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White Coat Ceremony 2019

White Coat Ceremony 2019


[CROWD CHATTER] Here we go. Good afternoon. Good afternoon. Welcome, everyone. For those of you
just arriving, I’m Ed Hundert, the Dean
for Medical Education. I am delighted to welcome you
all to the 2019 Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of
Dental Medicine White Coat Ceremony. [CHEERING] Now, I want to start by thanking
Rosa Solare and everyone in the Office of Student Affairs
at both the Medical and Dental Schools who organized a
large team of people that make today’s events possible. So a round of applause
for all of them. [APPLAUSE] This is a very, very
special day in the lives of each of our students. But also, it’s a very
special day for all of us, for family members. And it’s truly a
joy for all of us who teach and support
these wonderful students. And we’re very
honored today to have here both the dean of the
Harvard Medical School and dean of the Harvard
School of Dental Medicine to welcome you. First I’d like to
introduce, in his third year as dean of the Harvard
Medical School, George Daley. George is an inspirational
and visionary leader for this just
amazing constellation of people and institutions
that is Harvard Medical School. He’s a graduate of HMS. He did his MD here,
his PhD at MIT. He then trained in
both internal medicine and hematology-oncology
and became one of the world’s leading
stem cell researchers, scientist working on ways
to use stem cells for cancer treatment. And he’s also been a leading
national and international voice in the ethical and
social questions surrounding stem cell research. A few years ago, Dr. Daley was
busy running the pediatric stem cell transplant program at
Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber
Cancer Institute, teaching his students, being
a Howard Hughes investigator, very, very active mentor
of not only students but graduate students, fellows. And he got the call to become
the dean of Harvard Medical School. And thankfully, he accepted. He brings just
tremendous passion and curiosity and
humility to the task of leading Harvard Medical
School in a very values-driven way, focused on
excellence and diversity and service and
continuous improvement in support of our mission
of relieving human suffering and promoting wellness for all. So it is my pleasure
to introduce to you the dean of Harvard
Medical School, George Daley. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Ed. Oh, thank you for
reminding me what a great life I used to have. [LAUGHTER] Seriously, it’s a remarkable
privilege, actually, to be dean of the faculty
at this institution. And one of our most
earnest missions is as a leading
educational community. And so this is a
tremendously special day, to be able to celebrate this
rite of passage, the White Coat Ceremony, to bring
you in and welcome you as members of the medical
and dental communities. I want to start
by just extending my warmest welcome to the
many family and friends who have gathered with
you here to celebrate. The class of 2023 of
Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School
of Dental Medicine, today is that ceremonial first
step, that beginning of this momentous journey. That is your journey to become a
physician, to become a dentist. It’s an arduous journey. But also, I want to say, it
is deeply, deeply rewarding. And it starts today. Today is really, in many
ways, the culmination of many, many
years of hard work, dedication, the hard
work that got you here. I want to remind you,
it’s just the beginning. There’s lots of hard work ahead. But it’s also a day that
really marks your evolution. It’s a personal and
professional evolution from being a student to being a
practitioner to being a doctor. You now have the opportunity
to take advantage of the unique riches of this
extraordinary community, the Harvard Medical
School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine community. You’re going to be
realizing your dreams for what you will do and who
you will become in the future. You’re going to find new
ways to rethink dogmas, to challenge
conventional wisdom, to use your extraordinary
talents to serve others. That’s why we’re here. Remember, a
physician’s charge is not merely to diagnose
and treat disease but to heal in every
sense of the word. Do not forget that with every
encounter, in the exam room or on the wards, you
have the opportunity to make the world a healthier
and happier place one patient at a time. Now, I want to share
with your family, those who gathered with you,
students, some of the themes that I first mentioned earlier
in this week as I welcomed you here. I hope that you will, when
you walk the halls of Harvard Medical School, this
wonderful community, which is the locus of so
many firsts in medicine, I hope that you will
take inspiration from the legacy of those whose
names and portraits grace these walls. You’re going to see the portrait
of John Franklin Enders who received the Nobel Prize for
first culturing the polio virus. You’ll see portraits of Harvey
Cushing, the modern father of neurosurgery. You’re going to see
neonatologist Mary Ellen Avery who discovered the
basis of respiratory distress syndrome and its treatment
with surfactant that has led to the survival and
thriving of countless millions of children. You’ll see the faces of
David Hubel, Torsten Wiesel, who worked in the
adjacent building and who won the Nobel
Prize for mapping fundamental pathways of the
vertebrate visual system. Joe Murray, who worked in
the Brigham and Women’s just behind us, who
performed the world’s first successful
kidney transplant and won the Nobel Prize. Judah Folkman, who
pioneered the notion that cancerous tumors
feed on blood vessels to sustain their
existence and which led to lifesaving
treatments for cancer. If you go into the medical
education center auditorium, you’ll see a bust of Alice
Hamilton, Harvard Medical School’s first female
faculty member, in fact, the first female
faculty member appointed at Harvard University. And it was Alice who
pioneered the field of occupational medicine,
who worked tirelessly to protect workers from
exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxic compounds. You’ll see a portrait in
the building over there of Harold Amos, the namesake
of our minority faculty recruitment program. Professor Amos was someone
I had the privilege of knowing personally. He was a distinguished
microbiologist who also was the
first African-American to chair a department at
Harvard Medical School. And as you walk the
halls with these and many other
luminaries, I hope that you will feel inspired. What you should not
feel is intimidated. It’s a feeling that
I know all too well. And many of you will
have experienced it. When I first arrived
on this campus as a Harvard Medical
student some 36 years ago, I think it was natural. I couldn’t help but question
whether I was ready, whether I was prepared. Like all of you, my classmates
were remarkably talented. And I wondered, how
could I keep up? How could I possibly
keep up with all of the extraordinary
individuals that surrounded me? Did I really belong here? Well, what you should know
is that all of us here– all of us here belong. All of the people who are now
immortalized in these portraits on the walls, they were people. They were individuals
with doubts and fears, insecurities of their own. In fact, you should know, doubt
is a marker of intelligence. It’s the hallmark of a
restless and inquisitive mind. So don’t fear it, embrace it. The pioneers who
transformed medicine had their own share of doubts. But each of them
was also inspired by a particular problem. They applied themselves. They dreamt of solving medicine’
most confounding mysteries and of helping others. Each and every one
of you is here today. You’ve been selected
to be here today, because you share that drive. You share that passion. And we have confidence in
each and every one of you that you’re going to carry
on that legacy, that legacy of serving others and that
legacy of transforming human health. I also mentioned
earlier in the week that as you walk
the halls, I think you are going to notice that
the majority of portraits depict gray-haired
white men like me. And as I said earlier,
if you look to your right and you look to your left and
you look at your classmates, it’s clear that the
Harvard Medical School community of today is
anything but homogeneous. The pictures on our
walls are also changing. And I’m committing to you today
that during your next few years with us, you will see increasing
change in the public images, the celebration that we
make not only of the past but of the present
and of the future. There will be portraits of
you and your colleagues, people of all races, colors,
genders, sexual orientations, political orientations,
representing the diversity of
Harvard Medical School and its richness
and its complexity. Those changes have started. Just a few months ago, we
unveiled our newest portrait which honors doctor and
professor Alvin Poussaint. Dr. Poussaint marched
from Selma to Montgomery as a physician accompanying
Martin Luther King. He tended to the injuries of
those who suffered the beating to march for civil rights. Dr. Poussaint was a key
leader in the efforts to desegregate the
country’s hospitals using the power of
the Civil Rights Act. And he has been a
stalwart advocate for diversity and inclusion
in his 50 years of service to the School. He made it his
mission to be sure that every member of this
community, all of you, feel welcome and included here
at Harvard Medical School. We continue to work
diligently to make sure that the school celebrates
greater diversity and cultivates
greater inclusion, bringing together a
diversity of people with remarkable abilities
as well as disabilities, and including all who bring
their talents and experiences to our community. We welcome each and
every one of you. Wherever you may
have come from– and we will hear
today, as you give your own personal testimonies,
the remarkable histories and distance traveled of
so many of our students. But I hope you all take
this message to heart. You all belong here. And we are proud to welcome
you into this community. I believe you are at
the best possible place to learn the skills and to
build the relationships that will help you all lead the
transformation in human health. That is your promise. Our community is enriched by
each and every one of you. It means so much
to us that you have chosen to bring your
extraordinary talents to make Harvard Medical
School a better place. It’s up for us the faculty
to sit back, watch you grow, watch you learn, to
feed those interests. And it is a wonderfully
satisfying aspect of being faculty at this school. So on behalf of Harvard Medical
School, our faculty, our staff, our alumni, I welcome you
all to this proud beginning. Congratulations. [APPLAUSE] Thank you very much, George. Doctor Bruce Donoff is
the longest-serving dean in the history of the Harvard
School of Dental Medicine, a school that has been around
over a century and a half, by the way. He’s also the longest serving
dean of any school at Harvard University today. He was named Dean in 1991. Dean Donoff is an alumnus
of both HMS and HSDM. He he’s both an MD and a DMD. He’s an oral and
maxillofacial surgeon who made research contributions
in the fields of wound healing, bone graft
survival, sensory nerve repair, and oral cancers. He has won almost every
honor and award nationally and internationally
in his field. Bruce announced that
he’s stepping down as dean at the end of
this calendar year. And most of us have a
hard time even imagining the Harvard School of Dental
Medicine without his kind and always positive presence
and his tremendous advocacy for oral health. Indeed, Dr. Donoff has long
been one of the nation’s leading advocates for the integration of
oral health and general health. We like to say it’s been Dean
Donoff who put the mouth back in the body in our curriculum. And so it’s my great
pleasure to welcome Dean Donoff to the podium. [MUSIC PLAYING] Thank you, Ed. My sincere and
congratulatory welcome to all the new students,
parents, grandparents, and other loved ones here
to share this momentous day. Caring, compassion, and
empathy a part of your fabric, or you would not
have chosen to devote your lives to helping
others prevent, manage, and treat illness. As I was driving home Wednesday,
I stopped at a traffic light and found myself
right next to a bus. And when I looked
to my left, I was eye to eye with a
sticker exhorting all to remember Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks refused
to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery,
Alabama on December 1, 1955 and helped initiate the
civil rights movement. There was no White Coat Ceremony
then, as it began in the 1990s. So what does the White
Coat Ceremony have to do with Rosa Parks, you might ask. This ceremony represents
ritual, professionalism, and most importantly, trust. The trust that comes from the
doctor-patient relationship is a very special relationship
between human beings that says everyone is equal and
deserving of the very best you have to give. I always remember a
student who was part of my patient-doctor one group. That was a first
year course here. After interviewing
his patient, I met him in the Beth Israel
hospital cafeteria to debrief. When I entered, I found him
holding his head in his hands. And when I asked him
if he was all right, he said, that patient
let me into their life. That is the power
of the white coat. Congratulations. [MUSIC PLAYING] I want to invite our
amazing staff and faculty to start moving the students
from the back row around to make their way
to the front to get their white coats in place so
they can introduce themselves. And while they’re
getting organized, I just want to say a couple of
brief words about the ceremony. First, the white coats that
these students have been given are a gift from the Aesculapian
Club, something you will all be invited to join, which
is a sort of cheerleading organization of alumni who work
on student life and faculty student events. The order of the ceremony is we
have some wonderful faculty who will be the coaters who
will be helping the students on with their coat. The students will
come up to the front. They’ll say their name,
where they’re from, and a brief thank you. Then they’ll have a chance to
shake one of the dean’s hands and go back. When everybody is
seated back together, they will be ready to
recite their oath that I’ll say a word about in a minute. But the interesting
thing is the oath will be led by Dr. Fidencio
Saldana, our Dean for Students at Harvard Medical
School and Dr. Sang Park, the associate dean for
dental education at HSDM. I just want to say a quick
word about the coat as well. A few years ago, one of
our students at graduation was giving one of the student
speeches right in this tent. And he said, you know, you
arrive at Harvard Medical School of the Harvard School
of Dental Medicine answering most questions, I don’t know. And after learning from
the experts for four years, you leave answering
most questions saying, we don’t know. So I really want you all
to think of your white coat as your membership in the we
who don’t know but the we who have an obligation to find
out to serve our patients and to serve our community. That’s the obligation
you take on. We always say that you
get your coats this week. But you’re going to
have to earn your coat every day of your life. So it looks like people
are just about ready to go. So what I’m going to do is
invite Fidencio and and Sang and I to leave the stage. We’re going to have Deans
Donoff and Daley come up. We’re going to ask each
student to first come to the microphone,
introduce themselves, say a few brief words. And when we’re done,
we’re going to reconvene. And I’ll talk a little
bit about the oath that the students have composed. Ready? All right. [APPLAUSE] Oh, sorry. My name’s Jin. I’m from Queens, New York. And I first wanted
to thank everybody who’s touched my life, from
friends and mentors, the subway drivers in New
York City, and also to Fahad who runs my bodega. I also wanted to thank
my future patients. I wanted just to thank
them for inviting me into their life to be a small
part of a fulfilling journey. And I also finally wanted
to thank my parents. Yeah, they really have taught
me the meaning of the word sacrifice. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello my name is Rolena. I’m from Plano, Texas. And I just really wanted to
thank my friends and family, especially my mom and
dad for supporting me throughout this entire journey. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Christopher Haneke. I’m from Cambridge. I just want to thank my
family for being here and supporting me. And I want to thank my wife and
daughter for all their support and sacrifice. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Norma. And I’m from Lincoln,
Massachusetts. And I first want
to thank my parents and all my siblings
for all their support. And I also want to thank all
my mentors from high school to college and now
here in medical school. And lastly, I want to thank
my incredible friends. And I can’t wait to
celebrate with you all soon. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi everyone. My name is Sanha Batul. I was born and raised
in Quetta, Pakistan. And I have spent the last 6 and
1/2 years in Queens, New York. I want to take
this time to thank my dad who made endless
sacrifices to get me here and my mom, my brother,
