Schools of Physician Assistant Studies, Nursing, and Education Celebrate Classes of 2021 During Winter Commencement

More than 100 graduates from the College of Health and Human Services celebrated their in-person Commencement inside The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 2.

New graduates from the School of Physician Assistant Studies, School of Nursing, and School of Education shared the moment with their friends and family in attendance; the first in-person Winter Commencement in two years.

“It is hard to fathom the reality we have lived through due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Shelley Berkley, CEO & Senior Provost, told the graduates. “After transitioning to remote learning and completing your Touro journey in a way that none of us could have imagined, it’s wonderful to celebrate this moment, your moment, in person.”

More than 800 people filled Reynolds Hall inside The Smith Center to watch the ceremony, carefully abiding by the vaccine and mask mandate in place.

The University also live streamed the ceremony on its YouTube channel.

“You all know I can’t walk away from this without talking about COVID. It has been a wild ride, but this is something we will be able to pass on to our friends and family, kids and grandkids,” said Michael O’Reilly, the student speaker from the School of Physician Assistant Studies. “We have been able to give back to the community and help our society push through this pandemic, which we will all continue to do after graduation.”

Winter Commencement was the third in-person graduation ceremony Touro held this year. More than 700 graduates from the Classes of 2020 and 2021 were recognized throughout the ceremonies.