Dean Carolyn Ma to graduates: Perhaps your disappointment in not being able to celebrate in commencement ceremonies will deepen your capacity for empathy and compassion, values that are so essential as you face the oncoming challenges in health and wellness.
May 15, 2020
Dear Graduates of the Class of 2020,
My heartfelt congratulations on achieving your dream of fulfilling your aspiration of becoming a pharmacist! Alongside your family and friends, our faculty and staff share in your joy and excitement.
I know you will join me in expressing a warm mahalo to the videos crafted by the U.S. Public Health Commission Corp’s Rear Admiral Scott Giberson and Lieutenant Commander Jill Gelviro (’11). Their messages at your 2016 White Coat Ceremony now seem oddly fortuitous. RADM Giberson’s distinguished efforts to lead the United State’s intervention in the Ebola virus epidemic and alumna Jill Gelviro’s passionate outreach work at the Alaska Native Medical Center and the Southcentral Foundation’s Soldier’s Heart Program, offer examples of a pharmacist’s impact on this worlds’ struggles. Their distinctions set a high bar for us all. Your lessons and collective experiences over the past four years has set the foundation for you to continue striving as life long learners.
I understand how much it must hurt that for all the work that you have put forth in these four years, to not be able to celebrate in commencement ceremonies. But perhaps your disappointment will deepen your capacity for empathy and compassion, values that are so essential as you face the oncoming challenges in health and wellness. I look forward to the day when we will celebrate, face to face, your success and achievements.
I am so proud of your work as a Class of 2020, how each of you has contributed to the legacy of this college, and how you will soon honor and represent our profession. I wish you the best in your journey forward to fulfill your commitment to care for others in need and for those whom you will shine your light upon.
Included with the release are video messages from Rear Admiral Scott Giberson, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, and Lieutenant Commander Jill Gelviro, a 2011 alumna of the UH Hilo pharmacy college.
Also posted with the message is video of the class’s White Coat Ceremony held in 2016: