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UAB School of Dentistry will stream a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 30 to honor its 2020 Doctor of Dental Medicine graduates in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

""The ceremony, which will be available to the public, will be streamed on the school’s commencement website and Facebook channel beginning at 12:00 p.m. The event will incorporate many of the traditions associated with the school’s on-campus commencement, along with some new ones for an unprecedented time. It is estimated to run between 60 to 75 minutes and will be posted to YouTube following initial airing.

Dean Russell S. Taichman, D.M.D., D.M.Sc, will preside over the virtual ceremony, which will be a compilation of messages from school and campus leaders and leaders in organized dentistry. Mark R. McIlwain, D.M.D., M.D., president of the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama, will deliver the traditional Lister Hill Lecture to the graduates and assistant professor George Ford, D.M.D., F.A.G.D., was selected by the students to deliver a Last Lecture.

The event will also feature a message from Class President Bhakti Desai and clips from the graduates, as well as announcement of the Dean’s Medal. Each graduate’s name will be announced by assistant dean Carly Timmons McKenzie, Ph.D. Following the presentation of graduates, Shandra Keith Coble, D.M.D., assistant professor and predoctoral director and clinic director in the Department of Endodontics, will lead the class in reciting The Dentist’s Pledge. Dean Taichman will end the ceremony with the declaration of degree and closing remarks.

“Commencement is an important milestone,” Taichman said. “Celebrating with our graduates, their families, and the UAB School of Dentistry community is more important now than ever. A ceremony, albeit virtual, brings us together to recognize and applaud accomplishments as social distancing keeps us apart.”

Graduates are encouraged to engage in commencement on Facebook, where they will be able to celebrate their accomplishments by sharing photos, tagging @UAB.Dentistry and using #UABSOD2020. Family and friends are invited to join in the experience.

Following the virtual celebration in May, the school plans to hold an in-person ceremony in December.