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Hats off to our grads

  • CVM graduate hugs

    Hats off to our grads

    CVM celebrates graduates of DVM and graduate degree programs at 2023 Commencement Ceremony

With years of studying and researching behind them, the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Class of 2023 DVM and graduate students started a new chapter as they crossed the stage, dawned their ceremonial hoods, and received diplomas marking years of hard work. 

The 2023 CVM Commencement Ceremony was held on May 13 in Ted Mann Concert Hall on the University of Minnesota (UMN) campus. More than 100 students received their DVM, master of public health, master of science, and doctorate degrees during the ceremony, which provided in-person and virtual viewing options for both graduates and guests. 

While a passion for animals often drives the pursuit of a veterinary education, keynote speaker Dr. Joni Scheftel, ’82 DVM, ’01 MPH, state public health veterinarian for the Minnesota Department of Health, affirmed that people also play a large role in the work.

Dr. Joni Scheftel, ’82 DVM, ’01 MPH, addresses the Class of

“In the next few years, you will grow your diagnostic, clinical, and surgical skills—and you will also learn a lot about people,” Scheftel says. “You know that veterinary medicine is about animals and we all share that love of animals, but it’s really a people profession. Pay attention to growing your empathy for people and work on your people skills as much as your clinical skills as you start your futures.”

The path to the 2023 ceremony is one that saw students navigating the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, which required them to pivot to online and hybrid learning for a significant portion of their education. 

Dr. Ashley Sarges, ’23 DVM, chosen to give the class response for the ceremony, recalled the shift in March 2020 and the tenacity it took for her classmates to overcome the challenges it presented. 

“We learned, we changed, and we grew both as veterinarians and as individuals. You made it here today,” she says. “You’ve made it through all of these changes and are still standing. Now, we can look to the future, to the new dreams and goals we have for ourselves and to all that we have yet to achieve.” 

Dr. Em Adam, '23 DVM, shakes hands with CVM Dean
Dr. Laura Molgaard.

After each graduate received their hood and diploma, UMN Regent Bo Thao-Urabe conferred the degrees, and Dr. James Bennett, ’81 DVM, president of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, administered the Veterinarian’s Oath to DVM graduates. 

The Class of 2023 joins more than 5,000 DVM and 1,000 graduate program alumni who are fulfilling CVM’s mission of building a globally diverse and inclusive community to improve the health of animals, humans, and the environment. 

Dr. Raye Taylor, past president of the CVM Alumni & Friends Society, spoke on behalf of current president, Dr. Camille McAloney, ’17 DVM, and welcomed students to the College’s community of alumni. 

After graduation, the Class of 2023 will join communities across the globe as part of their career paths. Some will choose paths that lead them to clinical practice while others may seek to address critical issues affecting the world today, such as a safe and healthy food supply and conservation of environment and natural resources. Others will go on to engage in biomedical research, seeking to answer critical questions that address the health of animals, people, and the world they share.

“Regardless of your path, you will influence the day-to-day quality of life in immeasurable ways,” CVM Dean Dr. Laura Molgaard says. “A common denominator in all of your future career paths is that you will be leading efforts to keep the world and its inhabitants healthy and safe. Your unique abilities will place you in an important leadership role.”

Learn more about this year’s graduates and speakers and leave notes of congratulations by visiting the 2023 Commencement website

Dr. Ashley Sarges, ’23 DVM, gives the class response at the 2023 CVM Commencement Ceremony.

Dr. Michael Streitz, '23 DVM, shakes CVM Dean Dr. Laura Molgaard's hand. 

University of Minnesota Regent Bo Thao-Urabe confers the degrees awarded at the 2023 CVM Commencement Ceremony. 

DVM graduates take the Veterinarian's Oath. 

Dr. James Bennett, ’81 DVM, president of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, administers the Veterinarian’s Oath to DVM graduates. 

Dr. Raye Taylor, past president of the CVM Alumni & Friends Society, speaks to the Class of 2023.

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