and my little sister for their endless
love and support. And lastly, to all my
mentors and many professors for their invaluable
guidance, thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Bessie. I’m from Ottawa, Canada. First I’d like to
thank my parents. I wouldn’t be here without you. And I don’t think any of
us could have imagined over 20 years ago when we immigrated
to Canada that we’d be here. So thank you so much. I love you. [SPEAKING MANDARIN] I’d also like to thank
my mentors who’ve really guided me and shaped not only
how I think about medicine but really how I see
myself in the world. And lastly, thank you so
much to my friends who’ve been there along the
way and given all your support and love. Thanks so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Morgan Talbot. I’m from Seattle, Shepparton,
Victoria, Australia, and Vancouver, Canada. I’d like to thank everyone
who’s supported me in my journey so far, my family, my friends,
and mentors, especially my mother who’s here. She is always just
an incredible source of support and also inspiration. And my partner Michelle
who continuously makes my life better. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Lindsay [INAUDIBLE]. And I’m from Beaverton, Oregon. And I would like to
thank my family, both who are here with me today,
Kim, Craig, and Kirsten, and then people who are not,
Claire, my new niece who’s a few weeks old, and my
brother-in-law Steven and everyone else who couldn’t
be here, as well as my friends. You know who you are. And my research and clinical
mentors, especially Vicki Fong and John Chu. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Maneesh Pranspay. I’m from Dayton, Ohio. And I’d really like to thank
my family and friends in India and the United States,
especially my parents, my brother and sister, and
especially my parents who immigrated this country
and really helped me for the past two decades
be where I am today. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name’s Patrick Monette. I’m from Westfield,
Massachusetts. I’d like to thank all
the friends, family, especially my parents,
who are here today, and all the mentors
for the support they’ve given me along the way. I would not be here without
you and your support. This is for you. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Kushi Rangnath, and
I’m from Potomac, Maryland. I’d like to first
start by thanking my parents, who are the reason
why I’m standing here today. You guys are my role models,
my mentors, and my best friends in the whole world. And I thank you so much for
working tirelessly every day to make sure every single
dream of mine came true. I also want to thank my little
sister Siri, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and family
friends and closest friends from back home for
always believing in me, and finally, of course, my
mentors and professors who gave me priceless opportunities
to learn and grow. So none of this would’ve
been possible without you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name’s Anthony Dinkle. I’m from Chicago, Illinois. I want to say, thank you
very much mom and dad. Thank you for the
rest of my friends and family who couldn’t
be here today and also to my teachers and mentors
throughout the years for all their encouragement and
support and of course to the class of 2023. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Sanjana Srinivasan. Boston I’m from
Westmont, Illinois. And first of all,
I’d like to say I’m really excited to be
beginning this journey with all of you. And I’d like to
thank everyone who’s helped me get to this stage
today, all of my family, my friends, and my mentors. And I’d especially like
to thank my family who’s here today, my dad for
always believing in me, my mom for being my rock, and my
sister for being my best buddy. And I’d like to
thank my grandparents for teaching me the
importance of being a good and caring person. And on this day, I am
especially reminded of my grandfathers
[INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE].. Thank you so much. And I hope to be someone
that can make you proud. [APPLAUSE] Good afternoon, everybody. My name’s Ahmed Ahmed. I’m from Rochester, Minnesota. And I want to begin by
extending my deepest gratitude to my family, my
girlfriend, and all the loved ones who came out, both near
and far to come support me on this day, and
especially to my mother, because I know how much
this day means to you, and my father who
has since passed. But I know his presence is
being felt in this room. Today’s quite a
heavy day for me. Just over 20 years
ago, my family came to this country as
refugees from Somalia. But I recognize
that we wouldn’t be able to do that
today due to a travel ban that has been instituted. And so it is for
that reason and so much more that I
dedicate this white coat to all Somali refugees and all
those yearning to breathe free. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Megan Mishra. And I’m from Ellicott
City, Maryland. And I would especially like
to thank everyone with me in the class of 2023 who’s–
we’re going to be on this journey together. And I’d also like to thank
my parents, my younger brother, and my grandmother who
are here today to support me. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Cameron Farr. I’m from Elizabeth
City, North Carolina. And I would like to thank
my parents and grandparents for the endless amount of
support they’ve given me my whole life and also
Harvard for giving me this awesome opportunity. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is John Hernandez. I’m from Philadelphia. I’d like to thank my parents
who are both here today and my friends James and Nikki. I love you all. I’d like to thank my mentors
Dr. Grenstaff and Dr. Bentley. And lastly, I’d like to think
of my amazing classmates in front of me. I’m very confident
that together, we can reach a day when health
care is delivered for all people by all people. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Ayush Pareek. I’m from Jersey
City, New Jersey. And I’d just like to thank
all the friends and family who are here supporting me or
watching on the livestream. To mom and dad, thank
you for bringing the rocks and the
giants whose shoulders I can stand on forever. To my brother Harlik,
you are the first doctor, but I’m coming up soon. And you guys will
always be my heroes. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Sophia Schneider. And I’m from Austria
and Colorado. I’d like to thank the many
friends, family members and mentors without whom I would
not be standing here today. But in particular,
thanks to those who traveled from
far away to share this moment with me, my mom,
dad, and sister Isabella. Thank you for
teaching me what it means to be courageous, kind,
and curious I love you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Lauren O’Mara. And I’m from Bel Air, Maryland. I’d like to thank
my mom for being my rock, my dad for
being my inspiration to go into medicine,
my twin sister Julia for being my other half,
and my brother Colin for always making me laugh. And I’d like to give a special
shout out to my grammy. Today is her 79th birthday. So happy birthday, grammy. I love you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Chai Arnold. My family came to this
country from Guatemala. And I was born and raised in
Cathedral City, California. I’d like to give a
thank you to my family and loved ones that could
be here with me today and those who are
supporting me from afar. I hope to continue to
make you guys proud. You guys motivate me every
day to be a better person. Love you guys. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is John Messinger. I’m from Putnam
Valley, New York. First I’d like to thank all my
friends on the NYU wrestling team, my mentors, Dr.
Paul Glimcher, Dr. Prasad Adusumilli, and
coach Bruce Haverly. And then most of all, I’d like
to thank my mom for giving me the inspiration to join
the field of medicine, my father for teaching
me the work ethic to get to a place like
Harvard Medical School, and my brothers for walking
with me every step of the way. I couldn’t be here
without every one of you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Hailan Cho. I’m from Redwood
City, California. I’d like to thank my friends
and mentors who have been there with me at the various
stages of my life from Palo Alto, California,
Hanover, New Hampshire, and Washington, DC. But most of all, I’d like
to thank my parents, my mom and my dad who are
here with me today, for loving me and supporting
me unconditionally. I love you so much. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Stephanie Busleman. I’m originally from Lebanon. But I grew up on Long Island. I first want to thank my
parents for everything that they’ve done. They sacrificed so much
by moving to the US to give me and my
siblings access to such incredible
opportunities. I also want to thank the rest
of my family, both in the US and in Lebanon, my friends
and my boyfriend for all of their support. Thank you, guys. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Jenny. I’m from Seoul, Korea. I want to thank all the
people whose love has built and sustained me so far. I also want to say
something to my family who’s watching this on live stream. [SPEAKING KOREAN] [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Jenny Rowley. I’m from Chicago, Illinois. Thank you to my family
who, all my life, you’ve been in my corner. Here we go. All my life, you’ve
been in my corner. You’ve shown me compassion,
caring, and kindness. I’m wearing this
coat because of you. And I get to stand
in the corner of each and every one of
my patients because of what you’ve taught me. A special shout out to my
fiancee and partner Joe. Want to raise your hand? You have picked up your
life and moved across the country not once but
twice to be with me as I pursue my education. And I don’t know what
I’d do without you. So thank you so much. Happy early birthday
to my sister Jill. [APPLAUSE] Yo. I’m Will. [APPLAUSE] I’m Will. I’m from Raleigh,
North Carolina. I want to thank my younger
brother Bennett here first. You’re moving into
high school tomorrow. But you’re here with me today. And I really love you. I want to thank my
mentors in college and after I want to thank
my roommates and friends who are here. You’re the real ones. And I want to say a
few words to my family. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi. I’m Hannah [INAUDIBLE]
from The Bronx, New York. I want to thank my beautiful
friends and those who’ve come. I’d like to thank my inspiring
teachers, especially my uncle Kubrum who first showed me
what community-driven care looks like. And I’d love to thank my family,
both here and in Eritrea, for your love and wisdom. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] I hope to honor you
in this journey. [APPLAUSE] What’s up, y’all? My name’s Nicholas Reed. I’m from New Orleans. I would like to
thank my mom and dad for teaching me the true meaning
of sacrifice every single day. I want to thank Zoe for helping
me radically transform myself for the better every day. I want to thank the
Bourdenais family for their constant generosity
and beautiful perspective. And I want to finally
remember my best friend Fred. Rest easy, you live
in my heart forever. I love you, man. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Lily Offit. I’m from New York City. I want to thank my
family and friends for their love and support,
especially my parents, my grandparents, my
sisters Anna and Caroline, and my partner Ben. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello. I’m Jackie. I’m from Northeast Ohio. And I’m really
humbled to be here and grateful for all the
support that I’ve gotten and will continue to receive
as I work to earn this coat. I’m especially thankful for
the advisors, classmates that I’ve had to get me to
this point as well as my family and friends and especially for
my parents Brent and Keeley who are here to share
this day with me today. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is William Butler. I’m originally from
Atlanta, Georgia. I’d like to thank my mom,
my dad, and my grandparents for being such strong
supporters of my education throughout the years. I’d like to thank my
best friend Christina who is here today and my
sister and my cousin who tried to make it here today
but whose flight got canceled on the way in from Chicago. I’d like to thank all of
my friends, and especially my LGBTQ-identifying friends. I wouldn’t be here
without you today. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Alice Wang. I’m from San Diego, California. Foremost, I’d like to
thank my mom and my dad for their endless
support and sacrifice. Also thank you to my
brother Justin and my friend Lisa for being
here to celebrate. Thank you to all the mentors
who have supported me along the way. And thank you to my relatives,
both here in China– [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name– I guess
I’m a little short. Hi. My name is Rose Dubrinski. I’m from Long Island, New York. I just wanted to thank
my parents and in-laws for coming out here today and
my husband and little baby girl for their support
and encouragement. [APPLAUSE] Hey, everyone. My name’s Eric Chan. I’m from San Diego, California. I just want to give a
shout out to mom and dad. I love you guys. Thank you for showing
me what it means to set down roots
in a new place, to set big goals
and dreams and have the determination and the
grit to see it through. Albert, thanks for being the
best brother I could ever have and for taking a red eye
flight to be here today. And to Joy, to Kevin, and to
Jane, thanks for being here. You guys are real friends. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Sophia. And I’m coming from New Jersey. I would just like
to take this moment to express how grateful I am
to my family and friends who have supported me throughout
this entire journey since day one. I would like to especially
thank my mom, my dad, and Henry for their constant
love and guidance. I definitely could not have
done this without you guys. [NON-ENGLISH] I love
you guys so much. And thank you for everything. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Brendan Ippen. I’m from Weston, Mass. And I’m blessed with parents,
grandparents, siblings, friends, mentors,
and even strangers who have just offered– [CHUCKLES] –seriously, immeasurable
love and support, guidance along the way, who’ve
modeled deep care for others, and dared to demand a
more equitable world. So I’m here because
of all of you. And I look forward
to learning together how we can transform our
lives and this profession and the lives of others in
a way that’s rooted in love. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Jessica Norlinger. I’m originally from
Toronto, Ontario. I just want to thank
my friends, mentors, and most especially my family,
mom, dad, my brother David. You have always
been there for me. And you have supported me
throughout all my passions and endeavors. And I really wouldn’t
be the person I am without you guys today. I’m really excited to
spend my next four years with the class of 2023 here. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Sylvia Solomon. And I’m from Italy. I would like to thank my
family, my boyfriend, mentors, and professors whose
help and support is really what has
brought me here today. To all immigrants and to
the children of immigrants, the fact that we’re here
today, wearing this white coat is proof that no matter
how hard things get, we should never be
afraid to be there and to wish for a
brighter future. I would like to– [APPLAUSE] I would like to add a few
words in Italian to honor my family who’s
here today and those who are watching from home. [SPEAKING ITALIAN] Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Rachel Reardon. I’m from Midland, Michigan. And I want to say thank you
to all my wonderful family and friends who are supporting
me here and from far away, to my amazing mentors,
especially Jeff Thompson and Joe Rezik for seeing
things in me before I saw them and myself. And most of all, thank you
mom and dad, my little brother Aaron for loving me
unconditionally and making sure I laugh every day. I love you guys. [APPLAUSE] Good afternoon. Good afternoon. My name is Azai Calderon. And I’m from Kissimmee, Florida. Before anything
else, I want to honor God for the grace over my life. [SPEAKING SPANISH] And thank you to all of my
mentors, friends, and loved ones who have lifted
me up on their wings. To anyone who is seeing this
live stream and is thinking, I’m not enough, I don’t
understand where I’m going, my journey isn’t the
right one, you are enough, and you do belong. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Paulina Miller. I’m from Holmdel, New Jersey. I just want to take a
moment for thanking everyone for being here today. I want to thank my
friends, family, mentors, especially my parents for
their unwavering support and unconditional love. And I also want to
thank my grandfather who can’t be here today,
but for instilling in me the value of lifelong learning. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Kate Tashrin. I’m from Ithaca, New York. And I would like to not just
thank my friends and family who have endured countless
phone calls during which I incoherently sobbed
throughout this process. I can promise that
that will not stop. But also the numerous
people, through small acts of kindness and belief
in my abilities, gave me opportunities
that I could have never imagined otherwise. So thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Olivia Watress. I’m from Guilford, Connecticut. And I’d like to thank my
