faculty affairs, and Dr. Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and senior dean for research at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Graduate Lauren Poindexter is overjoyed to receive her diploma from Dean Cynda Johnson.
Graduate Lauren Poindexter is overjoyed to receive her diploma from Dean Cynda Johnson. Poindexter will embark on a preliminary surgery residency.
Lauren Poindexter embraces Dean Cynda Johnson as she receives her diploma.
Lauren Poindexter embraces Dean Cynda Johnson as she receives her diploma.
The Class of 2015 assembles for a picture with the school seal immediately after the ceremony.
The Class of 2015 assembles for a picture with the school seal immediately after the ceremony.
What’s a graduation celebration without a selfie with the dean?
What’s a graduation celebration without a selfie with the dean?
Graduating class throws up their hats in celebration of 2015 graduation.
Hats off to a job well done by the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine's Class of 2015.