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Dental schools to celebrate class of 2020 in online ceremonies

May 06, 2020

By Kimber Solana

Photo of Meharry class of 2020
White coats: Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry’s class of 2020 pose for a group photo. The dental school will celebrate the graduates’ accomplishments on a May 16 virtual commencement ceremony via YouTube due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
From Zoom and Facebook Live to airing pre-recorded videos on YouTube and their respective websites, dental schools around the country are finding ways to celebrate the class of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had three choices: cancel graduation, postpone the live graduation to the fall or to as late as December, or do it virtually,” said Dr. Cherae Farmer-Dixon, dean of Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry. “We went with a virtual graduation, and do a live traditional format ceremony in December for those who want to come back or can come back.”

Meharry is not the only one.

A.T. Still University at Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health will hold its virtual commencement ceremony on May 8, while A.T. Still University at Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health will take place on May 15. Both ceremonies will be aired at atsuvgrads.com.

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s virtual commencement event will be held May 8 at dent.umich.edu/commencement; the Indiana University School of Dentistry is hosting a virtual recognition ceremony on May 15 at facebook.com/iudentistry/live; and Touro College of Dental Medicine at New York Medical College will celebrate its inaugural graduating class with a prerecorded YouTube video on May 19.

The Meharry virtual graduation will be held May 16 to be aired on Facebook Live and its website. Every aspect of the virtual commencement will be prerecorded, which includes the reading of the names while showcasing each student photographed in their regalia, taking their oath and speeches from speakers.

“These students have worked hard,” said Dr. Farmer-Dixon. “Our students come from different backgrounds, and becoming a dentist has been a dream by some of them since they were young. Virtual graduations does not minimize their degrees, it’s celebrating their accomplishments.”