Baylor’s Class Of 2024 Celebrates Commencement

Baylor College of Medicine held its 2024 commencement ceremony at the George R. Brown Convention Center General Assembly Theater on Tuesday. The School of Medicine graduated 170 students, while 99 graduates received diplomas from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and nine graduated from the Genetic Counseling Program in the School of Health Professions.

This graduating class experienced all or part of their training during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor, remarked on how completing their education during this turbulent time prepared students well for future careers. He also called on graduates to use their scientific training to fight misinformation in the world.

“In this new age of misinformation, facts matter. Science matters,” he said. “The scientific method and medicine came together 150 years ago to save lives. It’s your responsibility to help restore that public trust in the medical community.”

Nobel Laureate Dr. William G. Kaelin Jr. received an honorary Doctor of Letters in Medicine degree and delivered the commencement address. Kaelin is the Sidney Farber Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and was one of three scientists to receive the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability. He encouraged graduates to follow their passions and embrace their love of science.

“There are two ways to have a happy life: choose a job or profession that makes you happy every day or choose a job or professions that makes you a lot of money so you can spend it trying happiness,” Kaelin said. “Confucious said, ‘Find a job you love, and you never have to work a day in your life.’ That’s what science has been for me.”

Dr. Julie Louise Gerberding, president and CEO of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, also received an honorary Doctor of Letters in Medicine degree. Jesse Herrera, principal of Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, and Justin Mayer, general manager of Hess Toy Truck, received honorary Doctor of Humanities in Medicine degrees. See photos from the ceremony.

Baylor’s Military Commissioning and Awards Ceremony, held Tuesday morning, honored three School of Medicine graduates. Capt. Nicole Butler, M.D., and Capt. Laurynn Garcia, M.D., were commissioned into the U.S. Army where they will serve their country as doctors. Dr. Sarah George received the Excellence in Public Health Award from the U.S. Public Health Service Physicians Professional Advisory Committee. See photos from the ceremony.

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