5 27 16 Commence Recap NewsStory

2016 Commencement Brings Community Together in Celebration

On May 14, 2016, the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) Commencement brought the entire KGI community together, as friends and family members joined graduates in celebrating the completion of their KGI education. With more than 700 guests in attendance, the ceremony took place on the East Lawn of KGI’s campus and included alumni from KGI’s inaugural class, along with keynote speaker Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen.

The ceremony opened with the singing of the National Anthem by Uloma Alozie, MBS ’16, and was followed by a tradition in which students are asked to acknowledge the support they have received throughout their KGI experience.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Bob Curry said: “Graduates, KGI is proud that our programs provide students with opportunities for success-but it is not without sacrifice, commitment, and support. Without this important foundation, many of you would not be here celebrating this wonderful accomplishment and milestone in your life. We have a tradition here at commencement where the graduates rise and salute and applaud their parents, friends, and colleagues. Please do so.”

KGI President Sheldon M. Schuster then congratulated KGI’s 15th graduating class, who are the new alumni initiating KGI’s 19th anniversary year. President Schuster also welcomed family and friends who were unable to attend but were streaming the event. “I would also like to welcome those family members who are viewing this event from around the world, through our live stream. Despite our geographic location, we are all one KGI family and I for one, am glad you can watch this momentous event,” he said.

Over 100 viewers from India, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Uruguay, Mexico, Israel, and Brazil were in virtual attendance.   Claire Whiteside, MBS ’16, served as the ceremony’s student speaker. Her many accomplishments at KGI include serving as an MBS representative and member of the Budget and Professional Development committees in student government, and chair of the Class Gift Committee.

The event centered around keynote speaker Robert A. Bradway, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen. Speaking to the graduating KGI students, he told them they could not be entering the world of life sciences at a more exciting time. “What physics and engineering were to the 20th century, biology and the life sciences will be for the 21st century.  And, if this is indeed the bio-century, you are entering it at dawn, part of a generation of life scientists that one day will have the chance to say of your careers, ‘we were in the right place at the right time.'”

Offering advice, Bradway said: “Degrees in hand, I know many of you are heading straight to a job in the life sciences, perhaps wondering what course your career will take. But just as I could never have predicted my journey from career financier to biotech exec, I hope you recognize today that there’s little point in trying to chart the full course of your career now. Have your dreams, and make them big-absolutely-but just don’t expect to follow a logical, rational path to achieving them. Let luck intervene where it will. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. You leave here well prepared, and the bio-century will deal you plenty of opportunity. Looking out at all of you, I can’t help but feel that I am looking at a group that will be especially blessed with good luck.”

The event also included a capstone moment in which alumni Jean Doble and Marc Doble placed KGI alumni pins on each graduate as they exited the stage. Both Jean and Marc, who are now married, were part of the inaugural KGI class.

The KGI class of 2016 comprise 176 graduates. Seventy-seven students completed the Master of Bioscience (MBS) program, 57 students completed the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate (PPC) program, 17 students completed the Postdoctoral Professional Master’s (PPM) program, 16 students completed the Master of Science (MS) program,  two completed the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Applied Life Sciences program, four students completed the Certificate in Bioscience Industry Law & Practice, and seven students completed the Certificate in Bioscience  Management program.

View KGI’s 15th Annual Commencement Ceremony.

*The Ceremony begins at 56:46.

View images from KGI’s 15th Annual Commencement Ceremony.