In her Commencement address, Ina Cushman, PA-C ’86, president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, urged the graduates in the Physician Associate Class of 2002 to hold three values dear: “Be true to yourself. Be true to your profession. Be true to your education,” she said. “These three pieces add up to a whole and complete life.

“Do not lose sight of who you are and where you came from,” she continued. “Do not lose sight of what is important in your life. Take time to think about your family, friends and colleagues. Actively seek balance in your life. There is a time for work and a time for play.”

William R. Miller, PA ’02, president of the Class of 2002, noted that because of the small class size—about 35 students—and the intensity of the concentrated 25-month curriculum, physician associates tend to form close friendships. “Everyone is an integral part of the group,” he said in remarks at graduation in September. “You don’t get to pick and choose who you talk to. You have to deal with everyone.” The group included, according to Miller, “a devout Muslim from Virginia … a former engineer … a frat boy from Connecticut … a French Canadian with a black belt in aikido … a hyper, 30-something surfer dude … and a nomadic 40-something from everywhere with a zest for life.”