2013 Fall Commencement
Congratulations Physician Assistant Class of 2013!
Monday, September 16, Salus University held its fall commencement. After a morning filled with sporadic showers, the sun came out just before the processional from the University's Hafter Student Center began.
The Physician Assistant (PA) graduates, faculty, University macebearer Dr. John J. Fitzgerald, and Salus President Michael H. Mittelman, OD, MPH, FAAO, walked in bright sunshine to the Congregation Keneseth Israel synagogue located across the street from the Elkins Park campus.
Graduates and their families and friends were welcomed by President Mittelman, who joked they were getting a "two-fer" because he was also the keynote speaker, and PA Class of 2013 president, Ms. Crystal Lee Halloran, who told her fellow graduates that collectively the class had seen more than 50,000 patients and reminded them that the symbol of their profession - the white coat - was a "symbol of service, not status."
After an introduction given by vice president of Academic Affairs, Dr. Anthony F. Di Stefano, Dr. Mittelman told the graduates, "As you transition from a life of being a full-time student to one of a health care professional, healer and life-long learner, you have to not only embrace the opportunities afforded you, but also must have the courage and determination to transform those opportunities into accomplishments."
Honors for exceptional work (summa cum laude, magna cum laude and laude) were announced by Dr. James M. Caldwell, dean of Student Affairs. A record 33% of the graduates earned honors and seven students were inducted into the Pi Alpha National Honor Society. The annual surprise announcement of the winner of the Pi Alpha Society award to a non-physician assistant revealed that Dr. John J. Fitzgerald, medical director and associate program director was this year's recipient. PA program director, Dr. Richard C. Vause, Jr., presented the award to a very surprised Dr. Fitzgerald, explaining that it is bestowed once a year on an individual who has "made an outstanding contributions of time and effort in support of the physician assistant profession."
After the recognition of honors awardees and receiving their diplomas the graduates led the procession back to the Hafter Center, where they enjoyed light refreshments with their guests.
The night before commencement, Physician Assistant graduates and their guests were guests of the University at a reception in the Hafter Student Community Center on campus. The graduates were presented with full-length white coats with their names embroidered on them from the faculty. The long white coats are a symbol of the Physician Assistant profession.
Best wishes to the newest Salus University graduates! To see the photos...