School of Medicine conducts 41st graduation and investiture

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Nearly 80 new physicians and researchers were awarded degrees from the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine during the school’s 41st annual graduation and investiture ceremony, held 4 p.m. Friday, April 30, at Mountain Health Arena in Huntington.

Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert, Ph.D., conferred 74 Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degrees, four Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in biomedical research and the school’s first combined Doctor of Medicine-Doctor of Philosophy (M.D./Ph.D.) degree. Every member of the graduating M.D. class matched to residency training programs, including matches to Brown University, Johns Hopkins University, Mayo Clinic and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Additionally, eight M.D. students graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, earning the school’s prestigious Bertha and Lake Polan Award for academic achievement. Graduates of the Ph.D. program are pursuing careers in teaching, post-doctoral research and laboratory management at Marshall University and Liberty University.

Douglas Phillips, M.D., a 1984 alumnus and professor of radiology and director of head and neck imaging at Weill Cornell Medicine, delivered the keynote address to the Class of 2021. The ceremony also included recognition of Charles H. McKown Jr., M.D., as the School of Medicine Alumni Association 2021 honorary alumnus. McKown served as dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine from 1989 to 2011.

David E. Bartlett, president of the class of 2021, delivered remarks, and Drake A. Seccurro was selected by his classmates to lead the recitation of the Oath of Hippocrates.

Social distancing and masking were in place during the ceremony. The event was also streamed live and is available for viewing at and


Media Contact: Sheanna M. Spence, Director of External Affairs, School of Medicine, 304-691-1639

Date Posted: Friday, April 30, 2021