family for their unwavering support and encouragement,
my parents, sisters, and grandparents for
being here today. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Logan Beyer. I’m from New Bern,
North Carolina. And I want to thank my
family and the friends who have become family,
especially my younger brother Jackson, who
has taught me humility, my mom and my grandmothers, who
have taught me that women are powerful, and my dad, who left
us all with a legacy of love and who was the kind of
physician I hope to become. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Eddie Popa. I was born in Romania. And I grew up in
Chicago, Illinois. First I’d like to
thank my mentors in the dental field
for telling me early on that
anything was possible. I’d like to thank
them for exemplifying what it means to be a
caring and compassionate professional in this field. Most of all, I’d like
to thank my family, my parents in particular
for dropping everything, giving up everything they
had to move to this country so that I could
realize my dream. I can only dream to be as
careless as they were to me. And I think we can I’ll
really look forward to showing that quality in this
wonderful field we’ve chosen. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name’s Sam Ealey. I’m from Blue Hill, Maine. I need to thank my
grandparents who can’t be here with us today, my parents,
mama and papa, and Benny for a lifetime of love already. And I’m thrilled and honored
to be a part of this class. You’ve already shown an immense
amount of intellect, love. And I can’t wait to learn with
you for at least four years. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Dylan Cahill. I’m from Boca Raton, Florida. And I’d just like to
take this opportunity to thank my family, my
girlfriend, and an endless list of friends and
mentors who helped make this dream possible. Thank you all. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Margot Manning. I’m from Wellesley,
Massachusetts. I just want to take us like to
thank everyone who came today, my family, mom, dad,
my brother Drew, Lisa. Wow, I didn’t think I
was going to tear up. And my incredible friends,
Audrey, Eva, Katherine, Charlie, my boyfriend Ian,
I love you all so much. And thank you so much
for your support. I could not be here without you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Jonah Aaron
Stark Blumenthal. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia. I want to thank my
friends and family who traveled to be here today. It means so much. I want to specifically
thank my parents for fostering a love and
curiosity for learning and for emphasizing the
importance of compassion and for teaching me to
fight for what I believe in. Thank you to my siblings
Daniel and Lily. You both inspire me
and continue to push me towards my best self. Thank you Ariel for
your positive attitude and for keeping me
grounded when I cannot. Thank you to my grandparents
for being here despite battling health issues. Your dedication to your
family is inspiring. I would not be here
without each of you. So thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Macy Liu. I was born in Guangzhou,
China and grew up in Boston. I want to thank my family for
loving me and supporting me unconditionally, especially my
mom, who raised me on her own. [SPEAKING MANDARIN] And lastly, I want to
give a special shout out to my stepdad Jim, because
today’s actually his birthday. Happy birthday. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Juliana Coleman. And I’m from Dana
Point, California. I first want to thank my
family members and friends who are like family who came to
celebrate this day with me. I want to thank my entire
extended family who, in caring for my
grandparents, taught me how to care for others
with love, empathy, and selflessness, to my parents
and to my brother Matthew for making this dream possible. And finally, I’d like to
thank all of my mentors who have continued to challenge
me to approach medicine through the eyes of a humanist. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Chad Sussman. I’m from Eldersburg, Maryland. I just want to thank my friends
and family for supporting me. Thanks, mom, for being here. And to my dad at home,
thanks for convincing me to apply to Harvard. And I think it was
a pretty good idea. [APPLAUSE] Hello. I’m Christy Kazmarek
from Amsterdam, New York. I just want to say thank you
to my family, friends, mentors, and everyone I’ve met
throughout my life who’s helped shape me and
support me, especially my parents, brothers,
and boyfriend, as well as my grandparents. Thank you all. And thank you to all of
you I’m going to meet and that’ll help
me in the future. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Molly Munsell. I’m from St. Louis, Missouri. I want to thank my entire
family for their support, especially my mom and dad for
teaching and showing me what it means to pursue your
goals over the long haul, each of my brilliant,
funny siblings, and my friends and mentors who
had confidence in me even when I didn’t. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is [INAUDIBLE]. I’m from Kandy, Lanka and
El Segundo, California. I would like to thank my
family and my mentors. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Thank you for everything. Thank you for your support. Thank you for believing
in me even when I did it. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Thank you for everything. [APPLAUSE] Aloha, everyone. My name is Jordan Aika’a. I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. I’d like to thank everyone, my
friends and my mentors who’s supported me along the way. Most importantly, I’d like
to thank my family, those who are supporting me
back home and those who are able to make it today,
for their love and support. They continue to inspire me. I’m really lucky
my aunt, actually, was able to hem my white
coat to fit my arms. And I’d like to thank my
parents, my mom, my dad, my brother. You’re among my most
important role models. Thank you for your sacrifice
and your love and support. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Kim Fang. I grew up in Andover,
Massachusetts. And I wanted to give a special
thanks to my mom, my dad, Sam, Tim, my two grandmothers,
my grandpa, my mentors, my friends– shout out to Sylv– and finally my
boyfriend and my dog for helping me
become the person I am today and always
rooting for me. I love you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Julia Chao. I’m from New York City. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] And secondly, I’d like to thank
my brother Peter and my best friends Renee and Annie and my
mentor and friend Dr. Ashley Watson. So thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Amanda Cowell. I’m from St. Louis, Missouri. And I wanted to start
by thanking my family. Mom and dad, thank you
so much for everything, for believing in me, and
for all the sacrifices you’ve made to bring me here. To my grandparents, thank you so
much for endless encouragement and support from so far away. And to my sister Sarah, even
though I’m the older one, I look up to you so much for
your strength and positivity. And thank you for always
being there to talk to you and to make me laugh. And finally, I wanted to
thank my friends and mentors. I’m so grateful to have been
able to spend time with you and learn from you. And I hope to make
you all proud. [APPLAUSE] Hi. I’m Hannah Thomas. I’m from Cheyenne, Wyoming. I’d like to thank my parents
and my grandparents and Michael for your endless
love and support and for helping
me edit thousands of secondaries and for flying
all the way across the country to be here today. So thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, there. My name is Jeremiah Kim
from Seoul, South Korea. And first and foremost,
glory to God and his kingdom. Thanks to family,
friends, and mentors who have made this
long journey possible. [SPEAKING KOREAN] Today marks the first
day in over a year that my family’s all
together in one spot. So this is for them. And all those with
immigrant narratives, try to make a better life. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hey, everybody. My name is [INAUDIBLE]. From Jackson, North
Carolina and Nigeria. First off, I’d really
like to thank my parents. I could not have made it
here without you guys, without your support, without
you pushing me and getting me through everything
it took to get here. I want to thank friends and
mentors and all those who’ve been in my life and
touched me in some way and helped me get
to where I am today. I’d also like to thank my
twin brother, [INAUDIBLE].. We’ve been through a lot. And all I can say is that,
for better and for worse, you’ve pushed me to do
better and be better. And I appreciate you for that. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name’s Abigail Baldwin. I’m from Paulsville, Washington. And I’d like to thank my
parents Kit and Wendy, my siblings Henry and Tess,
my friends Christy and Mandy, and my boyfriend Deepak for
all traveling so far to be here today and for supporting
me through everything, such that I could be up here
in this white coat today. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. First, I’m thankful that he
went before me, because I didn’t want to fidget with the mike. Name is William Bongo. I was born in the city of Bangui
in the Central African Republic and grew up in West
Lafayette, Indiana. I would first like
to thank my parents. Melissa, I know the Cinderella
story hasn’t given stepmothers a good stereotype. But you raised me as your child. And you’re the best mother
I could have asked for. And to my father whose left
leg was afflicted with polio, thank you for teaching me
what it means to be a man and to walk with dignity. And lastly, to my relatives
both in this country and abroad, [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] [APPLAUSE] Salaam aleikum, everybody. My name’s Maz Mullah. And I’m from Chicago, Illinois. I’m so humbled and grateful to
be here in front of all of you. First of all, I want
to thank my family for always supporting me. I want to thank my
friends and my sisters for always bringing
happiness into my life. And to all my family in
Mumbai, India right now, [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] I love you all so much. Thank you for always
being there for me. And last and most importantly,
[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Terrance Mensah. I was born in Accra, Ghana. And then my family and I
immigrated to Greensboro, North Carolina, where I grew up. I would like to dedicate this
to my family who have sacrificed so much for me to be here, to
my community which has always supported me, to the countless
people like me who’ve have had their opportunities taken away. I will always keep
working to ensure we can come to places like
this to tell our stories. [APPLAUSE] Hi, good afternoon. My name is [INAUDIBLE] And I’m from Queens, New
York, while we have my family being from Nigeria. The best place, Queens,
New York and Nigeria. I first would like to thank
God, because I would not be here if it was not for God. And I would also like
to thank my parents. And I recognize
the work that I’ve done in terms of being in
a classroom and working is not anything in
comparison to the work that they’ve done in terms of
coming to a strange country and working for their
family to be great. And so I thank my parents. I thank my mentors. I thank my friends. And I thank my four siblings,
Vincent, Benjamin, Busi, and Duttu for being amazing. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is George Hutchins. I’m from Indianapolis, Indiana. That’s my big
cousin right there. He likes to do his own thing. We love him anyway. First, I would
like to thank God. Without my faith, I
would not be here today. Second, I would like to thank
my family, my aunt Ramona Sanders back over there,
who’s been like a mother to me my entire life, my godmother,
my grandmother at home, all of my family members
for pouring love into me. Third, I would like to
thank all of my mentors from kindergarten all the
way to the faculty and staff at Indiana University. Thank you for providing me
with a wealth of opportunities. And lastly, I would
like to thank all those that came before me
that fought and stood in the face of injustice,
like Dr. Alvin Poussaint, that allowed people like
me and that look like me to get an education
that’s not only bettered my life but the lives of
those that I’ll call patients one day. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello there. So I’m Jeremy Martinez
from Miami, Florida. And I’d just like to
take this opportunity to thank my entire family
for their unwavering support throughout my life
and particularly my mother who raised me as a single parent. I’d also like to thank my
godmother who loved and cared for me as much as any
biological parent ever could. Lastly, of course, I’d like
to thank my siblings Tiffany and Jordan, my best friend
Simon, and of course, my partner Debbie for being so
generous with their kindness and their guidance. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name Giovanni Franco. And I’m from McKinney, Texas. Today I’d like to thank my
parents, [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] –and Ivan, my siblings. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Denis [INAUDIBLE]. I grew up in Accra, Ghana. And I’m really thankful
to God for his grace that abounds for me and
the opportunity to be here. I really want to thank my
parents who’ve supported me from the beginning,
even before I was, and particularly so my mom
who sacrificed everything to raise me, both in
sickness and in good health. I think even in her
death, the values that she raised me with
continue to stick with me. And I hope that I can be
a doctor and a person who she’s proud of. I also want to thank my dad
for just sacrificing everything to allow me to pursue my dreams. I’m really grateful for you. And then finally to my
friends and my mentors and all of the people
I’ve met along the way who have shown me some kindness
and given me opportunity, I wouldn’t be here without you. And I hope that
I’ll make you proud. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Luis Rivera. I’m from Concord, California. I’d like to say thank
you to my family, my friends, my girlfriend. And most of all, I’d like to
say thank you to my mom Rosie. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Chandler Moore. And I’m from Milton, Georgia. And more than
anything, I just want to thank my family for
being here today, my two brothers Bryson and Logan and
especially my mom and dad. I think the fact that
I’m standing here today really is a testament to the
love and support of my parents. And I’m so grateful to you both. And I love you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name’s Anthony Fraga. And I’m from Harlingen, Texas. I’d first like to
thank God for blessing me with the opportunity
to be here today. I would like to thank my
entire family, specifically my mom and dad for
immigrating to this country and sacrificing their
dreams so I could live mine. I’d like to thank
my brother Jacob for being the first
friend I ever made and my lifelong homie. I’d like to thank my friends,
professors, and mentors for guiding me and allow
me to pursue my passions to the highest degree. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. I’m Matt Johnson. And I’m from Almond, New York. I would like to thank all of
my family members here today and watching online,
my brother Steven for being a terrific
sibling and a great friend, and both of my parents
for believing in me and supporting me. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Janet Gomez. I was born and raised
in [INAUDIBLE] Cuba and moved to the United
States, Naples, Florida when I was 11 years old with
my mom, dad, and brother. I would like to thank all
of my teachers, my mentors, my friends, my family,
my incredible boyfriend for always supporting
me, being there for me, encouraging me to
always try my very best. And a huge thank you to my
mom and my dad and my brother. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Mario Russo. I was born and raised in
Shelby Township, Michigan. I want to thank my
incredible family for always being there
for me, especially my parents for their
unconditional love and support. I would not be here
without all of you. And I love you all so much. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name’s Trevor McBroom. I’m from Sacramento, California. First and foremost, I’d like
to thank my amazing parents who are here today for
all the sacrifices they made so I could
pursue my dreams and for supporting me
every step of the way. I’d also like to thank my
brother for continually inspiring me to be the best
that I can be in all that I do. And lastly, I’d like to thank my
grandmother, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. I credit so much of
my early creative and intellectual growth to her. And I know that I would not
be standing here on the stage if it wasn’t for her. Dona, this one’s for you. Thank you all. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name’s Brian Chang. I’m from Santa Juan
Capistrano, California. I just want to start off by
thanking all of my mentors and teachers over the years,
especially Eleazar Edelman and Steven Teller, who’ve
become very close friends now. I’d also like to thank my loved
ones, especially Sophia Hu, who’s here today,
for teaching me to be a more empathetic person. And most of all, my
