Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2019 leaves indelible mark

Three years of coursework, clinical experiences, hectic days, and building life-long friendships all culminate at this weekend’s graduation for the fourth cohort of Doctor of Physical Therapy students.

Friends and family gathered on Friday in Butler Chapel for the convocation ceremony, where students received their hoods and departmental honors before graduation on Saturday. Special guest speaker Dianne V. Jewell (PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA) humorously noted, “I’m the equivalent of the warm-up band at a concert,” recognizing that the milestone of graduation was still a day away.

Jewell snapped a photo of the class for Instagram to commemorate their last day before officially receiving their degrees, and reminded students to embrace  the miracle that is the human body, mind and spirit, challenge their assumptions, confront their biases and celebrate often. 

“Physical therapists are in the business of ‘lifting up’ lives,” Jewell said. “We are privileged to do so and have committed ourselves to this work. No matter how daunting it all may seem, our challenges really don’t compare to the dark and difficult places many of our patients find themselves. As graduates from this program, you have developed your abilities to bring light back into a person’s world.”

At Saturday’s main campus graduation ceremony, 39 physical therapy students will receive their degrees, conferred by President J. Bradley Creed. 

Student Awards

Find award descriptions and more information about the speaker and recipients in the Convocation program.

  • The Dr. Angela Griffin Memorial Community Service Award:  Danielle Eustace
  • Academic Award:  Catherine Gupton
  • The Clinical Excellence Award:  Spencer Sage Vaugn
  • The Leadership Award:  Erica Cherarmie
  • The Rural Health Award:  Nicole Hernandez