College of Medicine honors first graduating class


Sixty-two students made up the inaugural graduating class from Central Michigan University's College of Medicine. 

The class represents the first students to successfully obtain their doctorates degrees from the College of Medicine since it opened in August 2013. President George Ross presided over the graduation ceremony on Sunday in the Plachta Auditorium. 

"I am profoundly moved to be here with each of you to honor this historic milestone," Ross said. "Together all of us have traveled far and conquered much to reach this most notable of days. Central Michigan University graduates its first physicians, bound by a remarkable commitment to the residents of rural and financially under-served communities."

Also honored were Dr. W. Robert Fleischmann, who was named honorary grand marshal, and Dr. A. Lorris Betz, who received a Doctor of Science honorary degree. The University of Wisconsin graduate was the speaker at the commencement ceremony. 

Betz serves as senior vice president emeritus of Health Sciences at the University of Utah, CEO of the University of Utah Health Care and the dean of the School of Medicine. He received multiple rewards for his research in the fields of physiology and biochemistry, and his research on the topic of stroke-related brain injury. 

Betz spoke of his experiences to the graduating class, providing them with "the final lecture" of their college career.

"To serve your patients to the best of your abilities, the act of providing care for someone and the act of showing care for someone need to be considered one and the same," Betz said. "Care, caring and the caregiver are all at the core of what it means to be a physician."

A posthumous degree was presented to the family of Jack Furnari, who passed away in December.

The ceremony was the last held during the weekend honoring graduating students. The 62 students from the College of Medicine will join the over 3,100 student graduates honored during the Spring 2017 Commencement.