Students, Faculty, Residents, Alumni, Staff, Board of Trustees and Friends,
Yesterday was truly a day of celebration for Salus, our graduates, their families, our faculty and Dr. Lombardi and her family. I always get a lump in my throat when I get to the stage at the beginning of the ceremony and this year was no different. When I look at how we fill the Kimmel Center and
see how many people we’ve touched as a university, I feel a sense of pride and I’m certain everyone else shares in that pride for what yesterday’s commencement represents. The accomplishments of our students, residents, faculty and staff are enviable - and we are all very lucky to be part of an institution that prepares young professionals to go out into the world to help others. I sincerely thank our faculty, staff, and members of our Board of Trustees for participating in the event.
In addition to celebrating the 50-year career of Dr. Lorraine Lombardi, we also celebrated the accomplishments of our largest graduating class ever, to include our inaugural Occupational Therapy Doctoral program. I want to personally thank Dr. Jim Caldwell, Shannon Boss and their staffs for organizing yet another wonderfully organized commencement ceremony. Hours of planning and work goes into this with the culmination being what many of us had the privilege of experiencing yesterday. I congratulate everyone involved!
This week we also honored many of our graduating professionals at our annual awards lunch. It was wonderful to see so many of our graduates and their families being acknowledged for their
accomplishments. That same day we dedicated the Lorraine Lombardi classroom that included a wonderful review of Lorraine’s professional career by Dr. Sue Oleszewski and the unveiling of Dr. Lombardi’s portrait. It also was an opportunity for many of Lorraine’s past students and colleagues to reminisce a bit about their experiences with her. It truly was a wonderful event. To cap off the day, our second year Occupational Therapy students educated many of us at their Capstone poster session. The creativity, depth and quality of their work was outstanding and I think that everyone who had to opportunity to peruse the posters walked away with a much better understanding of what occupational therapists do for their patients and also a great deal of pride in the creativity and professionalism of our students and their faculty mentors.
On Tuesday evening we had the opportunity to recognize 21 optometry students who completed their Advanced Studies programs where, in addition to earning their traditional OD degrees, they earned certificates in subjects such as binocular vision, neuro-optometry, contact lenses and other specialties. Most students took on an additional 4-5 credit hours to get this done. Thanks to Dr. Vitek, her staff and our subject matter expert faculty for making this happen!
It’s been a busy week for everyone. Please don’t forget the significance of this Memorial Day weekend as we look forward to our 3 days off. We all need to pause and give thanks to all those who fought and served, with some making the ultimate sacrifice, so we can enjoy all the freedoms we have.
Be safe, have some fun and come back charged to start again next week.