2016 SPHHP Commencement

Published June 15, 2016

“I’m especially inspired to be speaking at a graduation where each graduate intends to leave for a career that involves improving the health for individuals, communities, nations and our world.”
Helene Gayle, PhD, CEO
McKinsey Social Initative

The 14th annual University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions commencement ceremony took place on May 14, 2016 at 1 p.m. in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts.

A total of 286 public health and health professions students received degrees, 213 students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement by maintaining greater than a 3.6 departmental grade point average and 110 students received scholarships throughout their time in the school.

This year’s featured commencement speaker was Dr. Helene D. Gayle, chief executive officer of the McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing complex global and social challenges. A Buffalo, New York native, Dr. Gayle also received an honorary degree from the University at Buffalo at the College of Arts and Sciences commencement ceremony.

“It’s hard not to be moved by the incredible and awesome sense of new beginnings,” said Dr. Gayle at the beginning of her address to the 2016 graduates.  “As a pediatrician and public health physician, I’m especially inspired to be speaking at a graduation where each graduate intends to leave for a career that involves improving the health for individuals, communities, nations and our world.”

As an internationally recognized expert on health, global development and humanitarian issues, Gayle expressed to graduates how they could make a difference in the world moving forward, especially as it relates to health inequalities.

“Given the link between health and broad inequality, by confronting these statistics, by dedicating yourself to giving all people the opportunity to live the lives they want, you can be champions to fight for justice, fairness and equity around the world.”

To listen to Dr. Helene D. Gayle’s speech in its entirety or to view the complete SPHHP ceremony, visit http://sphhp.buffalo.edu/home/commencement.  Photos from commencement are also available for viewing at http://sphhp.buffalo.edu/home/commencement/photos.