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For portraits of graduates that are available, click here. Search for graduates by last name at top of page. For a complete list of graduates, sorted by hometown newspapers, click here for a download link.
Many, like nursing graduate Faith Sherman and School of Medicine graduate Sarah Kerut, will care for patients at the University of Mississippi Medical Center for the next year or more. Â
Others, including School of Medicine graduates Lucas and Marianne Wilson, are traveling far away to begin the next chapter in their medical careers. Â
They're members of UMMC's Class of 2015, 864 graduates strong, a class size that's risen for the third year in a row.
The new physicians, dentists, nurses, allied health professionals and graduate students in the health sciences were recognized during UMMC's 59th Commencement May 22Â at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson. That tops 2014's 846 graduates, and 2014 bested the 2013 total of 677.
Dr. Kim Hoover, dean of the School of Nursing, gives the Christine L. Oglevee Memorial Award to Carsyn Byars of Magee.
Among the degrees conferred:Â
School of Medicine, 124 graduates receiving the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree.Â
School of Dentistry, 34 graduates receiving the Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree.Â
School of Nursing, 363 graduates receiving either the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree.Â
School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences, 82 graduates received either the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree or the Master of Science (M.S.) degree.Â
School of Health Related Professions, 262 graduates received either the Doctorate in Physical Therapy (D.P.T.); Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.); Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Sciences or Health Informatics and Information Management; or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Radiologic Sciences, Dental Hygiene, Medical Laboratory Science, Health Sciences, Cytotechnology, or Health Informatics and Information Management.
University of Mississippi Chancellor Dr. Dan Jones and Dr. LouAnn Woodward, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, process to the stage during commencement.
University of Mississippi Chancellor Dr. Dan Jones and Dr. LouAnn Woodward, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, addressed more than 3,000 guests who came to cheer on their family and friends.Â
The ceremony marked Woodward's first commencement as vice chancellor and the final time Jones addressed UMMC graduates as UM chancellor. Jones, who served six years as UMMC's vice chancellor for health affairs and School of Medicine dean before being named UM chancellor in 2009, will officially leave Sept. 14 when his contract expires.Â
The new graduates "share a common legacy with all who have gone before you, and that's a mark of quality," said Jones, a UMMC graduate and physician whose patient care and research have focused on hypertension and prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Woodward gives a hug to Jones.
Woodward paid tribute to Jones for his own legacy. "Let me take a moment to say how much we appreciate you and Lydia for all you've done for UMMC and for Ole Miss over 23 years of service," she said of the chancellor and his wife. "As many of us know, so much has been achieved in the last 15 years that would not have happened without your vision, wisdom, strength and courage. You are an exceptional leader."Â
Woodward told the graduates that earning a degree is only the beginning of their learning process. She encouraged them to "deal with those you serve with a deep respect for their differences.Â
"Our nation will continue to struggle with ways to care for the sick," she said. "Play a role in finding a solution to this struggle. We need your talents in Mississippi!"Â
And, she told them: "Proceed with courage."Â
Lucas and Marianne Wilson are headed to the University of Virginia for residencies, Lucas in pediatrics and Marianne in internal medicine. Kerut, Marianne's sister, will stay at UMMC for her internal medicine residency.
Lucas and Marianne Wilson
They'll miss the many friends they've made at UMMC, Lucas Wilson said. "That's the hard thing about leaving. So many people are staying to do their residencies here."Â
He talked his wife, who with her sister is from Vicksburg, into venturing out of state for their residencies. "We both went up there and loved it," said Lucas Wilson, who grew up in Meridian. "She was a little hesitant about going that far, but I convinced her. She and her sister are very home-bodied people."Â
Sherman, a Woodville resident, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has just begun her dream job in UMMC's surgical intensive care unit.
"It's a lot of thinking on your feet, a lot of autonomy," she said of her calling. "You can't call the doctor every five seconds. You just have to know what to do. It's never a dull moment, and I like that."Â
Commencement is a day for both students and their professors to be recognized for excellence in education, with some awards a closely held secret until commencement.Â
Among those receiving accolades was Dr. Mary W. Stewart, a professor of nursing. She is winner of the 2015 Regions Bank TEACH Prize, given to the person who most represents the highest qualities of the Medical Center's academic faculty.Â
The six students who received top honors were:Â
Julia Dhossche of Madison, Waller S. Leathers Award for the medical student with the highest academic average for four years;Â
Michael Cole Collier of Baldwyn, Wallace V. Mann Jr. Award for the dental student with the highest academic average for four years;Â
Olivia Carsyn Byars of Magee, Christine L. Oglevee Memorial Award for the outstanding School of Nursing baccalaureate graduate;Â
Charlotte Lorene Floyd of Byram, Richard N. Graves Award for the registered nurse deemed most outstanding by the faculty in clinical and overall performance;
School of Health Related Professions graduate Mary Elizabeth Croisdale (second from right) is winner of the Dr. Virginia Stansel Tolbert Award. She's pictured with Jones, SHRP Dean Dr. Jessica Bailey and Woodward.
Mary Elizabeth Croisdale of Vicksburg, Dr. Virginia Stansel Tolbert Award for the student with the highest academic average in the School of Health Related Professions;Â
Erin Taylor of Germantown, Tenn., Randall-Trustmark Award for outstanding research achievement by a graduate student.Â
Soon, Lucas and Marianne Wilson will "load up the U-Haul and drive 13 hours to Virginia," Lucas Wilson said.Â
Will their careers take them home to Mississippi? You won't have to ask Marianne twice, Lucas Wilson said.
"We're leaving on the premise that I've always wanted to leave, and then to come back," he said. "I want to do more fellowships, then come back and work at Batson, if they'll have me."
School of Dentistry Dean Gary Reeves gives the Wallace V. Mann Jr. Award to graduate Michael Cole Collier.
List of graduates and portraits
For portraits of graduates that are available, click here. Search for graduates by last name at top of page. For a complete list of graduates, sorted by hometown newspapers, click hereÂ for a download link.