2014 U-M School of Public Health Graduation

"Think about communication as a critical arm of public health, an important tool in helping set the stage for behavior change."

- Dr. Richard Besser tells U-M SPH class of 2014

 The School of Public Health graduation festivities took place May 1, when more than 400 students celebrated their accomplishments as members of the SPH Class of 2014.

Click on the sections below to view a specific part of the ceremony. Please note, links will open in YouTube.

News Release

May 8, 2014, release from the University of Michigan School of Public Health

ANN ARBOR – One of the happiest days of the year is also one of the most majestic and this year's University of Michigan School of Public Health graduation ceremony was no exception.  The setting was U-M's historic Hill Auditorium, made even more memorable when U-M Professor of Organ James Kibbie stepped to the famed E. M. Skinner/Æolian-Skinner organ to offer a prelude and Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary as the faculty and Class of 2014 processed into the hall.   

"This is the day we rejoice in the achievements of every student who has earned a degree at this most distinguished institution," said Dean Martin Philbert. He presided at the ceremony, which was attended by U-M Provost Martha Pollack.  Friends and family from near and far came to applaud the achievements of the 401 graduating students, who hail from 20 countries and 268 undergraduate colleges and universities.

Speakers at the ceremony repeatedly reminded new SPH graduates that they now have the skills to help find solutions to public health challenges and that communication with individuals and communities is essential to fulfilling the public health mission.

Remarks on behalf of the students

Cameron Glenn, a graduating MHSA/MBA student from the Department of Health Management and Policy, addressed his fellow members of the class of 2014, their families, guests, and professors on stage.  "We have converged on this great institution to tackle public health issues from differing perspectives, with the united intent to improve the health of our surrounding communities, Said Glenn. "No matter how we approach these issues, the truth of the matter is that we all have the tools and undeniable ability to change the world. You – we – have a purpose and a responsibility."

hama Virani, a graduating PhD student from the Department of Environmental Health Sciences addressed her doctoral classmates, stating, "We finally made it!  Through the sweat, blood, and tears we've come to the end of a long journey."  At the same time, she encouraged her classmates to approach the future with renewed enthusiasm: "So now we look to our future, with its wide open doors. We've been built for this, constructed brick by brick, layer by layer, paper…by paper. For this moment. Where we enter the world and make our mark."

Faculty, staff and alumni honorees

Staff and faculty recipients of the school's annual awards were announced at the ceremony:

Address by Dr. Richard Besser

U-M SPH's main speaker for graduation 2014 was ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor, Richard Besser, MD.  "Think about communication as a critical arm of public health." said Dr. Besser, "…an important tool in helping set the stage for behavior change."  He offered examples of how communication can be used effectively to improve the public's health, and concluded with, "As you head out from the University of Michigan, I want you to remember my message:  Tell stories about the lives that you are changing, about the people you are having impact on. Let people see what public health is all about.  Talk about what you do.  And by doing so, you're going to maximize the impact that you can have.  Make communication a critical part of all you do."

Closing remarks, new starts

At the conclusion of the conferring of degrees, the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club took the stage to perform "The University"  (Michigan Song).

Dean Philbert then stepped forward to address the class, saying, "Graduates, I've had the privilege of getting to know many of you, and I have a profound sense of the intelligence, talent, drive, and fundamental goodness of this class.  Many of you are going to accomplish extraordinary things, and we are eager to celebrate those achievements. All of you are going to make a difference. You have chosen to dedicate your lives to bettering the health and well-being of your fellow human beings. I know of no greater calling."

Contact: Terri Mellow, Senior Media Strategist
Phone: (734) 764-8094
E-mail: twm@umich.edu

Graduation Program

Download a PDF of the complete graduation program presented during the event at Hill Auditorium. (PDF, 4.42MB)

Photo Galleries

 Videos from the 2014 graduation ceremony

 View the playlist