From the interim dean: Pride, gratitude and hope

Congratulations on a celebration well-earned and executed

Dr. John HunterJune 6, 2017

Colleagues and students,

Two words sum up my experience as your dean this past weekend: pride and gratitude.

From the OHSU School of Medicine Honors and Awards Ceremony on Saturday morning to the OHSU Convocation and School of Medicine Hooding Ceremonies on Sunday, I spent this weekend looking out at all of you and reflecting on the character of our academic community.

From the achievements of our newly minted scientists and physicians to the dedication of our faculty committed to passing on the best of what they know, we are a community of teachers, learners, healers and innovators. I could not be more proud of you or more grateful for my opportunity to spend the past year as your leader.

Graduation is a weekend-long celebration of the giving and receiving of knowledge and of our unceasing commitment to the continuation of that cycle. My pride and gratitude during this weekend extended to our faculty leaders and staff who put so much time, effort and thought into making that celebration as special as it deserved to be.

From Karen Seresun, assistant vice provost and logistics queen of OHSU convocation, to Tomo Ito in the M.D. program and Rick Goranflo in the Graduate Studies Program – and myriad others – to Associate Deans Allison Fryer, Ph.D., and Tracy Bumsted, M.D., and Assistant Deans Jackie Wirz, Ph.D., Benjamin Schneider, M.D., and Nicole Deiorio, M.D., their care, consideration and attention to detail was impeccable.

There were also many inspiring words offered on behalf of our faculty, students and their families. A special thank you to our powerful faculty speakers, Alisha Moreland-Capuia, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, OHSU School of Medicine, and Owen McCarty, Ph.D., interim chair and professor of biomedical engineering, OHSU School of Medicine.  I know the time and thought that went into finding just the right message for the occasion.

Looking back, I will especially remember the words of George Mejicano, M.D., senior associate dean for education, OHSU School of Medicine, at the Honors and Awards Ceremony on Saturday. He closed that festive morning by acknowledging the contradiction of celebration amid difficult times, referencing the brutal killings May 26 on the Portland MAX train. He quoted the words of Holocaust diarist Anne Frank, confronting hate to evoke hope – the hope inherent in ceremonies that usher in the brightest of futures.

"What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it from happening again….. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

At the culmination of this weekend of ceremony and celebration, I have no doubt that we will.

Congratulations and thank you.

John Hunter, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Interim Dean
OHSU School of Medicine