Sara Rosenbaum Gives Inspirational Keynote at Milken Institute School of Public Health 2022 Commencement

More than 900 students graduated with bachelor’s, masters and doctorate degrees in a wide variety of public health concentrations

WASHINGTON (May 13, 2022) — On May 12, 2022, Milken Institute School of Public Health honored the class of 2022 in a ceremony held in the Charles E. Smith Center on the campus of the George Washington University. The class of 2022 includes more than 900 newly minted graduates who earned undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in a variety of public health disciplines.

As the graduates streamed into the Smith Center to take their seats, family members, friends and faculty members looked on with pride.

Dean Lynn R. Goldman gave welcoming remarks to the graduates and their families, noting that Milken Institute SPH is celebrating a special anniversary. “It is my great honor to be here with you! This marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of our school and reminds us to show gratitude for all those whose shoulders we stand upon and who came before us,” Goldman said. “Graduation is indeed a time for reflection and gratitude.”

She went on to praise the graduates for their hard work, diligence and passion during a very challenging time in history.

“To our graduates, I am deeply grateful for each of you and your incredible dedication and perseverance that is culminating in today’s ceremony,” Goldman said. “The work you go on to do will change the world and create healthier, more sustainable lives for everyone, everywhere.”

The ceremony also included student speaker Laura Gruer. Gruer is currently an administrative resident at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and just completed her master’s in health administration at Milken Institute SPH.

Gruer talked about how an experience with her grandfather and access to healthcare inspired her to go into public health.

She also challenged her fellow graduates with a question: “In the years to come my friends, I have to ask: ‘what if?’ What if we begin using the knowledge imparted by this incredible university to build a better world?”

Attendees also heard from keynote speaker Sara Rosenbaum, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy at Milken Institute SPH and a nationally recognized scholar in the field of health policy and law.

Rosenbaum talked about her own journey from a young civil rights lawyer to a teacher, researcher and one of the founding members of the school of public health. “Every day, our faculty, staff and students achieve a dizzying array of accomplishments, from world-class research that can help advance public health policy, to community development work both here and overseas, healthcare practice and leadership and in the courts,” she said. “Our school has the best students and alumni. Indeed, I never tire of meeting graduates who now occupy key policy making roles!”

Soon after the keynote speech, the big moment finally arrived as graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas amid cheers and applause. A celebration held at the Milken Institute SPH immediately followed the ceremony at the Smith Center.

Graduates also participated in the university-wide commencement held on the National Mall on Sunday May 15, 2022.