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USciences Honors The Class of 2020 During Virtual Ceremony

By Jenna Pizzi

Published on May 20, 2020

USciences honored the Class of 2020 during the 199th Commencement Ceremony, the first ceremony to be hosted virtually, on May 20, 2020. 

“You are a unique group of students who are living through a most unusual time,” said Dr. Paul Katz as he presided of the ceremony live. “Although I won’t be able to shake your hands and congratulate you now on this great accomplishment today, I am proud of how far you have come and I know that you can achieve any goal you choose.”

The 549 graduates were honored along with Michael Smerconish, who received an honorary doctor of science degree. Smerconish, host of a daily radio program and CNN’s “Smerconish”, sought to inspire the graduates with an inspirational message about their importance to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and future medical and scientific events that will impact the public.

“Armed with the skillset comes from studies at the University of Sciences, many of you will become involved on the front line in this and future threats to public health,” said Smerconish. “It’s not enough that this be some of your vocational pursuit.  It must also be all of your civic duty.

“Be vocal.  Be active.  Stand up for science,” he continued.

Also honored at the ceremony was valedictorian Karla Miletic Phys’20 who told fellow graduates to continue learning and staying curious.

“If we want to be ready for when it is our time to shine, we need to constantly keep on learning, educating ourselves, reading, questioning, in order to evolve and be the best at whatever it is we choose to do,” said Miletic. “Grades, exams, quizzes might stop for many of us after today, but the process of learning, improving, and striving for a better self is ongoing and should never stop.”

Elisabetta Fassela, PhD, was recognized as the 2020 recipient of the  Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, for which she was nominated by students.

The Class of 2020 Commencement Snapshot:

  • Total graduates: 549
  • Total Degrees:  553
    • Bachelor Degrees: 226
    • Professional Degrees: 268
    • Master Degrees:  36
    • Doctor of Philosophy:  23 
  • Age of youngest graduate: 20
  • Age of oldest graduate: 61
  • Number of states represented by graduates: 21
  • Number of countries represented by graduates (other than USA): 17

Breakdown of Degrees:

  • BS: 169
  • BSHS: 57
  • MOT: 40
  • DPT: 76
  • DrOT: 13
  • PharmD: 139
  • MBA: 19
  • MS: 17
  • PhD: 23

Graduates by College

  • Misher College of Arts and Sciences: 151
  • Philadelphia College of Pharmacy: 215
  • Samson College of  Health Sciences: 187


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