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Rush University Commencement Celebrates 850 Health Science Graduates, Honors New President

Rush University will recognize more than 850 graduating students at its 47th commencement ceremony on Saturday, April 27, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Credit Union 1 Arena (formerly UIC Pavilion), 525 S. Racine Ave., Chicago.

Sherine E. Gabriel, MD, MSc, president of Rush University, will be the honorary degree recipient and Commencement speaker. Gabriel became the fourth president of Rush University in February 2019. She also was named chief academic officer of Rush University System for Health. She is the first president whose role is focused on the university while also providing academic leadership for the health system.

Prior to joining Rush, Gabriel was dean of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and former dean of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, where she was the William J. and Charles H. Mayo Endowed Professor and a professor of internal medicine/rheumatology and epidemiology. Read more about Gabriel’s career and achievements.

“I am humbled to receive this honor and be granted the privilege of addressing our graduates as the university’s fourth president and the first whose role is directly focused on the education of our students and academic excellence throughout the health system,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel’s address will draw from her experience as a rheumatologist, epidemiologist, clinician, researcher, and leader in education and health care. She will focus on the graduates, and their power to improve health by serving as ambassadors for health and wellness in their communities.

Gabriel succeeded Larry J. Goodman, MD, who had held the dual role of university president and CEO of the Rush University System for Health and Rush University Medical Center since 2002. He continues in his CEO roles but will retire later this year. Goodman is the University marshal, the first academic official to enter the commencement hall, among the highest honors bestowed upon a faculty member at Rush University.

Gabriel and Thomas Deutsch, MD, provost of Rush University, will preside over the commencement ceremony and award degrees to students graduating from the University’s four colleges.

Established in 1972, Rush University is comprised of Rush Medical Collegethe College of Nursingthe College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.

The graduating students of Rush Medical College will receive the doctorate degree in medicine. The College of Nursing will confer master’s and doctoral degrees.

College of Health Sciences degrees include the bachelor’s in health sciences, imaging sciences, respiratory care and vascular ultrasound; the master’s in clinical laboratory management, clinical nutrition, health systems management, medical laboratory science, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, research administration, respiratory care and speech-language pathology; and the doctorate in audiology.

Degrees conferred by the Graduate College include the master’s in biotechnology, clinical research and integrated biomedical sciences, and doctorates in anatomy and cell biology, biochemistry, biomechanics, doctor of health sciences, neurosciences, pharmacology and nursing science.

Rush University is the academic component of Rush University Medical Center, a leading academic medical center, and Rush University System for Health. Rush University has expanded from one college and fewer than 100 students to four colleges and an all-time high of more than 2,700 students. Rush University is known for its practitioner-teacher model, translational research, nurturing academic environment and focus on community and global health.

In the past 10 years, the University’s student enrollment has grown by 80 percent to 2,708 students across it four colleges. In fiscal 2018, Rush achieved its highest level of research funding, $125 million, including $74.7 million in NIH funding, also a record for Rush.

Rush University opened in 1972, but its tradition of excellence in medicine reaches back to 1843 with the opening of Rush Medical College, Chicago’s first medical school. It is Chicago’s only health sciences university.

Rush University facts at a glance:

Based in the Illinois Medical District, near Chicago’s Loop

Located on the campus of Rush University Medical Center, a nationally ranked academic medical center specializing in leading-edge patient care and research

Offers more than 40 degree and certificate programs across medicine, nursing, allied health and biomedical research

Maintains more than 60 postgraduate training programs for medical residents and fellows; plus additional continuing education options

Four colleges

Rush Medical College (founded in 1837; opened 1843)

Rush University College of Nursing (founded in 1975; the college originated with St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1885)

The College of Health Sciences at Rush University (founded in 1975)

The Graduate College at Rush University (founded in 1981)

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