The world has irrevocably changed in the past few months, but Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine graduates are ready to meet whatever challenges lie ahead.

The College of Dental Medicine (CDM) held a virtual Commencement Pledge Ceremony via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. WesternU President Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD, provided a video message to graduates. CDM Associate Dean Elizabeth Andrews, DDS, MS, administered the Dentist’s Pledge. CDM Professor Jill Lewis, PhD, read the name of each graduate accompanied by a slide with their photo and accomplishments. The graduates were encouraged to don their academic hood when their name was called.

“The titanic reality of today’s changed world is inescapable,” said CDM Dean Steven W. Friedrichsen, DDS. “What each of us believed, thought, and did a little over nine weeks ago has the same relevance today as if it were ancient history. Each of our lives have changed…dramatically changed, at least for now. It is not an understatement to say that the 2020 graduates will be among those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the pandemic has and will change many aspects of our lives, it has not erased the value of your education,” he added. “Nor has it altered the knowledge, skills and attributes that each of you have acquired and cultivated throughout your time with us. In many ways, the distinctive nature of the WesternU experience prepared you for these unique times. You will find your way forward. You have earned the right to the title and we are proud to proclaim you the Best Class Ever. Everyone in the College looks forward to raising a toast to salute you all in person – in the future.”

Screenshot collection of WesternU College of Dental Medicine Professor Jill Lewis, PhD, reading the names of the Class of 2020 graduates during CDM's Commencement Pledge Ceremony May 13, 2020.

WesternU College of Dental Medicine Professor Jill Lewis, PhD, reads the names of the Class of 2020 graduates during CDM’s Commencement Pledge Ceremony May 13, 2020.