Since its inception in 2009, the University’s fall commencement has been the exclusive province of Physician Assistant (PA) graduates. That changed this year, when a College of Education and Rehabilitation graduate, Abena Adjei Ntim, was awarded the degree of Master of Science in Low Vision Rehabilitation, making her a Salus first (as in first multi-program fall commencement) as well as the first person in her country – Uganda – to hold such a degree.
Graduates and faculty processed from the Hafter Student Center to Congregation Keneseth Israel across the street from the main campus. There they and their families were welcomed by President Mittelman, who displayed a replica of the Navy’s “FOPS” flag (flight operations flag flown on carriers prior to aircraft launches), explaining that a FOPS flag was flying in front of the University that day, a reminder to all that Salus University was launching a new group of healthcare professionals into the world.
This year’s Physician Assistant 54 graduates continued another tradition: 43 of them (79.6% of the class) achieved an honors distinction, with 24 of those graduates achieving highest honors.
PA program director, Dr. Richard C. Vause, Jr., inducted eight PA graduates into the Pi Alpha National Honor Society, which requires a 3.5 GPA and “demonstrated excellence” for membership. Dr. Vause, who always keeps the two annual Honor Society special awardees’ names a secret until the commencement ceremony, also surprised associate professor Dr. Margaret Mulligan with the Honor Society’s Faculty Award and Dr. James Caldwell, dean of Student Affairs, with an honorary membership in the Society for his efforts in the recruitment of students during the first years of the program.
Graduates heard from class representative Ayn Marie Larson and Dr. Richard C. Vause, Jr., who introduced keynote speaker, Mr. Michael C. Doll, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, director-at-large for the Board of Directors, American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). After the ceremony, graduates and their families and friends enjoyed light refreshments in the Hafter Center.
Congratulations to our newest Class of 2014 graduates!