Diligence a Key Ingredient for Success, Gardner Tells Graduates at CHP Hooding Ceremony

By Robert Tolleson

DPT Student Hooding

Graduates are all smiles as they pose for photos at the College of Health Profession’s May 18 hooding ceremony. The students holding teal hoods are graduating with a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., provost and senior vice chancellor of academic affairs, congratulated the students on their remarkable

achievements and recognized the family members and friends who offered crucial support during the education process.

“This is a ceremony rooted in academic tradition with symbols representing that transition from student to professional. These hoods represent years of hard work and dedication on this academic journey each of you traveled,” she said.

In his book, Better, author and surgeon Atul Gawande identifies diligence as one essential ingredient for success, Gardner said. In fact, he called diligence one of the most challenging traits to embody.

“Thanks to your diligence, you now stand at a juncture between this high academic achievement and your professional career,” she said. “You are prepared and ready to accomplish great things, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.”

Dean Susan Long Speaks

Dean Susan Long, Ed.D., speaks during the May 18 hooding ceremony. Ninety-six students were recognized during the ceremony for earning master’s or doctoral degrees.

CHP Dean Susan Long, Ed.D., explained to the crowd of students, family members and friends that the academic hood has its origins in medieval Europe as a part of church tradition.

She also noted that only 17 percent of Americans have earned a master’s or doctoral degree, and she thanked those in the crowd for their support, which allowed the graduates to achieve this academic milestone.

Sean Stone, from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program’s first graduating class, spoke on behalf of the graduates. He also offered his thanks to the faculty and friends and family who made up each graduate’s crucial support system.

“I believe it is no secret that graduate school is not easy, nor is it meant to be. It’s meant to challenge our knowledge, test our skills, and above all else, prepare us for the career path that we have chosen to pursue,” he said.

“I can’t count the number of times in the past three years that I’ve had to remind myself, ‘You signed up for this,’ which would often be followed by a similar question — ‘Why in the world did you sign up for this?’ But I always came back to the same response, ‘Because I can make a difference.’”

It was this belief that pushed us to excel in our respective programs, he said.

He reminded his fellow graduates that their learning isn’t over just because they’ve graduated or passed various board exams.

“This is just the beginning of our learning. … If we were to never look at a book again or never take a continuing education course that isn’t required, we wouldn’t be the health care professionals that it is our duty to be,” Stone said.

He finished his remarks with a quote from Maya Angelou — “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”