parents, my father for inspiring me to go into
engineering and science and my mother who
sacrificed so much to get me here, from
volunteering at school to make sure I actually did have
friends and giving up her own career in medicine
in order to raise me. So thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name’s Simon Gunter. I’m from Los
Angeles, California. I’d just like to thank
all of my friends, family, and mentors who
supported me along the way. To my aunt Maya for coming out. To my sister Sophie, thank
you for being the best sister I could ever ask for. And to my dad, thank
you so much for all the sacrifices you’ve made and
all that you’ve done for me. I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Mehta Vavahari. I’m from Greenville,
South Carolina. And I just want to thank every
member of my family who’s here today. Mom, dad, thank you for your
limitless love, support, and sacrifice. To my sister Teja, thank
you for being my biggest cheerleader and my best friend. And to my partner Dan,
thank you for your love and for being a shining example
of the kind of physician I would like to become. Thanks, all. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Michael Woodbury. I’m from Greenwich, Connecticut. And I’d like to give
my biggest thanks to my parents and my family for
their unconditional and endless love and support, to my friends
for keeping my life grounded and balanced, and to all my
mentors for teaching me so much and for encouraging me to
apply to my dream school. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Seamus Caraher,
and I’m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I want to say thank you to
all my friends and family for their love and
support along the way, to my teachers and mentors
for the opportunities that they gave me,
and I especially want to thank both my parents
for teaching me the values that led me to this stage. Thanks so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. Peace and blessings
be upon you all. My name is Sara Ahmed. I am a first generation
Algerian-American, born and raised in Boston. First and foremost, I’d like
to take this opportunity to thank God for granting
me this opportunity. And I’d like to thank
my parents, Drs. [INAUDIBLE],, for all
of their sacrifices. Mama, especially thank you
for sacrificing your dream as a physician so that
I can make mine true. And Baba, thank you so much for
all of your support and prayers throughout. And my sisters,
[INAUDIBLE],, for helping keep me sane throughout
this entire process. My mentors and family
both here and abroad, It’s an honor to
wear this white coat, and I hope to continue
to make you guys proud. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Grant Steele. I am from Minnetonka, Minnesota. To begin, I’d like to thank
my family and friends who are here today– Mom, Dad, Cam, Ben. Thank you so much for
making the journey out here and supporting me
over all these years. Second, I’d like to thank
my grandparents, including those watching now and
those no longer with us. You all inspire me every day. Third, I’d like to thank my
communities in Minnesota, California, and beyond. I love you all, and thank you. And finally, thank you to
the HMS and Harvard community for the opportunity to be here. Thanks. [APPLAUSE] Hello, my name is Eli. I’m from Los
Angeles, California. I’ll start by saying thank you
to my family for being here– my mom, my dad, my sister. Thank you to their parents. I think if Grandpa
Alex were here, I think he would
be quite shocked that I’m on this stage
right now and the journey that he went through. So to all the grandparents
who’ve passed, thank you. I’d also like to thank my
sister who’s at home, Laura, for constantly teaching
me the meaning of life. And I’d like to thank all of
the communities and the people who’ve inspired me to be
here, my friends and role models over the many years. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Aseel Barir
from Novato, California. I want to thank mentors,
coaches, friends, especially Coach Rip, my
brother, my loving girlfriend for all the endless support. Your love means so much. And lastly, my mom. She’s the one blocking everyone
with her camera over there. You’ve done so much for me, Mom. You moved Tameem and I here
by yourself to a new country and overcame so many things. And I’m forever grateful for
everything you did for me, Mom. And I know there’s no
way I can pay you back, but I know I don’t say it
enough, but I love you, Mom, and I understand
what you’ve done for me. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is [INAUDIBLE] Chen, and
I was born and raised in China. I spent the last– the past 10 years in Bowie
and Baltimore, Maryland. I just want to take
this opportunity to thank my mentors and
mentees for letting me into their lives, sharing their
stories and advice with me. Y’all made the person– me the person that I am today. Next, I want to thank my family. My parents, you should really be
the one wearing this white coat right now. I wouldn’t be here without you. And also to my mother
who can’t be here today, because she’s battling
with her mental illness every single day. I’m so sorry I couldn’t be
there for you, and I love you. Then to my little
siblings, Amy and Allen. I miss you all, and I
love you, and I will– I promise I’ll come home. And lastly, to my friends, I
love you, and I miss you all. Special shout out to
Vaishnavi, my college roommate. Thank you for being here
in place of my family. And one last– lastly, I want
to honor all first generation students and also
immigrant families. I just want to say that, yes,
we can, and yes, we do belong. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, all. I’m from– my name
is Chris Dietrich, and I’m from Crown
Point, Indiana. I’m very grateful
to be here, and I would like to thank
my siblings, Jenny, my grandparents,
especially Grandma Jenny for making the journey,
and, most of all, my parents. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Mikaela Brock. I’m from Huntsville, Alabama. I would like to start by
thanking the phenomenal faculty and advisors in the biomedical
sciences program at UAB for your constant guidance
and for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you to all of
my amazing friends and family for all of
your love and support and just for enriching
my life so much. Thank you to my sisters,
Bethany and Gabrielle, and for my grandmother for
flying out here to support me. And most of all, thank
you to my parents who taught me to love so deeply
and for supporting me in this journey starting
from day one, where I walked up to you as
a little girl and said, I want to be a dentist. I love you both so much, and
everything I do is for you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Anusha Nathan. I’m from Ellicott
City, Maryland. As I put on this
white coat today, I first want to
thank my mom and dad for being my biggest
inspirations and my biggest supporters. I’d like to thank my sister,
Esha, for being a role model and my best friend
in the whole world. I’d like to thank my
grandparents, those of whom I could have– I was with earlier
this summer and those who are no longer with
us, for showing me what resiliency in the face
of difficulty really means. I’d like to thank my friends,
my teachers, my mentors, and my family from near
and far, those of whom are watching this online, for
being my biggest supporters. Thank you all so much. It’s my absolute
privilege to be able to be the author of this
story, but you’re all going to be the editors. I’d be nowhere and
no one without you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Rebecca. I grew up right outside of
Providence, Rhode Island. And I just want to
say, I would not be here without all my family– there’s probably
too many to name– all my friends, and
those that supported me and acted as mentors for
me throughout the years. So I just wanted to
say thank you so much, and I’m so excited to start
this journey with all of you. And yeah, thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Steven Babcock. I’m from Hopkinton,
Massachusetts. And while I don’t
have the time up here to thank everyone who helped me
get here in under 20 seconds, I’m going to try anyway. So I’d like to thank my
friends and my family, my girlfriend, my mentors,
and all of my peers for challenging me,
for inspiring me, and for being a constant source
of love and encouragement. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Carson Moss, and I’m
from Sacramento, California. I am an enrolled member of
the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma. First, I would like to
thank my mom and dad. Without them, I wouldn’t
be the man that I am today. To my friends and family
watching online right now, I want to say, I love you all. Thank you for your support,
especially you, Michael. And lastly, I want to
recognize the indigenous lands on which we will be learning and
living over the years to come. I hope to bring honor to the
Massachusetts and Wampanoag tribe while I’m here,
as well as my own. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, my name is Joy Xi. I was born in
Beijing, China, but I lived in upstate New York. I’d like to give a big
thanks to my family, my mom for her endless
love and support through all these years, my
dad for always encouraging my love of science,
and my sister for being an amazing person
and my best friend. I really would not be
here without you guys, and I’m so lucky that I get to
continue my path with you guys by my side. I love you, and
thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Jalen Benson. I’m from Pensacola, Florida. As I look out here with
some nerves and excitement in my heart, I see my family. That family is the
one who raised me. When someone said I couldn’t,
they believed I could be here. When I had the hope in my heart
to dream and hope of Harvard, it is that family that said
I can do it, I should do it, and I will do it. So I want to thank them for
the support they’ve always given me. I want to thank
everyone out here who’s here supporting their
family and being here with them and everyone who can’t be here. I’m excited for what we
do as a class together. I’m excited for what these
years are going to look like. And I’ll keep in mind those
who raised me, took care of me, and supported me as an advocate
for those who can’t be here but deserve to as well. Thank you, all. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name Somi Mizundar, and
I’m from Chicago, Illinois. I’d first just like to thank
all my friends and family who came out here today, as
well as everybody back home and in India. I’m so grateful
for all your love and support no matter how
far away you guys were. I wouldn’t be here on this
stage without you guys. And I’d especially like
to thank my mom and my dad for making sacrifices for my
brother and me our entire lives and for giving us
the chance to pursue every single one of our dreams. And finally, I’d like
to thank my brother, who couldn’t be here today. Good luck on
starting high school. Thank you so much for making me
laugh and keeping me grounded, and I love you so much. Thank you. Bye. [APPLAUSE] How y’all doing? All right. My name is LaShyra Nolen,
but my friends call me Lash. I’m from Los
Angeles, California, and today I want to thank
my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for ordering my steps
and allowing me to be here today and for the beautiful people
that they have surrounded me with in order to
inspire this journey. I want to thank all my
mentors at Loyola Marymount University and my friends
who are watching right now. Hey, y’all. I also want to thank my Auntie
Africa, who is here today, who quite literally is the
reason why I decided to come to Harvard Medical School. I want to thank my
little brother, who showed me how to do
the Orange Ranger and keeps me on all of
the Fortnite dances. [LAUGHS] And I especially
want to dedicate this day to my mother, Taya
Harps, who raised me as a single mother in
Compton, California and had me at the
age of 18 years old. Technically speaking, I’m
not supposed to be here. Statistically speaking,
this is a miracle. And Mommy, you so
silently are the architect behind all of my dreams
and the dreams of so many in our family. And I just want you to know that
you were the first superhero that I ever came to know. And I want you to know that I
have this privilege of putting on this white coat and feeling
like a superhero every day because of you. So I want you to know that
this is your white coat, and I thank you for giving me
the privilege to even wear it. And lastly, to all the
little black girls out there, you can’t be what you can’t see. But I hope you see me now, and
I hope you see yourself in me. We have to keep
pushing, and you need to be here, because medicine
will not progress without us. The marathon continues. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name’s Jaewon Yoon, and
I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area. For today, I’d like to thank
my friends and mentors, but most importantly,
I’d like to thank my family, particularly my
parents and brother, who are here, as well as those
who are watching from afar, because it’s through
their endless love and sacrifice that truly
everything is possible. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. Good afternoon. My name is Hillary Nguyen, and
I am from San Jose, California. I want to start off
by first thanking my parents who, unfortunately,
couldn’t be here today. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. I would also like to
acknowledge my wonderful friends and mentors, who have really
pushed me and challenged me to become the person
I’m truly proud of today. And finally, I would like
to give a huge shout out to all my new friends,
classmates, and community here at HMS. I know we just met, but
I’m already so inspired and can’t wait to spend
these next few years learning and growing together. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Good afternoon. Good afternoon. My name is Dan Aquetta. I’m from Maple Grove, Minnesota. I’d like to take
this opportunity to thank my friends, mentors
from around the world, who gave me the
gift of their time, even when I didn’t deserve it. I’d like to thank my family,
my grandparents, both here and in Minnesota, my mom,
my dad, Sarah and Ben, who challenge me to be a
better person every day. Finally, I’d like to thank
my little nephew, Cameron, who over the past 11
months has reminded me that a better future is
really worth believing in. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. Good afternoon. So my name is Kevin
Ernesto Salinas, and I’m originally from the
border town of McAllen, Texas. I’d like to start
off by thanking all the friends, mentors,
educators, supporters, and everyone else
who really picked me up every time I fell down
throughout these past few years and this long journey
and really shaped me into the person I am today. I’d also like to send a
very special few words to my parents who unfortunately
can’t be here today but are watching
us on Livestream. [SPEAKING SPANISH] And to echo something that so
many of my wonderful classmates have already said, we do belong. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Jaden Garcia
from Syracuse, Utah. I just wanted to thank God for
this opportunity to be here and all the other
blessings in my life. It truly is an amazing
place to be here at Harvard Medical School. I want to thank my mother
for always instilling in me the work ethic
that I needed to get here and where I go– where I
will go with my career. I want to thank my dad
for always teaching me to pursue my dreams no
matter how challenging they might become. I want to thank my brothers
for always being there when I need them and for supporting
me in all my causes. Last, I’d like to thank my
sweet, beautiful wife who was so willing to leave her
home in Utah to come here and to support me
here in Boston. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] My name is Jessica
Christina Murphy, and I am proud to be both
a Nebraskan and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. There is too much to say. So parents, family,
friends, mentors, thank you for showing
me how to love and for showing me
that love is the one true universal connector. I pledge to you to remember
who I am and who I represent. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everybody. I’m Brittany Petros from
Drigget, Massachusetts. [PORTUGUESE] Thank you for this stethoscope
and all that it represents. A nurse, someone who put herself
through two years of nursing school as a
Portuguese immigrant, a caregiver above all else. Dad, Caitlin, Dylan,
Padrino Bom, Tia Paula, thank you for supporting
me constantly. Chris Tamil, life with you
is one of always learning, and you’ve already taught
me to be an optimist. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Bradley Busque. I’m from Athol, Massachusetts. I’d like to thank all of
my teachers and mentors and coaches growing
up for showing me how to be here today,
and, most importantly, my family, my mom and my dad
and my aunt and my first cousin, Mallory. I see you right there. Thank you so much for
your love and support. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Mariele Visant. I am from Caracas, Venezuela. And I would like
to thank my family for showing me unconditional
love and especially to my parents for showing me
what patient-centered care truly means. The only thing
that I can hope is that I become half the
physicians that you have been and that I get to earn my white
