For immediate release: May 25, 2007

GALVESTON, Texas — Benjamin S. Carson Jr., renowned neurosurgeon, author and philanthropist, will be the principal speaker at the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine commencement on Saturday, June 2, at Moody Gardens. A total of 197 students are expected to receive medical degrees. Three graduates will be commissioned as U.S. Air Force captains immediately following the graduation ceremony.

UTMB is graduating one of the most diverse medical school classes in its 117-year history with about 21 percent minority graduates. A total of 164 – 83 percent – of the new physicians are Texans; 41 are from Harris County and five are from Galveston County. Almost half of the graduates are women. Of the new physicians, 103 will enter into medical residencies in Texas and 38 will join the UTMB house staff in June.

Dr. John D. Stobo, UTMB president, and Dr. Garland Anderson, dean of the School of Medicine, will preside over the commencement ceremony.

“I am proud of our students, not just for their accomplishments in the classroom and the clinic, but for their commitment to service and caring for the most vulnerable in our community,” Anderson said. “Their enthusiastic participation in programs like St. Vincent’s Clinic and Frontera de Salud are an indication of their understanding that the practice of medicine is an honor and a responsibility. Their enthusiasm and belief in the healing profession are inspiring, and I know they will make an impact on the patients and communities they serve.”

Receiving academic hoods and reciting the Hippocratic Oath are traditional ceremonies which affirm the graduates’ commitment to the medical profession. During the commencement, 42 UTMB graduates will be “hooded” by a spouse, parent, or sibling who is also a physician or a Ph.D. faculty member. This year one student, Seth Brener, will be hooded by his grandmother, Galveston native and Ball High graduate Dr. Zidella Seibel Brener, who was one of only three women in UTMB’s School of Medicine Class of 1935.

Carson will speak on the role of doctors in national and global healing, including the responsibility associated with advanced education, and his thoughts on human potential and true success.

A celebrated neurosurgeon, Carson directs pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, a position he has held since1984. He is a professor of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, oncology, pediatrics and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Craniofacial Center. He has written over 90 neurosurgical publications, and has authored three best-selling books, “Gifted Hands,” “Think Big” and “The Big Picture.” He first received world-wide attention in 1987 for leading the medical team that was the first to separate twins who were joined at the back of the head. As the leader of a team of South African physicians in 1997, he pioneered the use of 3-D imagery in neurosurgery to separate twins joined at the top of the head.

During its 200th anniversary, the Library of Congress selected Carson as one of 89 “Living Legends”, and CNN and Time Magazine have called him “one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists.” For more information on Carson, see his Web site at or his Johns Hopkins official biography at

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Public Affairs Office
301 University Boulevard, Suite 3.102
Galveston, Texas 77555-0144