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2021 Graduation Gallery

[Dean Lee Learman]: Good morning! And welcome to all of our faculty, staff, students, and guests. Every graduating class from our school is special, but you, our eighth class, have been particularly high-achievers. You were chosen from more than 4,400 applicants, more than 100 applicants per position and triple the number from the inaugural class. Class of 2021, you have indeed met and exceeded our expectations, and we are very proud of you.

[Mehdi Elmouchtari, class of 2021]: In this class I've met poets, painters, sculptors, humorists, musicians, teachers, missionaries, athletes, explorers, survivalists. So many of you have met and married the loves of your lives over theses past four years. This class does not just contain a group of highly qualified, impressive individuals. You represent tens of thousands of future patients who will be served by your intellect and knowledge as well as your humanity.

[Giovanni Malaty, class of 2021 president]: Over the past year as did the rest of the world, the Class of 2021 stared down the barrel of a worldwide pandemic. Their first reflexive instinct was to step up and serve, volunteering to provide shelter, food, resources, transportation, and to administer vaccinations. Though their formal clinical years were truncated, their opportunities to attend away rotations were stopped, their expectations were constantly changing at a moments notice, their instinct was to bare it all with a smile, and go on being useful.

[Fidel Valea, MD, faculty speaker]: What you missed in clinical experience, you made up for in teamwork, perseverance, diversity, and acceptance of others. Remember, you must always be ready to serve if called upon in an emergency. No matter where you are or what you are doing and it doesn't matter whether you are on call or not. It's important that you take this responsibility seriously. You will have a very powerful voice. Use it to do good.

[Silpa Thaivalappil, MD, alumna 2016]: First things first, you are ready. Residency will challenge you in all kinds of ways, but I have no doubt that you are equipped to handle these challenges. It is your enthusiasm that will open new frontiers in medicine, your work ethic that will transform communities, and most importantly, your humanity that will leave a lasting impression for each and every one of your patients.

[Richard Wardrop, MD, keynote speaker]: For me as a physician and a human, I can think of no better guide for our professional approach. Love yourself. Love one another. Love a higher power. I know that from love comes many things - patience, humility, gratitude, kindness, temperance, and many more of life's intended blessings. Congratulations to the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Class of 2021. God speed and God's blessings to you and all that you will do. Welcome to the greatest profession.

[Dean Lee Learman]: On behalf of all of the physicians here today, I'm very proud to formally welcome the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine's Class of 2021 into our profession. 


Lee A. Learman, MD, PhD
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Dean

Commencement Addresses

Mehdi Elmouchtari, class of 2021
Giovanni R. Malaty, class of 2021

Fidel A. Valea, MD, faculty
Silva S. Thaivalappil, MD, alumna 2017

Keynote Speaker

Richard Wardrop, III, MD, PhD

Presentation of Degree Recipients

Aubrey L. Knight, MD

Class of 2021 commencement. Saturday May 8, 2021. 9am. The Jefferson Center, Roanoke Virginia.
Commencement Program. Click image to download.