NYU Dentistry Class of 2023 Graduation Ceremony

On May 22, 2023, NYU Dentistry held an in-person graduation ceremony to honor the academic achievements of the members of the Class of 2023 and the outstanding education they received at the College. Once again, the ceremony was held in the magnificent Theater at Madison Square Garden, where more than 500 candidates for the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, Advanced Education Program certificates, MS degrees in biomaterials and in clinical research, AAS and BS degrees in dental hygiene, and Dental Assisting Program certificates saw their dreams come true as they received their degrees and certificates before an audience of more than 4,000 people.

In addition to the candidates, the College honored two individuals who have made a profound impact as leaders in higher education, including by prioritizing diversity at their respective institutions.

Dr. Cathy Sandeen, president of Cal State East Bay, was recognized with the Dr. Harry Strusser Memorial Award for her exemplary contributions to improving social mobility, social justice, and sustainability for non-traditional students. Dr. Sandeen has focused her academic career on increasing post-secondary educational attainment for non-traditional students, including by building on her personal experiences as a non-traditional student—as the first in her family to go to college—to expand access to higher education for a diverse student body at Cal State East Bay, more than 60 percent of whom are either the first in their family to go to college, military personnel, veterans, older students, international students, or students with disabilities. By capitalizing on her vast and varied expertise in terms of pedagogy, technology, and business models to meet the unique needs of non-traditional students, she has helped them to flourish and succeed.

The College’s highest form of recognition, the David B. Kriser Medal, was awarded to Dr. Laurie McCauley, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan. In that role, she continues her inspiring trajectory of leadership in academia. As the first woman named to lead the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2013, following decades of distinguished service to the University and its dental school while also leading an active research program supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), she propelled the dental school to new levels of distinction: The school was ranked first in the nation for eight consecutive years by QS World University rankings; a transformative $142 million expansion and renovation of the school’s clinical and education facilities took place; and she brought to bear her passionate commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and shepherded DEI initiatives for students, faculty, and staff.

NYU President Dr. Andrew Hamilton brought greetings on behalf of the University; Class Representative Katherine Burlas spoke on behalf of the BS Program in Dental Hygiene; and Dr. John Pelton spoke on behalf of the DDS Program.

Alumni Association President Dr. Bruce Brandolin,’84, brought greetings on behalf of the Alumni Association.

Following the conferral of degrees and certificates, Dean Bertolami told the graduates, “Getting to this day has taken more than hard work, dedication, and discipline. It has also taken a commitment to educational excellence, a strong public service orientation, and a deepening awareness of health disparities and the need to address them, all of which have made this class so special. I wish our graduates great success and happiness in the years ahead.”