Penn Dental Medicine Celebrates Class of 2022 Commencement


Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine celebrated the achievements of the Class of 2022 with its 144th commencement ceremony, held May 16 in Penn’s Irvine Auditorium.

The ceremony featured a welcome by Dr. Uri Hangorsky, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, followed by remarks from Dean Mark Wolff. This year’s guest speaker was John Kemp, CEO of the Lakeshore Foundation, widely respected for his many achievements in the corporate and nonprofit worlds. He has decades of experience in the disability movement as a disabled leader and spoke to graduates on their vital role in serving individuals with disabilities as oral health care providers. Also presenting remarks was Caption Sean Meehan, a Penn Dental Medicine alumnus, who swore in the 20 Penn Dental Medicine DMD graduates entering military service. And addressing his classmates was the Class of 2022 President, Dr. Abdalla Asi.

The ceremony also included special recognition of Sharon Smith, Associate Provost for University Life, for her service to Penn Dental Medicine students. In her role at the University, Smith oversees a number of campus support programs and endeavors to holistically serve students navigating Penn. For over 20 years, she has been a dedicated and passionate supporter of Penn Dental Medicine students, assisting with issues such as personal and academic emergencies, food insecurity, provision of urgent medical care, and providing assistance to the School’s international students.

Along with the presentation of diplomas, each of the DMD graduates was hooded by members of the faculty, representing the passing of the profession from one generation to the next. The ceremony concluded with the reciting of the Penn Dental Medicine Professional Pledge followed by a reception for attendees.

Here is a look by the numbers at the degrees conferred to the Class of 2022:

  • 164 students received their DMD degrees
  • 94 DMD students graduated with honors in 10 different honors programs (10 in clinical dentistry, 34 in community oral health, 2 in endodontics, 10 in oral surgery, 2 in orthodontics, 3 in pediatrics, 4 in periodontics, 5 in radiology, 5 in research, and 19 in vulnerable populations)
  • 9 DMD students graduated with dual degrees (1 with a DMD/Master of Bioethics, 2 with DMD/Master in Law, 3 with DMD/Master of Public Health, 2 with DMD/Master of Science in Bioengineering, and 1 with DMD/Master of Science in Higher Education)
  • 4 pre-dental students received a Master of Oral Health Sciences (official diplomas in August)
  • 13 postdoctoral students received a Master of Science in Oral Biology
  • 3 postdoctoral students received a Doctor of Science in Dentistry

For friends and family who may not have been able to attend or view the ceremony live, the full ceremony can be viewed online – View Penn Dental Medicine 2022 Commencement >>