“I feel great.” “Super, super, happy.” Six simple, yet apropos, words uttered by Masters of Applied Science (Physical Therapy) graduates Suma Das and Monica Chan, respectively, that aptly capture the sentiment shared by the close to 800 newly minted graduates following the 2013 McGill Health Sciences Convocation on Tuesday, May 28.

The School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, which continues to see its enrollment grow, counted the 2013 Health Sciences Class Valedictorian, Rachel Cotton among its cohort of 217 graduates. Ms. Cotton was joined on the platform by VP-Dean Eidelman, as well as Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi,a Nobel Prize winner for her role in the discovery of the human immunodefiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS. Dr. Barré-Sinoussi was conferred an honorary doctorate by McGill Chancellor H. Arnold Steinberg.

The students’ elation across the sprawling campus was on full display during the sun-filled spring afternoon. “Today is one of the most amazing days in my life,” exclaimed MDCM graduate Kenneth Bonnah. “I am extremely ecstatic – I just can’t express how happy I am today.”

After many long days and nights devoted to their pursuit of scholarship, Phil Vourtzoumis, another of the 176 MDCM graduates from the School of Medicine said, “[I’m] very honoured to be among students and classmates that have become family. Only four years ago we came here as strangers and now we are leaving as colleagues and friends forever.”

The theme of family permeated throughout the class, although nowhere quite as literally as in the case of Drs. Miriam Boillat and Jean St-Louis, now-married sweethearts from the McGill MDCM class of ’83, overjoyed as they watched son Etienne following in their footsteps.

Along with the fulfillment of graduation, for some comes an uncertainty as to what is next. For others, the future – at least in the near term – is mapped out. Inbal Itzhak, the spring graduate from the School of Communications Sciences and Disorders says, after seven years of hard work that led to her PhD, “My hope for the future is to contribute to evidence-based practice and help bridge the gap between the academic world and the applied world.”

The exhilarating feeling of graduation day and the endless possibilities it represents was wonderfully expressed by a group of five-from among 104- Ingram School of Nursing graduates who, when asked how they felt, burst into an impromptu- albeit brief – rendition of James Brown’s “I got you (I feel good)”.

Click here to watch the Dean’s Awards Ceremony.

Click here to watch the Health Sciences Convocation Ceremony.

9 photos groupedKenneth Bonnah Grad May 28 2013

June 17, 2013