Page Content
A group of graduates from Mayo Clinic pose for a picture at the 2023 commencement ceremony in Rochester

May 22, 2023

By Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science staff

Mayo Clinic's commencement celebrations came to a close this May with the final ceremony in Rochester after ceremonies in Arizona and Florida were held earlier in the month. We wish congratulations and best of luck to all of the graduates.

After Florida's commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, thirty-eight medical students in Arizona graduated from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine on Wednesday, May 17.

Following that, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, held a join commencement ceremony to confer medical and biomedical master's and doctoral degrees. Fifty-five new physicians joined Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine alumni, with 11 of the new graduates receiving both medical and doctoral degrees. Thirty-eight new biomedical scientists received doctoral degrees, including those who trained in Arizona and Florida. In addition, 22 students received master's degrees.

In total, more than 150 students received degrees across Mayo Clinic's three main campus locations.

Commencement in Arizona

At the ceremony in Arizona, Michele Halyard, M.D., Suzanne Hanson Poole Vice Dean of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and dean of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine — Arizona campus, was recognized for her many years of distinguished and exemplary service as she retires June 2023. Dr. Halyard’s passion, energy, and leadership helped Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Arizona excel.

Fredric Meyer, M.D., Waugh Executive Dean of Education and dean of the medical school, Mayo Clinic, congratulated graduates and expressed his gratitude for the incredible students, staff, administrators, and faculty who have dedicated countless hours to the practice of medicine, research, and education. Dr. Meyer also thanked Dr. Halyard for her selfless leadership and many contributions to education at Mayo Clinic.

Anna Pisac, M.D., was the student commencement speaker, and as a graduate and soon-to-be physician, she urged students to treat themselves and others with kindness in residency. 

Commencement in Minnesota

At the joint ceremony in Minnesota, students from both Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences received degrees.

"Today, we celebrate you," said Stephen Ekker, Ph.D., dean of Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. "I am confident of two key points: First, you have completed and developed an amazing core of scientific training that will be foundational for your future. And second, you will inspire all of us with what you will achieve next."

The commencement ceremony featured a student speaker from each school.

Commencement speaker

Dawn Mussallem, D.O., the commencement speaker, shared inspiring wisdom with the graduates. She spoke from both her professional experience and her personal experience as a patient.

Dr. Mussallem is internationally known in the fields of breast medicine and lifestyle medicine. Three months into medical school, she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. In 2021, she was a heart transplant recipient.

At commencement, she shared her journey to becoming a physician, her health care experiences, her perspective on finding purpose in caring for others, and the power of changing your mindset.

Dawn Mussallem, D.O., the featured speaker for 2023 Commencement, smiles to the crowd
2023 commencement speaker Dawn Mussallem, D.O. smiles at the crowd of guests and graduates.