Reflections from the Dean

Commencement 2019: It’s just the beginning

Dr. Thomas L. Schwenk

Commencement for the UNR Med Class of 2019 marked the end of a long phase of formal education and the beginning of a lifetime of informal—but even more criticallearning and professional growth.

The same is true to some extent to the School of Medicine itself, as we close a yearlong celebration of our 50th anniversary. We will forever remember the cumulative efforts and contributions of all who have come before us—Gov. Paul Laxalt, the Nevada state legislature, the Board of Regents, community and business leaders, and prominent Reno physicians, in addition to the more than 3,500 students, residents and fellows who have been educated and trained at UNR Med, a prestigious group of alumni the Class of 2019 now joins.

This "formal" phase of our first 50 years of growth and development will now be followed by a continuing and innovative phase of new programs to support our fundamental missions, greater service to the community, sophisticated research and teaching initiatives, and a constant focus on our culture of diversity and inclusion.

Four years ago, the journey for the Class of 2019 began with orientation, Family Day (pancakes!) and our White Coat Ceremony. Now, the Class of 2019 will embark on a lifetime of service, contributions to their community, and experiences of the greatest intensity and emotion that come with medical practice at the highest level. They will take their skills, knowledge and expertise out into a world that needs them so much.

There are students, residents and colleagues who need their mentorship. There are communities, hospitals, clinics-patients—seeking their leadership and their expert care, especially in Nevada. And there is a School of Medicine that is proud of their service as ambassadors to show the world how our values and 50-year tradition of medical education excellence have influenced their professional and personal lives.

Contributing to the process that has caused this transformation is one of my greatest joys-a joy shared by the rest of the faculty and staff members who have supported these students along the way.

During the various events celebrating graduation, the Class of 2019 expressed their great gratitude, shared by all of us at UNR Med, for the dozens and hundreds of teachers, advisors, staff members, community physicians and medical leaders who helped them to this milestone achievement.

The Class of 2019 now joins the growing tapestry of UNR Med alumni who have contributed so much to the school's success. These graduates have the opportunity to make the same contributions as community faculty members, mentors and alumni leaders.

Just as commencement marks the beginning of a physician's career of learning and discovery, our 50th anniversary marks the next phase of UNR Med's tradition of constant innovation in medical education so that the Class of 2019—and all of our graduates—are always proud to say they graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.               

Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen, MPA
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Released: Monday May 20, 2019 @ 8:00 AM