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Convocations recognize health sciences graduates

Dr. Paul Schenarts smiles with new medical graduate Mary Catherine Brake during the 2007 Brody School of Medicine convocation May 4. Photo by Cliff Hollis
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (May 9, 2007)   —   Family, friends and faculty members joined in the celebration as the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University hooded 60 medical graduates at its 27th annual convocation Friday, May 4.

This year's group puts the total number of ECU medical graduates over the 1,700 mark, according to Dr. James G. Peden, the convocation speaker and associate dean for admissions at the medical school.

Peden, who lost a leg to cancer, urged the students to find humor in life's darker moments. On the day he found out that his leg was going to have to be amputated above the knee, he came home to find a registered letter in his mailbox stating he had won a $300 trail bike.

"You can decide if you want to be happy or not," Peden said. "Don't take yourself too seriously to laugh at a joke at your own expense."

The class response was by Andrew Smitherman of Pfafftown. In addition to thanking his classmates for a wonderful experience in medical school with them, Smitherman also thanked faculty members and "the people of eastern North Carolina for agreeing to be our patients."

Smitherman also said: "Thank you to our families. You have opened every door of opportunity in our lives, and we are so appreciative of your sacrifices. Also, many of us have significant others who have endured numerous nights when we have come home stressed, sleep-deprived and in, shall we say, a less-than-amiable mood. We are grateful for your loving patience, and, unfortunately, a few more of these days are probably yet to come. So, thank you in advance for continuing to love us when we dont display particularly lovable behavior."

In other convocations, the ECU School of Nursing had 195 graduates, the most in its history. The graduates included four doctoral graduates, the most since doctoral program began in 2002. Nursing students wore ribbons in honor of Virginia Tech victims.

The ECU School of Allied Health Sciences had 189 graduates, including the first transitional class to the doctor of physical therapy program. Allied health is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the school. Convocation began with a moment of silence in memory of Virginia Tech victims.

Overall, ECU graduated approximately 3,900 students Saturday, May 5.


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2481