More than 200 students in the 120th graduating class from the UTMB School of Medicine, thestate’s oldest medical school,  received their degrees on Saturday, June 5, at Moody Gardens Convention Center.  U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin was the keynote speaker for the 2010 commencement.

Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award recipients from left-to-right are: Sanford A. Rubin, MD, Barbara L. Thompson, MD, Fred F. Castrow, II, MD, FACP

“We are honored to have Dr. Benjamin as our commencement speaker,” said Dr. Garland D. Anderson, executive vice president, provost and dean of the School of Medicine. “Dr. Benjamin’s extraordinary effort in providing care to society’s most vulnerable, and her leadership in advocating for increased awareness of the health care needs of rural communities is a true inspiration to our students and faculty.” 

Benjamin, who became the 18th surgeon general in January, has had a distinguished career, both as a physician and a leader. She drew national attention after founding a rural health clinic in the shrimping village of Bayou La Batre, Ala. — a clinic she rebuilt three times after two hurricanes and a fire. 

Anderson congratulated the students for their compassion while excelling in the classroom and caring for patients.

“They have contributed so much to the community during their time here,” said Anderson. “I salute our students who are joining a noble profession at a time when the profession, and the nation, really need them.”

Patrick Aguilar receives the Gold-Headed Cane Award from Adam V. Djurdjulov, senior class president.
Joan Hasskarl Smith, eldest daughter of Walter F. Hasskarl, receives the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award on behalf of the family.

Several honors and awards highlighted the ceremonies at Moody Gardens, among them:

Patrick Aguilar received the Gold-Headed Cane Award, given to the student who exemplifies dedication to the health and welfare of patients.

Christopher York was awarded the William N. and Ida Zinn Alpha Omega Alpha Award for the highest cumulative grade point average.

Bernard M. Karnath, an associate professor in the department of internal medicine, received the James W. Powers Memorial Award. The award honors a teacher selected by the graduating class who, through his example and instruction, best embodies the mission of educating physicians capable of practicing the art and science of medicine. 

Dr. Walter F. Hasskarl Jr. (posthumous award), Dr. Fred D. Castrow II, Dr. Sanford A. Rubin and Dr. Barbara L. Thompson were honored with the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest alumni honor bestowed by UTMB’s School of Medicine Alumni Association.

For a complete list of all awards click here.


2010 SOM commencement videos:


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