coat the same way that you have. Gracias. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Michael Chen. I grew up in Long
Meadow, Massachusetts. And I’d like to thank the
mentors and communities that molded me into who I am today
and who I will be tomorrow, and my family, my parents, my
grandparents, who supported me unconditionally my whole
life, my girlfriend, Catherine, and all of my close friends
who couldn’t be here today. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Caroline Li, and
I’m from San Ramon, California. Thank you so much to
my family and my best friends who are here today. To Mom and Dad, you moved here
to America and here to Boston with nothing more than hope
and your dreams and hard work. I owe everything in life,
especially this moment, to your sacrifice. Thank you for loving me in happy
moments like this and moments where it feels like
nothing is going right. This unconditional love is one
that I hope to live my life by. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Eric Chan. I’m from Long Island, New York. I’d like to thank my friends, my
families, my mentors for loving me unconditionally, for always
supporting me, challenging me, and most of all,
you know, always making me laugh and
smile every day. Thank you all, and I definitely
wouldn’t be here without you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name’s Nicole [INAUDIBLE]. I’m from Auburn, Washington. I’d like to thank my
parents for teaching me the value of hard
work and perseverance. I’d like to thank my
sister for being my best friend and my
confidant, and I’d like to thank my fiance, Steven,
for always being there for me. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Laura
Sofia [INAUDIBLE],, and I am from
[INAUDIBLE],, Puerto Rico. I am glad to be
here with you today. I would love to
thank my mom and dad. [SPEAKING SPANISH] To my sister and my aunt
who are here supporting me and have told me that
no is not an option, thank you for being
there along the way. To my extended
family, my friends, Lara, Danny,
[INAUDIBLE],, thank you so much for telling me
to keep going and never letting me give up. You guys own my coat. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Rory
Brinkman, and I’m from Johannesburg, South Africa. It’s an honor to share
this day with you all. I’d like to thank my parents,
Joe and Liz, my partner, KB, my brothers and mentors
for everything that they’ve done to allow me to be here. It is– I am so, so grateful to
be a part of all of your lives. And thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. Mom and Dad, get
your cameras out. I know you’re back there. My name is Ruby Sandhu. I was born in Montreal,
Canada, but my parents emigrated from Punjab, India. First and foremost, I
want to thank my parents. Without them, I would not be
half the person I am today, let alone here. I also want to thank my
siblings, Karen and Simran. Simran is in China right
now, so he couldn’t be here. I am so proud to be
your sister, and I hope that you’re proud
to have me as a sister. And then most of all to
my extended family, who all came from all over to be
here and support me today, I love you guys so
much, and thank you for the endless support. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. So thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Alan Wong, and
I’m from Vancouver, Canada. I wanted to thank my mom, my
dad, and my sister, Andrea, for all of their support. I’d like to also thank the
friends who are watching the Livestream right now. Sam and Rachel, thank you
from the bottom of my heart. I’d also like to thank
my lifelong mentors– Jessica [INAUDIBLE],, Kim
Johnson, Andy Clark, and also Catherine Morey. Thank you for believing
in me and trusting in me all along the way. Thanks. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Sandy Samuel. I’m from Staten
Island, New York, but I was born and
raised in Cairo, Egypt. I’d like to start by
thanking my parents who decided to immigrate to this
country seven years ago. Special shout out to my dad who
gave up his career in medicine so that my sisters and I
can have the opportunity to pursue work that
we’re truly passionate about in this country. I’d also like to thank my
sisters, Teresa and Christine, and my extended family
all around the world for your unconditional
love and support. And finally and most
importantly, I’d like to thank God, without
whom I would not be here today. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. Welcome, and thank you
all so much for being here and believing in us. I’m [INAUDIBLE],, and I am
originally from Ethiopia. I would like to start by
saying for God is the greatest, and I’m very humbled to be
here with all of you guys. And then I’m going to say
a few words in Amharic for my mom and dad. [SPEAKING AMHARIC] And I’d like to thank my little
brother also, who’s not here today, but he’s cool. And my special someone, I
think you’re over there. Thank you so much. I am very grateful for
your presence in my life. Again, thank you all
for believing in us, and I hope we make
you all proud. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Monica Solomon. [CHEERS] I’m from– I was born in Egypt,
but I grew up in New Jersey. First, I’d like to thank God. Without his grace and kindness,
I wouldn’t be here today. Second, I’d like to
thank my parents, who emigrated from across the world
to give me the opportunity to be here today, and
especially my dad, who is my biggest inspiration. I hope to one day become
half the dentist he is. I’d also like to thank my little
sister, who is younger than me, but I look up to
every single day. And, of course, my
amazing friends, who drove 4 and 1/2 hours to
be here with me today and have been with me throughout
every step of the way. Thank you, guys. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Gustavo Lasquez. I am from Vero Beach,
Florida, but I’m originally from Medellin, Colombia. That’s where I was born. First of all, I’d like to
thank the class of 2023. The last couple of days with
you guys has been amazing. All of you are absolutely
incredible people, so I’m super excited to
get to know each one of you more and more every day. I’d like to thank Mr.
[INAUDIBLE] for coming out. I really appreciate your support
over the last year and a half. It’s been just amazing. Mr. David, Mrs.
Catherine, thank you so much for making these
dreams of mine a reality. Wouldn’t be here without you. Mel, you’re an
incredible sister. You’re younger, but I
look up to you like– and Mom, you’ve
been my mom, my dad, and you’ve been the
reason that I am who I am. You’re a figure I look
up to like no one else. Ma, [SPEAKING SPANISH]. I love you. Thank you, everyone. [APPLAUSE] [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] My
name is Victor Lopez Carmen, and I’m from Tucson, Arizona. I’m a member of the
Crow Creek Sioux tribe, and I’m also a Yaqui. And first, I want to
give thanks to God and the creator,
who’s made so many miracles and just
made so much happen and protected me and my family. I also want to acknowledge
and pay respect to the traditional peoples of
this land, the Massachusetts and the Wampanoag. And I pay respect to their
elders, past, present, and future. I want to give thanks also to
my ancestors, who went through so much and just strived
so much to protect our culture and our traditions. And I will always
remember that those come before anything else. I want to thank my family. I want to thank
my parents, who– they’ve been taking me to
ceremonies all my life, and I have so much
thanks to give them to be at this one right now. To my little siblings, my three
little siblings back there, you can do anything you want. My little sister
recently told me she wanted to become
a doctor, and that– it wasn’t so long ago
that that wouldn’t be possible with that intention. And you can do anything. I will always be here for you. I love you. Mom, Dad, I love
you, and I thank you. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Claire Din. I’m from LA by way of Philly. And I’d first like
to thank my family. They fled here as refugees of
the Vietnam War with nothing. And so this white
coat is a testament to the fear of the power of
showing fearless love to people who come to this
country with nothing. I’d also like to thank the
communities I’ve called home for showing me how to live
ethically and critically and engage meaningfully
with others in pursuit of high quality,
low cost care for everyone. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Sara Zarbi. I’m originally from Jordan. I want to start by thanking
my family for everything, for every high and low. [SPEAKING ARABIC] I also want to thank my
grandpa, [INAUDIBLE],, if you’re watching,
and [INAUDIBLE] for being there for me. I want to thank my
family past and present, Zeb, Annie, and all the
mentors and friends that have been in my life
and given me everything and supporting me. It’s truly a blessing
to have you all. Last but not least, I want
to thank God, [ARABIC],, for everything, as
I’m truly blessed. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi. I’m Rose Berman. I’m from Gaithersburg, Maryland
and Marblehead, Massachusetts. And first, I’d like to
thank my mentors who gave a history major the
chance to learn about science– Dr. Freddy Ascorsia, Peach
Roike, and Veris Turkbe, as well as my cousin,
Rafi, who inspired me to go into medicine. And of course, I’d like to
thank my family, especially my aunts and uncles
who are here today, and my parents who
taught me and brought me so much joy and compassion. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. [ARABIC] My name is Amina. My family moved to
Massachusetts from Algeria. I’d first like to thank all
of my professors and mentors at Wellesley College,
who have guided me through this arduous
pre-medical journey as we’re all familiar with. And most importantly, I’d like
to thank my friends and family for their unconditional
love and support. A special shout
out to my siblings over there in the corner. They never failed
to make me laugh. And most importantly
to my parents– without their sacrifices,
I would not be here today. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, I’m James Pernesky. I’m from Madison, Alabama. First, I want to thank God
for all the opportunities that I’ve had along the way. Next, I want to thank my family,
my mom, my dad, my twin sister for believing in me, loving
me, and supporting me through everything
I’ve been through. And finally, I want to
thank my friends and mentors at West Point that really taught
me how to overcome anything. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everybody. My name’s Amanda Joel, and I’m
from Durham, North Carolina. I’d first like to thank
my dad and my mom. Thank you so much for your
unconditional love and support. I don’t know what I
would do without you, and thank you for being
incredible role models and teaching me to care for
others and to work hard. I don’t know where I’d
be without you both. I’d also like to thank my twin
sister watching on Livestream. I love you, Ash. Thank you for being my best
friend, my partner in crime, and the person I miss the most. And I’d also like to thank
my incredible grandparents, friends, mentors, boyfriend,
and family for being so supportive and loving. And last but not least, I want
to give a special shout out to both my parents and
Mary Grace and Robbie for being here. It’s such a treat to
have you all here. Thank you all. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Alexis Smith. I’m from Dexter, Missouri. And it’s really
surreal to be here. I remember watching
these ceremonies as a little girl in
my small bedroom, thinking that can never
be possible for someone like me, as probably many
of my classmates can share. I’d, first of all, like
to thank my parents and my little sister. Dad, thanks for
showing me work ethic and working tirelessly
all the time. My little sister, I hope you
know that anything’s possible, and I believe in you and will
support you fully no matter what you decide to do. And to my mom, who stepped
on this journey with me at 16 years old, I am
just so inspired by you and so thankful, and this
white coat’s for both of us. I’d also like to
thank my family. Quick shout out to my grandma
and grandpa, my Neeny and Papa and Granny that are
watching Livestream. Thank you so much. To my mentors, to my
friend, especially to McKenna, who has
supported me so much and is my very best
friend, I love you. And to the class of 2023,
I’m so inspired by you. And to any other
little girl, anyone that might be sitting watching
this ceremony in their bedroom, anything’s possible. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Yuxiao Wei. I was born in China and grew
up in Salt Lake City, Utah. I would first like to thank
my parents for working so hard and sacrificing so much
to immigrate to the US and for providing me
with every opportunity. They– they’ve taught
me all the values that I know and taught
me the importance of and demonstrated the importance
of working hard but also being happy. I would also like to
thank my grandparents, who couldn’t be here today. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. Lastly, I would like to
thank my mentors and friends for supporting me and
helping me grow every day. I promise to not let you down. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. Hello, everyone. My name is Mitchell
Winky, and I’m from Bridgeport, West Virginia. So first off, I just
want to say thank you so much to my family, my
friends, my mentors, who’ve been such a big part
of my life, and they’ve supported me unconditionally
through everything that I’ve been through. I wouldn’t be on this
stage without you. And lastly, I would like
to give a special thank you to my loving fiancee, Abigail,
who has been with me every step of the way, who
has believed in me when I didn’t believe in
myself, and who yesterday, on her birthday, traveled
for the majority of the day to share this moment with me. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. Oh, gosh. My name is Stacy Lin. I’m from Taipei, Taiwan
and Bedford, New Hampshire. I would like to thank all
of my teachers and mentors for instilling in me
a passion for learning and a drive for excellence. I’d like to thank my best
friend and my sister, Mabel, for showing me the true meaning
of strength and compassion. To all of my friends
and my partner, Andrew, for being the best support
system I could ever ask for, and to my relatives in
Taiwan, [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH].. And finally, I’d like to thank
my selfless and incredible parents, who are watching
the Livestream from Taiwan. Your unconditional
love and sacrifice is the reason I’m here today. I love you guys. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Bailey. I’m from Palmer Lake,
Colorado, and I would first like to thank all my mentors
at the Air Force Academy. You guys have pushed me to
be the best person I can be. I would also like to
thank Jim and Suzanne. You guys have been a
second family to me. My grandparents, who have always
given me a place to call home, and I love you guys so much. To my dad and my
brother, who have just pushed me to do everything
that I’ve ever wanted to do, I know that you always have
that unconditional love for me. Thank you very much. And lastly, thank
you to my mom, who really did show me that we
can do anything that we want. And I hope I made you proud. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Jamie Shade. I’m from Millersville,
Maryland, and I’ve lived in Baltimore for
the past four years. I would first like to thank
my parents for their hard work and sacrifice to make sure that
myself and my five siblings could do what we love. Thank you so much. To my mom, you are the kind of
physician that I want to be. Thank you. Thank you to my close friends,
my teachers, especially Dr. Clark, and my second
family, especially Taji. Thank you for teaching me what– thank you for teaching me
the meaning of joie de vivre, the joy of living. And thank you to my classmates
and my future patients. I have so much to learn from
you, and I’m so excited. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, all. My name is Erica Storm, and
I am from South Arkansas. First and foremost, I want
to thank my Lord and Savior for showing me through
his mysterious ways, and I need to chill out,
because he’s got it. To my mom and dad here
on the Livestream, thank you for teaching me
that I can achieve anything by working hard
and being humble. To the travel team for loving me
and for giving me an extra five sets of Southern parents that
I never asked for as a kid, but I love you endlessly. Thank you to my boyfriend for
taking on the world with me. And finally, thank you to my
Air Force family and mentors for showing me what it
truly means to serve and for teaching
me how to aim high. Thanks. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Hannah
Zapari, and I’m from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’d like to thank my mom, dad,
siblings, Claire and Tristan, and my family who is not
here today and not with us. I’d like to thank my friends,
teammates, mentors, and coaches as well. Thank you for your sacrifices,
continued support, and love. [APPLAUSE] Good afternoon. My name is Ria Malik, and
I’m from Columbia, Maryland. And first of all, I’d like to
thank each and every one of you for bearing the heat
and for coming out to make this day so
special for each of us. I feel blessed to stand
here in front of each of you because of the support
of incredible family, friends, and mentors
