A.T. Still University’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) hosted its fourth graduating class Friday, May 15.
The ceremony was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ATSU-MOSDOH class of 2020 included 39 graduates from 14 states, with 21 from Missouri and one from Kirksville. Four students received their master of public health degrees, and two will be joining the U.S. military.
Gary M. Wiltz, MD, served as commencement speaker for the ceremony. Dr. Wiltz is chair of ATSU’s Board of Trustees, and CEO of Teche Action Clinic, a network of 13 federally qualified community health centers in southwest Louisiana. Dr. Wiltz received his medical education at Tulane University School of Medicine and became a board-certified internist. Dr. Wiltz joined ATSU’s Board of Trustees in 2013 and was appointed board chair in 2018. Among his many honors, Dr. Wiltz received the National Association of Community Health Center’s 2018 John Gilbert Award, which recognizes people who have demonstrated a high level of excellence in the community healthcare field.
Graduates were congratulated by ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84; Norman Gevitz, PhD, ATSU senior vice president of academic affairs; Matthew McClement, DMD, class president; and Dwight McLeod, DDS, MS, dean of ATSU-MOSDOH.
“Today we reflect on the past four years of training, your achievements, and on the friendships that have been built,” Dr. McLeod said. “Your kind words, your deeds, and your strong support will never be forgotten. You will always be remembered by administrators, faculty, and staff. Let not the distance, the technology, and the computer screen we stare at, separate us and distract from the jubilance of this occasion, but let them unite us in a spirit of achievement, celebration, and the spirit of improvisation. Let them symbolize a resilience, or embodiment of hope among uncertainty, and our tenacity and unwavering spirit to succeed against all odds.”