Commencement 2021 Social Board
Dr. Etienne has been a lifelong champion and crusader for Primary Health Care [PHC] as a driver for equity in health and development. She is a strong advocate in this priority area for health systems given her first-hand managerial experience in a PHC-based health system in Dominica, as well as her work on the renewal of PHC at PAHO  and thereafter as an Assistant Director General at WHO.
“My goal is to find a way to honor and celebrate my colleagues and their incredible accomplishments through rather extraordinary circumstances over the last four years,” said the March graduate, who will soon become a family medicine resident at the University of Tennessee-Jackson.
Dr. Panagiotis (Takis) Galanopoulos is a dedicated family physician operating Blue Water Medical, his multi-provider outpatient family medicine practice, located in Vancouver, Canada. In addition to running his clinic, he currently serves as a clinical instructor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia School of Medicine (UBC). He also teaches nurse practitioner students from both the University of Victoria and UBC.
Class of 2021, you have risen above the challenges that led to this moment in time. This moment where we celebrate the completion of your successful journey to becoming a physician. We know last year was demanding, but you persevered and reached this amazing and memorable milestone.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the health and safety of our students, colleagues and wider community continues to be of utmost importance to us. While the development of vaccines has brought hope, the increase in cases and uncertainty surrounding the vaccine roll-out highlights the need for us to remain patient as we await pandemic relief. As a University training the healthcare leaders of tomorrow, and for you as future physicians, it is our collective responsibility to lead by example and continue minimizing the risks of COVID-19. For that reason, the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) Class of 2021 Commencement ceremony will be celebrated virtually on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
Commencement is a monumental event and you, the graduating Class of 2021, deserve your day. You have weathered not only the current pandemic, but also a hurricane that shifted your academic home from Dominica to a ship off St. Kitts, to a temporary location in Tennessee and finally to Barbados. As much as I would like to congratulate you in person, we will need to celebrate differently. RUSM has organized a virtual ceremony that will bring all graduates together online for a celebration of your hard work, determination and success in earning your medical degree. Now more than ever, we are profoundly proud of your decision to enter the medical field and your commitment to serve your communities and patients. While a virtual event can’t take the place of an in-person ceremony, you deserve a celebration of your accomplishments and we look forward to creating a special virtual experience. We will share more details soon.
We understand that some may prefer an in-person ceremony to be held outside or pushed further out to the Fall, and that is something we considered when making our decision. But we didn’t want to delay your celebration with the uncertainties surrounding infection rates, new viral variants and prompt vaccination delivery, in addition to the need for social distancing. We also understand you may not have the opportunity to travel to Miami later for reasons that include new jobs or residencies. And while we have great optimism that we have a turned the corner with this pandemic, we must continue to be diligent to do our part and minimize any risks for our students and families. With more than 5,000 people in attendance, the safety and health of you and your families are the primary motivations for hosting a virtual ceremony rather than delaying an in-person event of this magnitude. A virtual ceremony provides an opportunity for every deserving graduate to mark this occasion and personal milestone.
Commencement is a special day for all our graduates and their families. To honor the class of 2021, we would like to donate to a charity in your name. We will soon ask for your input in selecting the charity. RUSM will also cover the costs of your regalia fees. Order instructions will soon be provided. If you have questions or suggestions regarding the virtual celebration, please view the commencement section of our COVID-19 frequently asked questions page or email the RUSM Events Team. Together, we’ll do our best to make May 22, 2021, a day to celebrate. We hope you and your families will participate in our virtual ceremony with the full knowledge that we consider this class to be as extraordinary as the times we are living.
Our priority is the health and safety of the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) community. With the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to celebrate our 2021 graduations virtually on Saturday, May 22, 2021. We will soon share more information about our virtual celebration.
We are so proud of your achievements and want to make this day special. To honor the class of 2021, we would like to donate to a charity in your name. We will soon ask for your input in selecting the charity. Scholarships are based on academic merit and not applicable to this situation. If you have specific suggestions regarding the virtual celebration, please email the RUSM Events Team.
Our graduates and families deserve some sense of certainty. You need to be able to count on a date and make plans. Your hard work deserves to be celebrated and we felt it important to recognize this milestone with family and friends before the start of your residency.
Yes, we hope you’ll consider walking in a future in-person ceremony, which we anticipate in 2022. We will share more information as it becomes available.
Per the CDC, there may be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020, but supply will continually increase in the weeks and months that follow. However, a distribution plan has not been announced. With the vaccine still uncertain, and your health and safety our top priority, we have decided to move forward with a virtual ceremony.
An event of this size can be challenging for many reasons, including the need for social distancing and the uncertainties surrounding infection rates and potential vaccinations. With more than 5,000 people in attendance, the safety and health of you and your families are the primary motivations for hosting a virtual ceremony rather than delaying an in-person event of this magnitude to a much later date.
If you have specific suggestions regarding the virtual celebration, please email the RUSM Events Team.
The virtual commencement ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 22, 2021. More information will be sent via email with specific details on how you can participate.
Yes, the commencement reception for May 21, 2021 is cancelled.
Yes! Your hard work deserves to be celebrated and we hope you will share your momentous accomplishment with family and friends. All graduates will receive instructions to participate in the virtual celebration, and how to invite family and friends to join.
While you celebrate with friends and family, we hope you will take into consideration the importance of social distancing measures and continue to follow all CDC-recommended guidelines to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Yes, RUSM will cover the costs of your regalia fees when ordered through Herff Jones by Friday, March 19, 2021. You can order regalia by typing in your browser: herrff.ly/ross. We encourage you to order and wear your regalia proudly!
Yes, diploma covers will be mailed directly to you. To ensure that the diploma cover reaches you, we recommend that you update your current mailing address in the myRoss portal.
Yes, they will be mailed to those who qualified for honors recognition. More information will be shared soon.
If you did not receive your honor cord and have been cleared for graduation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, if you were cleared for graduation before May 18, your honors distinction will be noted. If that deadline was not met, there is still an opportunity for qualified students to be noted in the 2022 Commencement Ceremony.
Yes, if you were cleared for graduation before May 18, your honors distinction will be announced during the virtual ceremony. If that deadline was not met, there is still an opportunity for qualified students to be announced in the 2022 Commencement Ceremony.
If you did not receive your commencement ceremony celebration kit, please email email@example.com.