Page Content
2024 graduates take a selfie together at Mayo Clinic commencement ceremonies in Florida

May 23, 2024

By Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science staff

Over the past week, Mayo Clinic celebrated the achievements of new physicians and scientists at graduation ceremonies in Florida, Arizona and Minnesota.

Students from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science celebrated their academic achievements this past week at commencement ceremonies in Florida, Arizona, and Minnesota. Graduates will take their next steps as residents and researchers at Mayo Clinic and across the country, pioneering discoveries, easing the physician shortage, and becoming healthcare leaders.

Fredric Meyer, M.D., Waugh Executive Dean of Education for Mayo Clinic, shared remarks on the importance of education and the accomplishments of graduates at each ceremony.

"Today, we celebrate the future of healthcare," Dr. Meyer said. "As you graduate and go out into the world, you have the responsibility to care for patients and carry forth Mayo Clinic values, to advance the betterment of society, instilled throughout your training. My advice is to do good — make the world a little better."

Leigh Griffiths, Ph.D., dean of Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, encouraged graduates to pursue their dreams.

"Following my passion has led me halfway across the world to work at an amazing institution with incredible people," Dr. Griffiths said. "I am confident that if you follow your passion, your journey will be just as rewarding."

Florida ceremony

Thirteen students graduated from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and five students graduated from Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Florida on Saturday, May 18. 

This marked the first commencement ceremony for students in the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Florida, where students earned their Ph.D. degrees. Medical school graduates earned their M.D. degrees as part of an innovative program that allows students to complete their first two years of classroom study in Arizona or Minnesota and then finish the final two years of clinical study in Florida.

Jannifer Lee, Ph.D., was the first Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences student commencement speaker in Florida. Dr. Lee spoke about what it means to be a Ph.D. student at Mayo Clinic and said many people don't understand all that goes into a graduate's education.

Yeonsoo Sara Lee, M.D., gave the student remarks for Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and expressed her gratitude for her classmates' support.

"I think it's safe to say that we were all there for each other during some of our most challenging moments in medical school, both inside and outside of the hospital," said Dr. Lee. "That element of community is something that we all have benefitted from — from not only taking care of patients as part of a team but also supporting and celebrating each other." 

Arizona ceremony

Forty-seven medical students graduated from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Arizona, on Monday, May 20. 

Jewel Kling, M.D., the vice dean of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and Suzanne Hanson Poole Dean of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Arizona, commended students on their unwavering commitment to excellence and thanked those who supported students in their academic journeys.

"Behind every successful graduate stands a village of support," said Dr. Kling. "To the families and loved ones who have stood by your side throughout this journey, offering encouragement, love, and understanding, we owe a debt of gratitude."

Christopher Allen, M.D., was the student commencement speaker and, as a graduate and soon-to-be physician, spoke about where graduates came from and what the future has in store.

Minnesota ceremony

In a combined ceremony in Rochester, 44 new physicians and 40 new biomedical scientists received doctoral degrees. In addition, 36 students received master's degrees.

Jeffrey Woods, M.D., was the student speaker from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. He reflected on how the unique circumstances of this medical school class shaped their experience.

"Despite many challenges, we are a class of truly outstanding medical school graduates and physicians," said Dr. Woods. "I invite you to take a moment now to call to mind, yes, the joys and triumphs of the last several years, but also any incompleteness around experiences missed. The power of a rite of passage like today is it can help transform us."

Danielle Beetler, Ph.D., the student speaker from Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, urged graduates to celebrate the moment.

"We represent so many different journeys to get to this moment, a host of individual experiences," said Dr. Beetler. "I challenge all of my peers to say 'thank you' again today to as many people as you can remember that have been a part of this journey for you. This achievement is not your own, but one to share with all of them."


Learn more about Commencement for Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.