Touro University California Celebrates its 17th Commencement
401 Students Graduate From the College of Osteopathic Medicine, the College of Education and Health Sciences, and the College of Pharmacy.
Graduates and their families flocked to the Zellerbach Theater in Berkeley, CA, May 22nd and 23rd for the 17th commencement of Touro University California (TUC). A total of 401 students representing each of the three colleges graduated, ready to embrace promising futures as medical care providers, practitioners of public health, and educators. These ceremonies were held over two days, representing the College of Osteopathic Medicine, the College of Education and Health Sciences, and the College of Pharmacy.
“Today is truly a celebration of their hard work and dedication to their education and goals,” said Shelley Berkley, CEO and Senior Provost of the Touro Western Division. “At Touro, we are extremely committed to our local communities receiving the very best healthcare providers and educators.”
Shortly into the program, students were given a heartfelt speech by Dr. Alan Kadish, President of the Touro College and University System, who flew across the country to congratulate the future alums. “We know we have set the standard very high for you, and we know you will meet it as those before you have,” he said to a filled auditorium.
This year also marks the final commencement for TUC’s Provost and COO, Dr. Marilyn Hopkins. Dr. Hopkins was conferred with emeritus status by the university for her stalwart leadership and commitment to the advancement of Touro students. Dr. Hopkins will retire with more than 39 years administrative and teaching experience in higher education.
“During her seven and a half years at Touro University California, she has changed the landscape of the campus by creating a vision centered on students and their learning experience at this great University,” remarked Senior Provost Berkley.
Dr. Jim O’Connor was also honored with emeritus status for his more than 10 years of service. Dr. O’Connor will step down as Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences to return to teaching. Under Dr. O’Connor’s leadership, the college grew to four units: the joint Physician Assistant and Public Health program, the Public Health Program, the Graduate School of Education, and the School of Nursing
“Dr. O’Connor has created a welcoming environment and values the strengths of every faculty, staff, and student, and he sees the College of Education and Health Sciences as a family,” commended Dr. Hopkins.
Guest speakers at the ceremonies included Dr. Ronald Blanck, Lieutenant General U.S. Army, Retired, and Dr. Jessica Nunez de Ybarra, who serves as the Chronic Disease Control Branch Chief in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
Dr. Blank imparted, “As you work in the ever changing practice environment, remember that medicine rests on values which are fundamental and do not change. These values are: respect for patients and colleagues, honesty in all of your dealings, and selfless service. Patient above self.”
Student speakers included Robin Martin of the College of Osteopathic Medicine; Lisa Gottfried of the Graduate School of Education; Madelyn Garcia of the Public Health Program; Jimmy Bui of the Joint Physician Assistant/Public Health Program; Jason Hebard of the School of Nursing; and Franklin Gough of the College of Pharmacy.