A record 11 graduates marked the pinnacle of their academic careers at the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences’ 2010 commencement ceremony on June 11.
The event on the Duarte campus also lauded George L. Argyros, former U.S. Ambassador to Spain and a staunch City of Hope supporter, with an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
|City of Hope leaders and scientists file out to commencement. (Photo by AmyCantrell.com)|
Michael A. Friedman, M.D., president and chief executive officer of City of Hope and Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Chair, and Richard Jove, Ph.D., Morgan and Helen Chu Director’s Chair of Beckman Research Institute, congratulated students and their mentors and recognized students’ families and friends for their support.
Friedman also announced the graduate school’s new Morgan and Helen Chu Dean’s Chair. John J. Rossi, Ph.D., chair and professor of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and graduate school dean, is the first holder of the chair.
“This endowed position recognizes Dean Rossi’s scientific excellence, and his notable career accomplishments,” Friedman said. “In particular, it acknowledges his professional commitment to scientific education and his personal dedication to ensuring that our graduate students excel in their chosen fields.”
Later, Friedman presented Argyros with his honorary doctorate, citing his key support of City of Hope and his role in making possible the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology.
“I am extremely honored to receive this honorary degree from such a great institution that represents true scientific and medical excellence,” Argyros said.
Keynote speaker Scott E. Parazynski, M.D., then congratulated the graduate students as they launched their postgraduate careers.
A physician, businessman, educator, adventurer and former NASA astronaut, Parazynski praised their hard-won achievements, light-heartedly reminding the graduates that “no true adventure is fun while it’s happening” and wishing them “health, happiness and many true adventures” in their lives and careers.
Faculty mentors presented graduate students with their Doctor of Philosophy degrees in biological sciences. Jiehui Deng, Richard Frank, Angel Gu, Michael Hedvat, Jianren Li, Sumanth Putta, Kumi Sakurai, Richard Stewart, Jun Wang, Lin Wang and Jane Zhang comprised the year’s graduating class.
Gu and Putta also received certificates at the event for completing City of Hope’s training program in comparative medicine and laboratory animal medicine from Richard Ermel, Ph.D., D.V.M., director of the Division of Comparative Medicine. Gu and Putta are the first to complete City of Hope’s program.
Past recipients of the honorary Doctor of Science degree include Morgan Chu, J.D., Ph.D., partner at legal firm Irell & Manella LLP, health-care executive Norman Payson, M.D., Michael Kaplan, co-partner of real estate management firm ARKA Properties Group, Richard S. Ziman, chair and chief executive officer (CEO) of West Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm Arden Realty Inc., Gil Schwartzberg, former president, CEO and chair of City of Hope’s board, Stephen B. Kass, chair and CEO of national debt-buying company Credit Max LLC, and Meyer E. Hersch, founder and general partner of Hersch and Company.