'You Have Earned that Future. Now You Must Seize It'

Rush University celebrates its graduates at 50th Commencement Ceremony

University May 6, 2022
Graduates in regalia at Commencement

On Saturday, April 30, David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, congratulated Rush University’s graduating class on their accomplishments and the milestone they had reached during the 2022 Commencement Ceremony.

“You and your loved ones have overcome a lot to get here,” Blumenthal said. “Your young careers have already been disrupted by a Pandemic in ways that have no precedent in the modern history. And you enter professions that must rise to challenges posed by that Pandemic and other societal forces. But you are well-trained, and resilient, and determined, and powerful in your commitment, so the future is full of potential and opportunity.”

This year’s ceremony marked the kickoff of Rush University’s 50th anniversary celebration. For five decades, Rush University has been a leader in education, discovery and clinical excellence. With deep roots in Chicago and a rich tradition of service, the University has continually evolved, raising the standard of education to better serve our community and improve health.

You can watch a video about the 50th anniversary and what Rush University has meant to its alumni here. The video was shown during this year’s commencement ceremony.

Blumenthal, the ceremony’s honorary speaker, spoke to graduates about the opportunities and challenges that await them as they embark on this new and exciting chapter in their lives. He drew upon his experience as the current CEO of the Commonwealth Fund, a national health care philanthropy based in New York City, and his past experience working in the Obama administration to talk about learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, health equity, climate change and more.

“Whatever challenges you face, you are up to them, and in meeting them, you will make your world and your children’s world better. Health care careers hold unparalleled promise for healing and personal gratification,” Blumenthal said. “You have earned that future. Now you must seize it.”

Take in the sights and sounds of Blumenthal’s speech and all of the joy and excitement of the students, their families, and the University community:

Sherine E. Gabriel, MD, MSc, president of Rush University, and Susan L. Freeman, MD, MS, provost of Rush University, presided over the ceremony and awarded degrees to students graduating from the University’s four colleges: Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College. They were surrounded by the many faculty and staff members at Rush University who work together to provide students with an atmosphere where they can flourish.

“I look out at this beautiful assembly of people and I take a mental picture of your collective joy and success,” Dr. Gabriel said during the ceremony. “Then, I get a picture in my mind of all the Rush graduates who came before you – every year for the last 50 years! That’s a legion of health care providers and change-makers. It makes me so incredibly proud!”

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