who have made this day possible, and particularly
my mother, who has shown me the
meaning of sacrifice and believed in
me like no other. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] My name is Ajay Nadig, and I’m
from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I want to thank my parents
who love me and taught me how to work hard
and chase my dreams. Dad, I hope to one
day have the courage that you had in moving from
South India to Salt Lake City by yourself. I also want to thank so
many other family members. [INAUDIBLE],, and countless
others in India who I think may or may not be
watching right now. And lastly, I want
to thank the friends in my life and my brother,
Alok, Joseph Fay, and Daniel, who are here today. You make this life
such a joy to live. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Kanika Kumal, and
I’m from Baltimore, Maryland. And I just want to give
the most profound thank you to my mom, my dad, my sister,
to my close friends, who I very much consider to
be a part of my family. Thank you so much
for supporting me every step of the way in all
aspects of the word “support.” And I know without doubt that
you will be there in my corner as this journey unfolds, and
for that, I am forever grateful. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everybody. My name is Caitlin Lagituda. I’m from Davis, California. I am who I am because
of my parents. And “thank you” doesn’t
begin to cover it. I’d especially like to thank
my teachers, teammates, and friends, especially,
above all, Whitney Burks, who helped me to recognize that
this is something I could do. I also especially need to thank
Hugo, Emma, Charlotte, Louis, Anne, Sophie, and JP for
showing me kindness and filling my days with the best
kind of chaos and love. I wouldn’t be here without you. [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE], everyone. My name is Annika
Prasana, and I’m from Bridgewater, New Jersey. First off, Mom, thank you for
your innumerable sacrifices and always being my
biggest advocate. Chafata, thank you for
always cheering for me. And to Pati, thank
you for teaching me how to treat others with
empathy and compassion and also teaching me to
be a lifelong learner. And to my mentors
and peers, thank you for always pushing me to be
the best version of myself. I’m here with this white
coat because of you all and humbled and honored to
have this privilege to serve. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Brian Pepe Mooney. I’m from Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. I’d first like to thank my
friends and all my mentors who have helped me along the way. I’d like to thank my girlfriend
and partner, Sylvia Escudero. We’ve been on so many
journeys together, and I’m excited for all the
journeys we’re going to take. Thank you to your
parents, Lily and Alfonso, for being here
today and for having me be a part of your family. And thank you to my family. Mom, Dad, Michael, you’re
an inspiration to me, and I wouldn’t be
here without you guys. I would like to leave
all of you with a phrase that I say sort of
every night at dinner, modified for this event. And it’s that I’m thankful
so much that we’re here to enjoy this wonderful event. And love to all of your
families and to my family and to those who can’t be
with us and to all of you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, I’m Raquel. I’m from Brooklyn. Oh, yeah. Hi, I’m Raquel. I’m from Brooklyn, New York. I just want to give
a quick shout out to my Park Slope community. I want to thank my parents,
each of my 12 siblings. I will do you a favor
and not list all of them. You guys have made it
easy to find role models, and you are the best
siblings one could ask for. I want to thank the
Chabad community for instilling in me the
values that I still cherish. The Footsteps
community– the work– the good work that they
do cannot be overstated. People like me who have a dream
need to find a way to get here, and they help us do that. I want to thank Hunter
College, all of my mentors and great friends, the
NIH community, and Harvard Now for welcoming me here. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Sumita Strander. I’m from Albion, Michigan. And I’d like to thank my
family, especially my parents and my brother, for their
support, their sacrifice, and their wisdom. I’d also like to thank our dear
family friends back home, as well as the professors, the
teachers, and the mentors that I’ve had for their
guidance and encouragement. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Miriam Singer,
and I’m from Miami, Florida. I’d first like to
thank my parents. You are truly my
role models as I envision the caring
and compassionate physician I hope to become. I would also like to
thank my siblings, who have provided me
with endless support and love my entire life. And I would like to thank two
of my staunchest advocates, Chin Mei Pandit and Sarina Madavhan. You have really
taught me what it means to truly be there for
someone and have believed in me all the way. And finally, I
would like to thank one of the most important
mentors in my life, Dr. Cheryl Emk, for the guidance you’ve
provided me over the last five years. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Ellen Zay,
and I’m from Troy, Michigan. I would like to take
this opportunity to thank my family, friends,
and mentors who have supported and believed in me. I would also like to
thank my brother, Ray, who helped teach me to
become a better person, and to my parents,
[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH].. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Mary Barber, and I
am from Hohenwald, Tennessee. First and foremost,
I’d like to thank God for giving me the passion
to heal and help others and guiding me on this journey. I next want to thank
my boyfriend, Avery, for being there for
me and supporting me, even as I cried in a Chick-fil-A
while studying for the MCAT. And I’d like to next thank my
mentors, especially Dr. Javid Moslahi, for believing in me. My family, my sisters,
my brother-in-law, my niece and nephew, and
especially my parents for believing that I could get
to Harvard from a small town in middle Tennessee. I love you so much. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Lucia Milam. I’m from Newton,
Massachusetts, and thank you to my family, my
friends, and my mentors, who have gotten me to this
point, who I would not be here without and who I know
will continue to carry me through this next phase. You all inspire me every day. And I hope I make you proud. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Hannah Bender. I’m from Westchester, New York. It’s such an honor
to be here, and I’d like to take the opportunity
to thank my family, my friends, and my mentors for all of your
love, support, and guidance, especially to my parents,
who are here with me today, as well as to my
grandparents, who are watching on the livestream. And to my four siblings,
I love you all so much, and I’m so lucky to
have you in my lives. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Alexis from
Chicago, Illinois. I want to thank my mom
for always believing in me, my sister for always
being my cheerleader, and thank you, Chris,
for the sacrifices that you’re willing to make
over these next four years. To the rest of my friends and
family, thank you so much. I love you all, and I wouldn’t
be here without you guys. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Janice Chu Ho
Chung, and it’s an honor to be with you all today. [SIGHS] It’s really nice
weather for a really great day, and I just want to say thank you
to all my mentors and teachers and friends for
all your support, for challenging me
to grow every day, and making each stop such
a memorable opportunity. And to my family watching
from abroad and from farther in the US, [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. And most importantly, to my
parents, who are with me today. Thank you. [CRYING] I couldn’t have
come here without you. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. All your wisdom, your
support, and your love has made me who I am
today, and I look forward to another 130 days– or
130 years together with you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is
Rachel Hertz Royfe. I’m from New York City. I owe the biggest
thank you to my parents for being my
biggest cheerleaders and supporting me
in all that I do. To my brothers, Daniel and Zack,
for always leading by example. To all of my amazing friends
and the incredible teachers I’ve had from kindergarten
through college, who have inspired me and shaped
me into the person I am today, thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. I’m Matthew Godwin
from Tampa, Florida. I want to take this time to
thank my mother and father for making this possible, to my
good friend, Juan Jose Juarez, for getting me through
chemical engineering, and to Harvard for
this great opportunity. Thank you, everybody. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Sam Sadler. I’m from Dallas,
Texas, born and raised. First, I’d just like
to thank everyone who has encouraged,
supported, and believed in me, my friends from home
and from Duke, my neighbors who have all kind of
helped raise me, and, of course, my brother,
who’s been my partner in crime for 20 years. And then, finally, just
want to thank my parents. Mom and Dad, I cannot thank you
enough for the sacrifices that you continue to
make to afford me– to empower me to pursue my
opportunities and my passions. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name’s Andrew. I’m from Fort
Lauderdale, Florida. I want to take this
moment to thank my family and friends for being here. Shout out to my grandparents, my
sister, Hilary, Qusay, and Will for joining. And especially thank
you to my parents. I wouldn’t be here without
you, and I owe it all to you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Jared Allswing,
and I’m from Denver, Colorado. I would like to think,
firstmost, my mom, dad, and grandparents for giving me
all the love and support that I could have ever asked for, my
brother and sister for being the greatest role models to me,
my girlfriend for always being there to make me smile, my
friends and extended family that have guided
me on this path, and, last but not least, my
dog, Pebbles, despite her always forcing me to play fetch when
I try to study for the MCAT. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Carlo Dos Santos. I am from Caracas, Venezuela. I was raised in Miami, Florida. 305 ’til I die. [CHEERING] First and foremost, I
want to thank my parents. [SPEAKING SPANISH] Secondly, I want to thank
my friends, especially Elie and Vero, who were
able to make it here today. And having been raised in a city
of immigrants, where we didn’t have our extended families,
we learned very quickly that our family was our family. I mean our friends
were our family. And finally, I want
to make this day about the people of
Venezuela, who, every day, face incredible strife. And so this day is hopefully
for a better future. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Pooja Shanshakar. I’m from Potomac
Falls, Virginia. And first, I’d like to thank
the two most incredible people in my life, my mom and dad. My dad has somehow made it to
the third– second row today. I have no idea. But yes, I’m not kidding. Thank you so much for
holding my hand, literally, from the day that I was
born and from the day that I took my first steps in these– in this world, to the day today
that I take my first steps into medicine. You all are the reason that I– you both are the reason
that I am who I am today. Thank you to my
amazing grandmother, my Aji, who is here today
from Bangalore, India. Your story inspires
me every single day. And thank you to my
incredible friends and mentors who pour their love
and support into me and have brought me
to this stage today. And finally, I’d
like to end by– I’m just– by saying
to the class of 2023, I am just so
inspired and so moved by every single one
of your stories. And I am just so excited to
get to learn and live and grow with you these next few years. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everybody. My name is Dominic Falcon. I’m from Lancaster,
Pennsylvania. Having the incredible
honor and privilege to wear this white
coat, it reminds me of the symbolism that’s behind
this, the amount of tears and sacrifices and pain that
people have gone through to get– for me to represent all of
you and to be here today. With that being
said, I would like to thank everybody who has
fought for me to have the right to stand here today. I would like to thank my
family and friends, especially [INAUDIBLE] for their continued
support they’ve given me, for all of my siblings,
especially my sister Michaela, who’s here today. Happy birthday, by the way. And last but not least, my
mother, who as a single mother, she has made so many sacrifices,
so many tears, so many sleepless nights, I’m sure,
to get me where I am today. You have been the person
that has supported me, that has loved me and has cared
for me when nobody else did. I hope to be half the
person that you are someday in my life. And last but not
least, I would like to thank God for this privilege
and blessing to be here today. I pray that he continues
to guide us in humility as we continue this path. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Madison
Zamora Hockaday. I am from Fairfax, Virginia. I would like to take
my opportunity here on the stage to thank my
parents, Meredith and Carlos. I think I see them there. Yeah– for giving
me all the resources I needed to pursue my
interests and the confidence I needed to explore my potential. I would also like to
take this opportunity to thank my husband,
Adam, for filling my life every day with so much love,
happiness, and support. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Jamie Yia. I’m from eastern Pennsylvania. First and foremost, I’d like
to thank my mom and my dad for all the support they’ve
given to me through the years, for always prioritizing
my sister and me. I know that I can do what I can,
because I know I have you guys. And I hope I can continue
to make you proud. Thank you to my sister, Sarah,
who always keeps it real, is always teaching
me, and keeps me up to date on Twitter
drama and memes, because I don’t have one. Thank you to Jeff. You know what you mean to me. Thank you to my friends
and mentors and teachers. A shout out to those who are
watching on the Livestream. You’ve taught me what
love and friendship can be like and
have always pushed me to be a better person. And shout out to my dog, who
was actually with me in Boston on my interview day and
who my dad is convinced is the reason why I got here. [APPLAUSE] Hi. I’m Aza Vierga. I’m from Richmond, Virginia
and Durham, North Carolina. I’d like to take
this opportunity to thank my parents for
all of their sacrifices. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. I also want to
thank my grandmother for all of her prayers and
love that got me to this place today. I want to thank my brothers,
Solomon and Alex, who are my strongest supporters. I also want to thank
my beautiful friends, my loving extended family,
and all of my mentors without whom I would not be
standing on this stage today. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi. I’m Archana Fiduri. I’m from Cupertino, California,
and spent my childhood in Hyderabad and Delhi. I would like to thank my mentors
and everyone in the Goldberg Lab. Despite knowing so much,
they had the humility to listen and value all
my questions and ideas. And I’d also like
to thank my parents, my sister and best
friend, Rishika, who’s taking pictures
of me right there, and also my grandparents,
[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH].. No matter where I go,
whenever I look back, I know you’ll always
be there behind me. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Katie Anie. I’m from Rochester, Minnesota. I’m so grateful to be here and
so thankful to the mentors, to my grandparents, to
my whole extended family, and to my friends that
have become my family. You’ve picked me up, lifted
me onto your shoulders, and taught me to
reach for the stars. To my partner, Mason, thank
you for bringing so much love and light into my life. And finally, to the
most important people in my life, my mom
and dad, thank you for making me who I am today,
and I love you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi. I’m Cameron. I’m from Alpharetta, Georgia. I want to start by
thanking my mom, who inspired me to go into
medicine by the dedication and compassion
she gave and gives to her patients every day. I want to say a special thank
you to my little sister, Cassidy, who I love so much. She keeps me humble. She’s my best friend, and
I’m so proud of the person she’s become. And finally, I want
to say a thank you to my wonderful boyfriend,
Spencer, Emmy and Mumsy, who are all here to
support me today. I wouldn’t be here
without the three of you, and I love you all so much. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Luis Cortina. I’m from Riverside, California. First of all, I would like
to thank my mentors, who led by example and taught me
the importance of devoting time to the future of others. I would also like to thank my
siblings, Rana and Stephanie, my friend, Ian, my girlfriend,
Sharon, for the endless support and love. I would like to thank all those
that couldn’t be here today for always constantly
inspiring me and pushing me to be a better person. But most importantly,
I would like to thank my parents for
