2016 Commencement

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai celebrated its 47th commencement ceremony held at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center which, for the first time in the School’s history, was divided into two ceremonies: the Master’s Degree Ceremony held on Wednesday, May 11 and the MD, PhD and Dual Degree Ceremony held on Friday, May 13. The Icahn School of Medicine granted a total of 327 degrees.

Over the course of their academic careers, the class of 2016 contributed to designing new aspects of the School’s curriculum, published in leading scientific journals, received prestigious grants for national and international research, founded health care non-profits and for-profit companies and has been recognized for providing unrivaled care locally through the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership, as well as in the global community.

The class of 2016 joins a network of accomplished alumni, known the world over for their integrity, discovery, altruism, and clinical and research excellence.

Highlights of the Master’s Degree Ceremony

For the first time, the Graduate School hosted its own Master’s Ceremony on Wednesday, May 11, at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. This was the first commencement ceremony under Marta Filizola,PhD, who became acting Dean of the Graduate School on May 1, 2016.  

In total, the Graduate School conferred 148 degrees, including: 99 Master’s in Public Health, the Graduate School's oldest program, and 8 Master’s in Health Care Delivery—one of our newest Master’s programs. Master’s degrees were also conferred in Genetic Counseling (11), Biomedical Sciences (19), Biostatistics (3), and Clinical Research (8).

Welcome remarks were given by Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, and Dean for Academic and Scientific Affairs, Professor and Chair of the Neuroscience Department and Director of the Friedman Brain Institute.

The commencement speaker was Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations, and a distinguished global health expert and award-winning science journalist formerly with Newsday and NPR. Ms. Garett also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. 

Highlights of the MD, PhD and Dual Degree Ceremony

The Icahn School of Medicine granted a total of 179 degrees during its MD, PhD, and Dual Degree Ceremony held on Friday, May 13. These consisted of 120 MDs, 37 PhDs, and 22 Dual Degrees, which included 10 MD/PhDs, 7 MD/MPHs, and 5 MD/MSCRs.

Opening remarks were given by Kenneth L. Davis, MD, CEO, and President of the Mount Sinai Health System, who advised the graduates: “Today is the day—as we begin to look at the future—to think of yourselves, not as medical students any longer, but as doctors.” Dr. Davis was joined by Peter W. May, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mount Sinai Health System; and Dennis S. Charney, MD, Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine. They encouraged this year’s graduates to embrace the future of medicine with the creativity and compassion they honed during their tenure at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, remembering to commit to diversity and inclusion in their practice as doctors and scientists. 

Kathleen Sebelius, former Governor of Kansas and former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, delivered the Commencement Address, advising this year’s graduates to work hard, find a passion, give back, and to be risk-takers. “You are joining, as graduates, a handful of the best-educated people in the world. So you have a big responsibility to go forth, to do good work, to make a positive difference each and every day—and to give yourself permission to take some risks along the way. Even if you don’t know what’s behind the door, kick it open, because you are capable and you have the opportunity,” she said.

In addition to Ms. Sebellius, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai awarded Honorary Degrees to the following: James P. Allison, PhD, Chair and Executive Director of Immunotherapy at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Sir Marc Feldmann, MBBS, PhD, AC, FRS, Professor at the University of Oxford; and Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, and President Elect of the American Public Health Association, who  met with students and faculty earlier in the day for a Q & A session. 

Read the combined press release for the Master's and MD, PhD, and Dual Degree Ceremonies.

Student Achievements and Awards

The 2016 Achievement Awards were presented separately on Thursday, May 12 to outstanding Medical and Graduate School students, followed by a Dean’s reception which was attended by students, parents, faculty, and guests. Read more about the 2016 Achievement Ceremony.