May 8, 2014
Commencement Set for SIU Med School on May 17
Commencement exercises for the 40th graduating class of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 17. The ceremony will be in the Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois Springfield.
The commencement speaker is Dr. Benjamin P. Sachs, who is a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Previously, Sachs served as dean and senior vice president of Tulane School of Medicine (2007 – 2013), where he was instrumental in the rebuilding of both Tulane and the healthcare delivery after hurricane Katrina. Following his achievement, Tulane’s medical school received the Spencer Foreman Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Also during his tenure at Tulane, the School led a revolution in access and quality of care in the region.
Prior to that, he was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (1978 – 2007), where he held several senior positions including department chair of obstetrics and gynecology and professor of Harvard School of Public Health.
Sachs has received numerous additional honors and awards including the U.S. Department of Defense Award of Excellence.
During the ceremony, Richard Austin, Jr., class chair from Springfield, will deliver remarks on behalf of the graduates. Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, Ph.D., dean and provost, will award diplomas to the medical students. SIUC Chancellor Rita H. Cheng will confer the degrees. Several awards will be presented including the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Dr. Edward Paul, director of medical education at Yuma Regional Medical Center in Yuma, Ariz., and Class of 1981. The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards to one faculty member and one graduating senior also will be announced.
The new SIU physicians will begin residency training in their chosen specialty fields in July. SIU School of Medicine’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community. Established in 1970, the medical school is based in Carbondale and Springfield and is specifically oriented to educating new physicians prepared to practice in Illinois communities. Since 1975, 2,550 physicians, plus the 2014 graduates, have earned SIU medical degrees. The medical school’s website is www.siumed.edu.