their sacrifices of coming to this country, of giving away
their lifestyle for me to have my dreams make a reality. [SPEAKING SPANISH] [APPLAUSE] Hello, my name is
Nicholas Freeman. I’m from Ashburn, Virginia. David, you are a source
of light in my life, and you make this world
such a more brilliant place. And I’m still, after
all these years, trying to find the words big
enough to hold my love for you. To my friends, to my brothers,
Patrick and Franklin, to my mentors, to all the other
members of my chosen family, thank you. As a queer and transgender
person entering medicine, as a Latinx person
entering medicine, I firmly believe that
representation matters, and it is a prerequisite
for justice. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is King Fok,
and I’m from Hong Kong. And trust me when I say,
I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for everyone who
supported me and cared for me. And they’re the first
people who taught me how to care for others. So thank you to all my
friends, my family, my parents, my sisters, my communities,
and also for everyone who believes in me. You guys taught me how to
believe in myself as well. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Tristan Young, and
I’m from Hillsboro, California. I would like to thank my
family, my friends, my mentors, especially my dad,
my mom, Chloe, and Cara for supporting me each
and every step of my journey. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Shaida Parsayi,
and I’m from Iran. We immigrated to Dallas,
Texas about seven years ago, so it is truly an honor
to be here, especially as an immigrant. I would like to thank my
family, friends, grandparents, and mentors for believing in
me, especially for my parents for sacrificing their
life over and over again. To my big brother, Shayan,
thank you for holding my hand every step of the way. You’re simply the best. Because of you three, I was able
to achieve all of my dreams. Thank you for the
unconditional love and support. This white coat belongs to you. To the very first
physician I’ve ever met, my uncle Ali, thanks
for inspiring me. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Trevor Kester, and
I’m from Somerset, Wisconsin. First and foremost, I’d like
to thank God for his grace and for bringing me here today. I’d like to thank all my
family, especially my parents, for teaching me sacrifice,
my siblings for teaching me resilience and patience,
my grandma for teaching me compassion, my wonderful
fiancee, Pam, for making me a better person every day. You’re all the reason
I’m here today, and you’re the reason
I am who I am today. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Alice Lee, and
I’m from Rockville, Maryland. First of all,
[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH].. [INAUDIBLE],, thank you for
moving to Boston here with me and helping me be
strong when I feel weak. And thank you to all of my
friends, family, and mentors without whom I could
not be here today. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name’s Jessica Sun, and
I’m from Potomac, Maryland. I just want to thank my
friends, Amanda and Steph, who are watching from afar,
my partner, James, my mentors, my family
both here and in China. To my parents, thank
you for the thousands of miles you’ve traveled
to be in this country, all the sacrifices you’ve
made for me, Emma, and Alex, and for just putting up with
me when I was at my worst, just so I could be
standing here today. Thanks. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Jenny Kim, and
I’m from northern Virginia. I’m very humbled
to be here today. First of all, I want to take
the time to thank my family. You guys have always
supported me and loved me. Thank you. I couldn’t have done
it without you guys. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Kyra Yong Kim, and
I’m originally from Korea. I first want to thank my
friends and my younger sister, QiYoon, and my boyfriend,
Rob, who’s here today, for supporting me, lifting
me up, and believing in me more than I believed in myself. And to my mom, who
sacrificed so much to immigrate to this
country as a single mother. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. And lastly, to my grandmother,
whose lifelong dream wants to serve others through
the practice of medicine. [INAUDIBLE],, this
white coat is for you. [APPLAUSE] I had a whole thing, but
then I just forgot it when I walked up here. My name is Aldis Petrzczeks. I’m from Palo Alto, California. I just want to first thank my
god, whose love and compassion is my most potent calling
to be with the suffering. I also want to thank the
faculty at Kenyon College, who turned this lazy, strange
kid from northern California into a diligent, even
stranger kid from rural Ohio. I want to thank my
friends at Kenyon, whose brilliance
and vulnerability really helped me grow and
understand my fears and doubts and how to bring that
to healing of others. I want to thank my
little sister who’s here. I owe at least half of the
oddities and contradictions in my personality
to your weird blend of sarcasm and exuberance. I want to thank my
girlfriend, Hannah. Your conversation and your
incomprehensible compassion challenge me every day
to be a better person. My big sister, whose
unsolicited advice was a huge part of why I even
decided to go into medicine, and then I got into
this medical school. And then most of
all, my parents– I just do not say it enough. And I don’t think I
could say it enough, but I really do profoundly
love you and appreciate you. And it’s just– it’s quite
embarrassing that I can ever find quite the right words
to say, but just know that I’m undyingly grateful
for everything you’ve given. And thank you guys for
being an incredible class. [APPLAUSE] Hi. My name is Melanie Gandhi. I’m from Newton,
Massachusetts, and I want to give a
huge, huge thank you to my parents for all your
incredible love and support and encouragement. I love you both so, so much,
and I can’t thank you enough. I want to thank my
younger brother, Kavish, for being the best brother
I could ask for, being such a kind, wonderful person. I want to thank my grandparents,
my [INAUDIBLE] and Bumpa and my Dada and Dadi. I want to thank my wonderful
boyfriend, Eli, all my friends and mentors. Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Nia Krasnow. I’m from Palo Alto, California. I have to start off by thanking
my parents, my mom and my dad, who have given me everything. And you have shown me what
it means to live endlessly passionate and fulfilled lives. I also have to thank my sister,
who couldn’t be here today, but who’s my best friend and
who is the most selfless person I know. I also have to thank
Henry and Joe, who have added so much to our family. My mentors, Erlia, Ron, and
Sue, who have supported me through everything,
and my close friends who have taught me that you can
work really hard, but also live a very silly, goofy,
fun, balanced life. So thank you. [APPLAUSE] Good afternoon. My name is Navid Gafari. I’m from Cleveland, Ohio
and Southern California. I want to give a big, big
shout out and thank you to my family who’s come
a long distance here– aunts, uncles,
cousins from Atlanta, Cleveland, Utah, grandparents,
grandpa who came from Iran. Thank you for being here. I’m so thankful to have my
lovely girlfriend, Pauline, who came from Chicago to be here. From Paris until now, we’ve
had some amazing journeys, and I look forward
to the future. To those who aren’t here,
mentors, tennis coaches, piano instructors, high school
teachers, college teachers, I think I learned a little bit
of something from all of you, and I would not be here
without your guidance. To my immediate
family, my sister, you’ve taught me a
lot about patience. You’re very fiery, and I love
all the laughs that we’ve had and we’ll continue to have. To my dad, whereas some other
kids may have been listening to radio, pop songs, we
were listening to NPR, so I learned a lot about
car talk on the weekends. He always made sure
that I was grounded. I really love your
teasing of me, calling me a nerd when
it was finals week, and you said, why aren’t
we watching a movie? And your interaction with
your patients inspires me. And lastly, to my mom, you
are the rock of the family. Thank you for taking me to every
sports practice, every event. You always picked the school
before you picked our home. You taught me the
value of education, and you taught me just how to be
a good person and a gentleman, so thank you very much. I love you all. Merci. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Tatiana Winkelman. I’m from Lexington,
Massachusetts. And I’d first like to thank
all my teachers and friends, my coaches and teammates,
who have always been my second family
and always will be my second family, and
then my true family– Mom, Dad, Jack, and Natalia– you guys inspire me every day. You supported me
and cared for me, and I really wouldn’t
be here without you all. I’m so grateful to
be so close to home and have such a loving family. I love you guys. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everybody. My name is JC Pankius. I’m from Sterling, Virginia. And I’d like to thank my entire
family, but especially Mom. Thank you for teaching me what
it means to love and be loved. To Dad, for teaching me the
power of a positive attitude, and to my siblings,
Rhianna and Anthony, for constantly challenging me
and inspiring me in the ways that only siblings can do. You mean so much, and I’ll
always look out for you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Jocelyn Rodriguez,
and I’m from Yuma, Arizona. First and foremost,
I’d like to thank God for all of his blessings and
for constantly placing me outside my comfort zone. I’d like to thank my
brothers for playing doctor with me as a kid. I guess it worked. I’d like to thank my
sister-in-law, my niece, my nephews, my family,
friends, and mentors at the Naval Academy, and
especially my parents. Mom, Dad, thank you so much
for being brave and moving to this country so that I
could have a better life. You taught me what it
means to love and to live my life for someone else. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Rachel Stoddard. I’m from Chestertown, Maryland. I want to echo all my classmates
in thanking my friends, family, and mentors, who supported
me up to this point. And thank you so much
specifically to my mom and dad who are in the audience today. I am so grateful
for your support, and I promise to
use the foundation that you gave me to
help uplift and improve the lives of others. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Good afternoon. My name is Rachel
Winberg, and I grew up in Carlisle, Massachusetts. I want to thank my many
mentors, my extended family, and my grandparents,
who traveled here to share this day with me. I especially want to thank
my older sister, Ruthie, for being my best
friend and my role model and for always
being there for me. Most of all, thank you
to my mother and father for their sacrifices and
their unending love, guidance, and encouragement. You’ve shaped me into the
person who I am today, and I’m so grateful. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Jason Qiuwang. I’m from Los
Angeles, California. First, I want to thank
my wonderful parents. Thank you, Mom. Thank you, Dad, for all your
love and care and for all the sacrifices you made in
coming to this country. I know I don’t say this enough,
but I love you both very, very much. I also want to thank
my older brother, Sean, for being the most
chill dude ever, and he’s also a great
mentor and sibling. Many, many times I’ve been told
that I have big shoes to fill, because he’s a really great guy. But every time I look up to
you, I feel immensely proud. I also want to thank my amazing
partner, Joyce, and my friends near and far for
being in the loving community they are to support
me through thick and thin. And finally, to my
relatives in Wuhan, China, I know this is posted on
YouTube and not Youku, so in case you have VPN,
[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH].. [APPLAUSE] Hello, everyone. My name is Zoe Levine. I’m from Fairfax, California. Mom, thank you for
showing me that girls can drive trucks and do anything. Dad, thank you for showing me
what it means to think hard, work hard, and do what you love. Roberta, thank you for expanding
my definition of family. Thank you so much for being
here, all three of you. And lastly, I want to say
thank you to my grandfather for teaching me the beauty of
hearing other people’s stories. I hope to use this white coat
to hear the stories that most need to be told. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Wendy Sun. I’m from Falls Church, Virginia. And first and foremost,
I want to thank my loving family, my father,
Sam, and my mother, Sharon, who have given up
everything and provided everything for me
to be here, who have taught me the
value of hard work and to strive for excellence
and to never settle for anything but the best. I want to thank my sister,
Zia, and my brother, Will, who keep me young and inspire
me to be the best that I can. I also want to thank my
beautiful friends, who have supported me every step of
the way on this long journey, and my fearless
mentors, who taught me that it’s possible to be a
successful woman in science and medicine. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Jordan Middleton,
and I’m from Auburn, New York. I’d like to start
off by thanking my older brother, Justin. You’ve been my single greatest
influence and role model, and I’m so excited to
be joining you in Boston as we both realize our
dreams of becoming dentists. I’d like to thank my little
brother and sister, Owen and Leah. Together you guys are the
light of my whole entire life, and I’ve loved
every second getting to watch you guys grow up into
the great kids that you are. And most importantly, I’d
like to thank my mom and dad. You guys know it,
but without you guys, without your constant
love and support for me and our entire
family, none of this would be possible, so thank you. I love you guys. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Christina Bulino. I’m from Vienna,
Virginia, for all the Northern
Virginia people here. So first, I want
to thank God, who teaches me how to love in
new ways every single day. And if not for his blessings,
I wouldn’t be here today. After that, I really want to
thank my grandfather, who’s watching from Rapid City. All the sacrifices that you
and Grams have made, [CRYING] I’m so humbled by. And if I can be half of what– if I can turn my career
into half of the work that you’ve done for
the state of South Dakota and your
selfless commitment to all of your patients, I
will be a very fulfilled woman. I also want to thank my mom,
my dad, Julianne, Scott, my siblings, Aunt Susan, Uncle
Mike, Aunt Debbie, Uncle Gus. All of you guys that came
here today, thank you so much. Thank you for everything. I can’t even ever encapsulate
it in this little bit, but you’ve sacrificed
so much for me. I can never repay you. I love you so much. And thank you to all
my friends watching. You know who you are. You’ve been my biggest
cheerleaders along with my family. I am so humbled that
I have you in my life. So thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Jason, and I’m from
Hacienda Heights, California. First, I just want to
thank all the families that I have, both
blood and chosen, to have enabled this
opportunity for me today. I want to thank especially
my parents, my mom, my dad, my brother, Howard,
[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH].. You’ve shown me
love and care in so many countless, different,
interesting ways from the struggles
and sacrifices you made in your immigration
to the bowls of cut fruit you always slid to
me wordlessly, I love you all so much, and I
hope I can make you proud. To my friends who are the
brightest spots of joy and love and all that gross stuff
in the world, thank you. Wherever my career
goes, I’ll always be proudest of being
friends with you. So thank you all so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Susanna. I’m from Gaithersburg, Maryland. Thank you, Mom. Thank you for telling
me so many times that your dream is for
me to become the best dentist that I can be. I hope to make you proud. Thank you to my dad. You are so kind, so
strong, and so humble. Thank you to my siblings and
my cousins, Sara Ann, Malachi, Shauna, Lon, and Kamali. Thank you to my grandparents
for watching this, just like they have watched
every single one of my concerts and ceremonies. Thank you to my loving
boyfriend, Alex, for picking up his life
and driving nine hours up to Boston and for telling me
every day that he is so proud of me. Thank you for all of my friends,
the rest of my family members, and my present and future
teachers, professors, and mentors for all
of your support. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I’m Nikki Altatooni, and
I’m from Irvine, California. First of all, it’s such
an amazing privilege to be standing here today. I’m especially grateful
for all my teachers, mentors, and friends
who have gotten me here. I also want to give
a special thanks to my family, my parents,
Parveen and Kahan, and my sister, Shalise. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. You’ve given me so much
motivation, support, and love throughout the years. I’m so excited for
everything that’s to come. [APPLAUSE] Hey, y’all. My name is Anna Bullock. I am from Augusta, Georgia. I would just like to thank
my mom for her support today and every day. I would like to thank my dad for
his constant supply of lame dad jokes, and the rest of
