On behalf of my family and myself, I want to express my gratitude to the entire staff who organized, reorganized and ran the Commencement ceremonies. Though I wasn’t there beforehand to witness the Herculean effort, my father was—and he reported that everyone worked like Trojans to preserve the celebration of the day. I don’t think I’m capable of expressing how important that was to my family, and how it left them with a sense that this school—the entire school—has an unusual and strong sense of community. I’m proud to have been a part of it, and overjoyed to remain one.

The most exciting, emotional and meaningful moment of the day occurred as I and my classmates took our short walk from the I-wing of Sterling Hall of Medicine into the graduation tent. We were a little depressed as we stood dripping onto the floor of Sterling. Someone near me mentioned that we looked like a funeral procession as we shuffled silently toward the exit. As we neared the door I saw staff members standing side by side, holding umbrellas for us. I was overwhelmed by the abrupt contrast between my momentary depression and the emotions that resulted from the cheers emanating from the tent and the stage. The applause didn’t even threaten to lull, let alone pause or stop.

To the staff who made it all happen, I thank you for everything you did for our class to make the best of a difficult day. And I thank you, in particular, for helping my own family. We appreciate it deeply.

Maxwell S. Laurans, M.D. ’03
New Haven