Commencement Weekend Activities Honor Class of 2018

June 19, 2018

Numerous celebrations were held throughout San Francisco last weekend to honor the more than 200 graduates of University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry's Class of 2018.

Commencement Ceremony

The school's 124th annual commencement was held at San Francisco's Masonic auditorium on Sunday, June 17. Students were awarded doctor of dental surgery degrees, bachelor of science degrees in dental hygiene, master of science degrees in orthodontics and endodontics, and certificates of completion in advanced general dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery, among others. The school's International Dental Studies program celebrated 22 graduates from 11 countries, including for the first time South Africa and United Arab Emirates.

The program included an address by Dr. Pamela A. Eibeck, president of University of the Pacific, remarks from student speaker Dr. Avni Bhula, the valedictorian of the IDS program, and a closing charge from Dean Nader A. Nadershahi.

"You have done something truly significant by walking across the stage today," said Dean Nadershahi. "I look forward to hearing all about the wonderful opportunities and experiences you will have in years to come. You will have a positive impact on the world. You will care for others and make a difference in people's lives. And you will carry forth the tradition of excellence as a graduate of the Dugoni School of Dentistry."

Alumni/Graduate Banquet

The Dugoni School's Alumni Association welcomed the graduates into their ranks during a fun, black-tie event held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Friday, June 15. As one of the last opportunities for the graduating students to gather as a class before commencement, the guests enjoyed a reception, dinner, awards and dancing. Awards were presented to honor students for excellence in scholarship, leadership, clinical care and community service. Student leaders addressed their classmates and recognized faculty and staff with awards voted on by the Class of 2018. Class leaders also presented a generous class gift of $78,800 to the school. The donation, which is the largest gift in the ten-year history of Dugoni School class gifts, will create an endowment designed to support clinical excellence and clinical enhancements to benefit future students. The gift will be doubled thanks to matching funds provided by University of the Pacific's Powell Match program.

Thanks a Bunch Brunch

Family, significant others and friends were honored by graduates at the Thanks a Bunch Brunch, a long-standing tradition held this year at the InterContinental Hotel on Saturday, June 16. Graduates recognized their loved ones who provided emotional and financial support through the challenges of dental school. Each honoree was presented with a "Ph.T" certificate in "Putting him/her Through" as the school's group practice leaders read aloud graduates' notes of appreciation.

Dental Hygiene Pinning Ceremony

The first class of graduates to complete the Dental Hygiene's clinical program since its move to San Francisco were honored during a special pinning ceremony held at the dental school on the afternoon of Saturday, June 16. The twenty graduates were joined by program faculty members, school administrators, family and friends at the event.

Omicron Kappa Upsilon

Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) honor society inductees were recognized at a dinner held on Saturday, June 16, at The Olympic Club's City Clubhouse. Omicron Kappa Upsilon is a national dental honor society that admits only the top 12 percent of the graduating class. Members are voted into the honor society by current faculty members who make their selections based on leadership, character and scholarship. OKU members graduate with high honors.

The following Class of 2018 DDS graduates were inducted into OKU: Jesse Elledge, Yan Gao, Ali Ghowsi, Spencer Gibbons, Brendan Hubbard, Hannah Hurley, Andy Kang, William Keeton, Serin Lee, Alyssa Alysson Ochiai, Inderpal Sappal, John Sasine, Jaclyn Smrecek, Mia Tittle, Jonathan Volland, Tiffany Wade, Justin Waldron and Jacob Woodward. IDS inductees were Dr. Avni Bhula and Dr. Lakshmi Vishwanat.

In addition, Dugoni School faculty members Dr. Phil Buchanan and Dr. Natasha Lee '00 were inducted into OKU, and California Dental Association Executive Director Peter DuBois was inducted as an honorary member.

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Categories: Administration, Alumni, Events, Faculty, Featured, Honors, Students, 2018

Contact: Office of Marketing and Communications, 415.929.6434,