With the turning of tassels and conferring of degrees, more than 600 West Coast University graduates and their proud families shared in the triumph of a job well done.
Approximately 5,000 attendees filled the UCI Bren Events Center auditorium for the May 17 festivities. Dr. Jeb Egbert, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer, launched the celebration, followed by remarks from Mr. William Clohan, President and Chief Executive Officer and Mr. David Pyle, Executive Chairman of the Board.
A dynamic duo of keynote speakers — Dr. Levi Harrison, orthopaedic surgeon and medical director of Healthy Athletes for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games and Mr. Dustin Plunkett, athlete and global messenger for the World Games — added to the lineup, along with student speaker Ms. Heather Torres.
While celebrating their academic achievement, graduates listened with open hearts and minds to Dr. Harrison’s challenge: Don’t let your enthusiasm and hard work stop here. Instead, he said, take the knowledge and skills gained at West Coast University and pour it back into the community. Mr. Plunkett echoed this message, sharing first-hand what it means to the people on the receiving end when caring volunteers give their time and talents.
Dr. Harrison emphasized the importance of working together in a spirit of collaboration, reaching out to other professionals to jointly provide the full circle of care to patients.
Indeed, this theme of collaboration was woven into the fabric of the graduates’ education from Day 1. The professional respect and unity was evident as graduates from the baccalaureate and master’s in nursing programs sat side by side with those from dental hygiene and health administration. They honored each other’s collegiate accomplishments and now look forwards to helping patients in an inclusive healthcare environment.
“Our graduates are ready to go into the workforce,” Mr. Clohan said. “They’ve been preparing themselves not only to provide quality patient care. To work together and learn from each other with a spirit of humility. The good of the patients they serve.”
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