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Congratulations to the Classes of 2020 & 2021

Published July 1, 2021

A year like no other deserves a celebration like no other! This year's Commencement ceremony was one for the books.

Thousands of CNSM students from both of the classes of 2020 and 2021 filed into Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Memorial Day to celebrate their academic accomplishments. Families, faculty, and staff were on hand to cheer the graduates on as they processed from the field-level entrance to their stadium seats.

Student processional line

Student audience at commencement

The ceremony kicked off with its usual music and processions, but when the speeches began they highlighted something different. That these graduates had done what no other class in recent memory had: complete their degrees in the midst of a global pandemic while navigating a new academic landscape. The sudden shift to alternate modes of instruction left students and instructors alike reeling, but the attitude of the last two years hasn't been one of defeat. It has been one of overwhelming resilience and hope.

Our student speakers, Teodora Nedic and Natalie Cannon, who have been friends for years and were President of the CNSM Student Council in 2020 and 2021 respectively, spoke to their classes and applauded the resilience and determination it took for them to triumph during their unique academic experience. They were met with raucous applause and a swell of pride from their fellow students in the audience.

Natalie Cannon and Teodora Nedic

Dr. Jean-Bernard Durand, our guest speaker, CNSM distinguished alumnus, and current M.D. and Professor in the Department of Cardiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, took the stage next. His inspiring speech stressed the importance of persistence in the sciences, a theme that these two graduating classes can easily identify with as they embark on their careers with no shortage of dedication to their chosen fields.

Dr. Jean-Bernard Durand and Dr. Curtis Bennett

Congratulations graduates!

With the supportive CNSM community, an impressive network of alumni, and a healthy dose of persistence and dedication you're ready to take on the world and usher in the next wave of great scientific discoveries.