my family and friends for their constant
encouragement. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, my name is Laura DeRienzo. I’m from Niskayuna, New York. First to my mom
and dad, thank you for giving me a life
filled with love and joy. And to my siblings, Nick,
Anna, Mia, now Carly, you guys are my best
friends, and I love you. Happy to join you in Boston. And to my boyfriend who’s
watching on livestream, hi, and I love you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Franklin Zang. I come from Plano, Texas,
and before anything, I’d love to give a special
shout out to both my parents who are over there. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. I also want to give a
shout out to my sister, who came here from DC. She’s always a phone
call away from me, and thank you so
much for showing what unconditional
love is and for being a good person to everyone
around you, no matter if they’re good to you or bad to you. I also want to give a shout
out to two of my friends who came here today. Thank you for making it. Y’all are the best. Thank you, Natalie and Kevin. And I also want to give a
thanks to all my mentors along the way, who
have taught me so much. My mentors in Texas
and my mentors abroad and my unofficial
family in Argentina, thank you so much. And honestly, before this
week, I had some doubts. I was nervous, but I was excited
and nervous at the same time. But after listening to all
of you, I feel so inspired, and I honestly can’t wait to
enter this profession that’s dedicated to, you
know, caring for others and being lifelong learners. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, I’m Stephen Chris. I’m from Cypress in
Southern California. I’d first like to
thank those who are close to me, including
my partner and my two best friends, who I think
are watching right now. Thank you for the
experiences, the conversations that have brought me here. I’d especially like to thank my
mom and dad, my older sister, and my two younger brothers. I know I don’t get
to see you guys as often as I
would like anymore, but every day I get to spend
with you guys is worth years to me, so thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. My name is Alicia Nanjee,
and I’m from Toronto, Canada. So just to start off, I
want to thank my family. To my dad who came
to Canada from Uganda with $23 as a refugee,
thank you for showing me the meaning of hard work,
discipline, and grit. To my mom, thank you so much
for your unconditional support, love, and sacrifices. To my older sister,
Sophia, thank you so much for being such an
incredible and amazing role model. And to my twin sister, I’m so
excited to begin this journey with you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everyone. I know it’s a bit–
my name is Natasha. I know it’s a very long
ceremony, and it’s super hot, but I wanted to
reassure you that, yes, you are seeing double. So I don’t want to sound
like a tape recorder, since Alicia already thanked
our family once, but once would never be enough. Even twice as not,
but to my mom, dad, Sophia, and
everyone else who has helped us along
the way, thank you so much for your love and support. We would not be here
today without you. I love you guys. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hello. My name is Margot. I’m from the San
Francisco Bay Area. I would not be
wearing this coat. I literally would not be here
without the counsel and love of my family. We are here to celebrate
today, but you were the ones who pick me up when I need it. I’m so grateful that you’ve
come all the way from California to share today with me, and
I’m thinking of the people dear to me who weren’t able to
make it, especially my sister. Marina, you coached
me through the MCAT. We sat side by side over
secondaries, and in two weeks, you’ll be putting on
your own white coat. I’m so proud of us. Lastly, to my peers
and my teachers, I am humbled by your eloquence. I’m inspired by your stories. I can’t wait to make
this home together. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Hi, everybody. My name is Jonah. I’m from Dallas, Texas. I’d like to thank my
eighth grade science teacher for telling
me, I probably wouldn’t pass freshman biology. That was some good
reverse psychology, so. In a very real sense,
I’d like to thank my Omi and Papi who are watching
in Tyler, Texas right now. I’d like to thank my brother
and sister, Regan and Noah. They mean a lot to me. I’d like to thank
the Riddick family– Frank, Carol,
Anderson, thank you for the stimulation, the love,
the support, the encouragement. And I’d like to thank my mom. She has taught me
more than anybody what it means to give
and give and give as a single mother
supporting three children. I just couldn’t have asked for
a better role model and a better mother. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] OK, last one. I just want to start
by saying thank you to all the family who have
stayed through all of this. Thank you. I know the class of 2023 really
appreciates your support. Hi, everyone. My name is Azan Verji. I am– I was born and raised
in Mwanza, Tanzania, which is in East Africa. I want to start by thanking God. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. I also want to thank my
parents, my mom and my dad, who unfortunately
could not be here, but who are hopefully
watching live. Thank you for all the
sacrifices you have made, and we did this together. I also want to thank my extended
family, who made it out here today. Thank you for all your love
and for all your support. I also want to take a second to
thank Harvard Medical School as well. It’s not every single day
that you find a student from 6,000 miles away on this
stage with this opportunity. So thank you very much for that. And also, a big shout out to
+255 country code, Mwanza, East Africa, the city that made
me who I am today and sparked my interest in medicine. Thank you so much. And lastly, to all the
immigrants out there who are trying to build
a future for themselves in this country for themselves
and for their families, all I have to say for all
of you is we are out here, and we’ve been here,
and we belong here. Bless up. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. And I’m Ed. I’m from East
Brunswick, New Jersey, and my mother is still
alive and well in her 90s. And she occasionally creeps on
to the livestreams of Harvard Medical School events. So Mom, if you’re
watching, I just want to give a– say thank you
for your unconditional love and support and say
to these students that don’t forget the love
and gratitude never ends. Remember that. We’re going to be
closing our ceremony with a really amazing tradition,
the recitation of an oath. Now you may think that
an oath is something you take a graduation,
and there, indeed, is a millennial old tradition
of doctors and dentists taking an oath at graduation. But one of the amazing
things about coming to medical or dental
school is that you actually start caring for
patients as a student. This is a little different
from many other professional schools, where you’re
not actually engaged in the profession in
quite the same way. And so it’s really
four years too late to take your oath
when you graduate. And so during this
first week, which has been called Introduction
to the Profession, a committee of the class
has been putting together and writing an original
class oath that they’re going to be reciting now. They’re going to be
led in their oath by Dr. Fidencio Saldana
and Dr. Sang Park. I’m going to ask
all of the students to stand please, and ask Sang
and Fidencio to come and lead the class in the class oath. And what we’ll
actually have you do is turn around and
face your loved ones as you recite the oath. And say hello. [SIDE CONVERSATIONS] [APPLAUSE] And we will begin. Today, we embark on
a lifelong journey to become physicians
and dentists. In this endeavour, we honor
the centrality of the patient to our profession. We acknowledge the privilege
inherent in working alongside patients in their
most vulnerable states and vow to meet this
vulnerability with empathy and compassion. We pledge to approach each
patient with humility, recognizing their
humanity, and understanding their unique stories,
experiences, and cultures. We will respect the
confidentiality of our patients and maintain their privacy. To provide the highest
quality of care, we pledge to internalize the
difference between disease and person and to bridge the
merits of our medical training with the belief systems
held by patients. We pledge to learn from
and, with each patient, to listen with the intent
to understand and to build and renew mutual trust in the
process that is their health journey. We pledge to become our
patients’ strongest advocates. In service to our
patients, we commit to reflect on, to address our
biases, values, privileges, and needs. We pledge to have the
courage to seek guidance when we feel we are not enough. We will nurture our
mind, body, and spirit in a way that promotes
self-improvement. We pledge to remember
where we came from and to honor those who
guide and inspire us. As a community of peers
dedicated to excellence, learning, practicing,
and teaching medicine, we recognize that we are
not alone in our mission to care for other human beings. We pledge to
embrace the richness of our individual journeys
and their contributions to their collective
identity of our class. Embedded in our diversity of
life experiences, our lessons and viewpoints we
will offer each other. We pledge to foster an
inclusive community that’ll uplift our peers, ensure each
individual voice is heard, and advocates for voices
that remain unheard. Moreover, we
recognize that we all work within [INAUDIBLE] system. We pledge to work with
and learn from each member of this community, understanding
that holistic care can not be delivered by any one
person acting alone. We vow to uphold the highest
standards of integrity and to hold each
other accountable. We thank those who
have nurtured us and stand aware of
our immense privilege. We recognize our responsibility
to our communities and to the world. In order to alleviate
the suffering of people across all cultures,
customs, and identities, we pledge to acknowledge
the structural violence that medicine
continues to inflict on marginalized communities
and individuals. In response, we
vow to partner with and empower these communities
to obtain justice and promote equity in health care. To this end, we pledge
to advance medicine through research, discovery,
scholarship, and community engagement. Most of all, we pledge to
consistently envision and work towards a future with greater
hope and less suffering. [APPLAUSE] Well done. Thank you. [INAUDIBLE] If everyone could
have a seat again, there are translations in
seven different languages of the oath around the tent. And in a moment, we’re going
to be moving to the society open houses to which
you’re all invited to have a little party and celebration. But first, I just
want to say a word in closing to our
entering class, because I really was
so inspired by the oath that you composed this week
and just recited and pledged together. I’m inspired by so many
things that you highlighted in your oath, but
I was especially interested and inspired
by the very direct way that you pledge collaboratively
to attain justice and promote equity in health care. You know, in today’s
world, it’s actually more important than ever
to conceptualize your role not just as providing the best
possible care you can to each of your patients, but
also for advocating the structural changes that are
needed to address disparities in care between
populations of patients and to promote health
equity and justice. And you know, our
profession is a noble one. But many people think
that American medicine has been losing respect in
recent years, some questioning the very integrity
of American medicine. They say not only
that American– that our systems are
failing our patients, but they say that medicine
itself has lost its way. They say that the
honorable physician is part of a dying order. And so I wanted to
conclude our ceremony today with a story about respect. It’s actually a universal story. It’s been told in some
variation in almost all of the world’s
sacred traditions. This particular version comes
from the Hasidic tradition, but a similar
story is attributed to Ramana Maharshi in
the Hindu tradition to St. Paul in the
Christian tradition to the Sufi masters in the
Muslim tradition and others. This version comes from an
18th century Jewish scholar, and it’s called
The Rabbi’s Gift. The Rabbi’s Gift. The story concerns a monastery
that had fallen on hard times. Once a great order,
cultural changes over the last few hundred
years had sapped its strength. All of its branch
houses were closed, and there were only five months
left in the decaying mother house. The abbot and four others,
all over 70 years of age– clearly, it was a dying order. In the deep woods
surrounding the monastery, there was a little hut that
a rabbi from a nearby town occasionally used
for a hermitage the monks could always sense
when the rabbi was in the woods and during one such visit,
it occurred to the abbot to pay the rabbi
a visit and to ask if he might have some advice
that could save the monastery. The rabbi welcomed
the abbot at his hut, but when the abbot explained
the purpose of his visit, the rabbi could only
commiserate with him. “I know how it is,” he said. “The spirit has gone
out of the people. It’s the same in my town. Almost no one comes to
the synagogue anymore.” So the old men wept together. They read parts of
sacred scriptures and spoke quietly
of deep things. When the abbot finally rose
to leave, they embraced again, and he asked again,
“Is there nothing you can tell me to help
me save my dying order?” “No, I’m sorry,”
the rabbi responded. “I have no advice to give. The only thing I can say is
that one of you is the messiah.” When the abbot returned to the
monastery, his fellow monks gathered around him to ask,
well, what did the rabbi say? “He couldn’t help,”
the abbot answered. “We just wept and read
holy scriptures together, although just as I was
leaving, he did say something rather strange. He said that the
messiah is one of us. I don’t know what he meant.” In the days and
weeks that followed, the old monks pondered
this and wondered whether there was any
possible significance to the rabbi’s words. The messiah is one of us– could he have possibly
meant one of us monks here at the monastery? If so, which one? Do you suppose he
meant the abbot? Yes, if he meant anyone, he
probably meant Father Abbot. On the other hand, he might
have met Brother Eldrid– certainly– I’m
sorry, Brother Thomas. Brother Thomas is
certainly a holy man. He certainly could not
have meant Brother Eldrid. Eldrid is always so crotchety,
though come to think of it, Eldrid is virtually always
right, often very right. Maybe the rabbi did mean Brother
Eldrid, but certainly not Brother Philip. Philip is so passive,
a real nobody. But then, almost
mysteriously, he has a gift for somehow always
being there when you need him. Maybe Philip is the messiah. Of course, the rabbi didn’t
mean me, each of them thought in turn
about themselves. He couldn’t possibly
have meant me. I’m just an ordinary person. Yet suppose he did. Suppose I am the messiah. Oh, god, not me, each thought. I couldn’t be that
much for the others. As they each contemplated
in this manner, the old monks began
to treat each other with extraordinary
respect on the off chance that one among them
might be the messiah. And on the off off
chance that each monk himself might
be the messiah, they began to treat themselves
with extraordinary respect. So it happened that people
still occasionally came to visit the monastery to
picnic on its green lawn, to wander along its many paths,
even to sit in the old chapel to meditate. As they did so, without
even being conscious of it, they sensed this aura
of extraordinary respect that now began to surround
the five old monks and seemed to
radiate out from them and permeate the
atmosphere of the place. Hardly knowing why, they began
to come back to the monastery more frequently to
picnic, to play, to pray. They began to bring their
friends to show them this special place, and their
friends brought their friends. Then it happened that some
of the younger visitors started to talk more and
more with the old monks. After a while, one asked
if he could join them. Then another. Then another. And within a few
years, the monastery had once again become
a thriving order and, thanks to the rabbi’s
gift, a vibrant community of spirituality and light. Well, my message to you
today should be obvious. Not just one of you,
but every one of you, you are the ones who will
redeem American medicine. You are the ones. And we, your teachers, your
parents, your loved ones, your faculty, your
supporters, your advisors, we are all here to challenge
you, to support you, to nurture you as you embark on
this incredible journey with us together. On Monday, we welcomed
you to the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard
School of Dental Medicine. Today, we welcome you
to the profession. Welcome. [APPLAUSE] Once again, thanks to our
students, family, friends. We invite you to join us
in the Society Learning Studios for an open house. You’re welcome to
take more pictures. It’s a great celebration. Enjoy the rest of the day. [APPLAUSE] [SIDE CONVERSATIONS] Very well done. Very nice. That was wonderful. Thank you. [SIDE CONVERSATIONS]

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