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Morning UMSOM Graduation

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See the Facebook Gallery from last year's ceremony. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The ceremony will take place between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the Baltimore Convention Center located at One West Pratt Street. Use the Pratt Street entrance. The ceremony will take place in the level 400 Ballroom. Students should arrive no later than 9:00 a.m. to line up with their class. Our procession will start promptly at 9:45 a.m. so it is important for students to be in line and in their appropriate order. Our ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. promptly, with a lunch reception immediately following the ceremony.

Keynote Speaker

Needleman Philip Needleman, Ph.D., is a former Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, the Washington University Board of Trustees, the St. Louis Science Center, the Plant and Life Sciences Coalition, the Board of Trustees of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and Research Advisor to the President at Ben-Gurion University, Israel.

Dr. Needleman received his B.Sc. in pharmacy and M.Sc. in pharmacology from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, where he joined the faculty in 1967, and later became Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology from 1976 to 1989. During that time, he was selected Basic Science Teacher of the Year five times. In 1989 he became senior vice president of Monsanto. In 1993 he became president of Searle Research and Development. He served as senior executive vice president and chief scientist of Pharmacia from 2000 to 2003. In 2004 he served as Associate Dean for Special Projects at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis.

Dr. Needleman’s research focuses on two main areas. His studies of the regulation of vascular, cardiac, and renal function led to the discovery of the mechanism of organic nitrate tolerance, the first peptide angiotensin antagonists, and the atrial natriuretic factor (the hormone by which the heart communicates with the kidney). His second area of research was on the role of prostaglandins in arthritis, an area in which he made multiple contributions culminating in the discovery of Cox-2, the isoform of cyclooxygenase responsible for the inflammation and pain suffered by arthritis patients. His work at Monsanto/Searle resulted in the 1998 FDA approval of Celebrex.

He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1987, and chaired the NAS Pharmacology-Physiology section from 2001–2004. He was elected to a brief term on the NAS Council in 2004, and currently serves as a member of the NAS Division of Earth and Life Sciences Committee. In 2009 he served as interim President of the Donald Danforth Plant Sciences Center, and in 2011 he became interim President of the St. Louis Science Center. He helped create the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, and served on the Barnes Jewish Hospital Board.  

Dr. Needleman has garnered numerous honors, including the John Jacob Abel Award of the American Pharmacology Society (1974); Research Achievement Award from the American Heart Association (1988); Washington University’s Distinguished Faculty Award (1987), Second Century Award from the medical school (1994), and honorary doctorate degree (1999); C. Chester Stock Award from Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2001); and the Amercian Society of Experimental Therapeutics Award. Dr. Needleman was selected for the Industrial Research Institute Medal in 2001, and in 2005 the NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science.


Any student who wishes to participate in the Commencement Ceremony will be required to wear a cap and gown. The 2015 Grad Fair will be February 23rd and 24th from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Seven Scholars University Store in the SMC. There students may order regalia and other items for graduation. Information about ordering regalia online will be available soon after the Grad Fair.

Applying for a Diploma

MAY (SPRING) GRADUATES: Deadline to file an Application for Diploma was FEBRUARY 8, 2015. Filing an Application for Diploma is mandatory and can be submitted online through SURFS (instructions are sent to all students via their campus e-mail account). If you have missed the deadline please contact Dawn Roberts as soon as possible.


There are a number of affordable garages located all throughout downtown Baltimore. You can pay in advance through Parking Panda for $20 a day at 300 E. Pratt St., or 30 E. Lee St. use Promo Code UMSOM for 20% off. Your families may opt to park in one of the campus parking facilities which are within walking distance of the Convention Center.

Handicap Accommodations

The Convention Center is Wheelchair accessible and handicapped seating will be available. If you need any other accommodations please contact the Dawn Roberts in the Office of Student Affairs. Students will have at least 8 tickets each. They will be available in late March/early April. Graduates do not need a ticket for themselves. There will be a wait-list for those who need extra tickets which will begin in March/April.


Grad Images will be providing photography services. Every graduate will receive emailed proofs and printed proofs by mail with no obligation to buy. The packages start at $5.

School of Medicine Faculty

Faculty will be able to go to the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development website to sign up to attend the School of Medicine Graduation Ceremony, order regalia, and get detailed information on your arrival time and where you should report at a later date.

The Campus-Wide Convocation will take place on May 15, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Arena at 201 W. Baltimore St. 

Other Information

The SOM and affiliated groups and organizations host a number of events throughout each academic year. Students and/or their families may be asked to incur costs related to additional guests, dietary preferences or restrictions, or other special non-ADA accommodations at these and other events.