After almost 18 months of virtual and hybrid events for Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM), the DMD AS Class of 2023 and the DMD Class of 2025 gathered under a white tent on Talbot Green for the 2021 Professional Ceremony—a perfect ending for their week-long, in-person matriculation, and the largest in-person event the school has held since January 2020.
“I think that matriculation went very well, and it felt great to bring students back in person given what we’ve been going through over the last 18 months,” said Erica Stocks, director of student affairs. “Our matriculation is not only about orienting new students to GSDM and BU but also about community, so it was wonderful to see all the new students together and excited about starting this chapter of their educational journey.”
Over the five days of matriculation, students kicked off their dental school careers by attending introductory lectures, getting fitted for loupes, scrubs, and white coats, and picking up instrument kits.
This year’s matriculation also included new programs and events, including the First Year Student Experience (FYSE), a semester-long pilot program focused on co-curricular programming, events, and collaborations to support students as they transition into dental school. In addition to one large student reception, hosted on the Charles River Campus by Dean ad interim Cataldo Leone, there were two smaller receptions held in the student lounge for LGBTQ+ and for BIPOC students.
According to Stocks, some of the changes implemented in 2020 to accommodate a largely virtual matriculation resulted in improvements for future years.
“Changes we implemented last year to sessions like the loupes fitting, instrument kit distribution, and fittings for scrubs and white coats ended up working out quite well, not only the incoming students, but also for the vendors and the staff, so we kept them for this year’s matriculation,” Stocks said. “We were able to streamline processes and increase efficiency, allowing us more time to focus on the social and community building aspect of our matriculation programming.”
Dr. Joseph Calabrese, associate dean of students, was struck by the incoming class’s attentiveness.
“I was impressed with how great the incoming students were—how attentive they were in the lectures, and how much they enjoyed being around their classmates,” Calabrese said. “I remember specifically when I lectured at the beginning of the day and the end of the day, the attention was equally noticeable all day—that does not always happen.”
On the final day of matriculation, students took part in the professional ceremony, which marks a student’s entry into the field of dentistry and signifies their commitment to promoting the integrity of the profession and to serving the needs of those who require oral healthcare.
Dean Leone praised the incoming students for their decision to come to GSDM, citing the school’s many strengths including the new facility, faculty, cutting-edge technology, and research opportunities.
“You will very quickly come to understand the depth and breadth of what makes this school one of the premier dental schools,” Leone said.
During the ceremony, students received their BU pin and took a photo with Dean Leone and Dr. Karen Antman, provost of the Boston University Medical Campus. They then recited the Professional Oath, in which they pledged themselves to the service of humanity, patients, community, and profession.
In his keynote address, Andrew Miller DMD 12 AEGD 13 ENDO 15, clinical associate professor of General Dentistry and director of Predoctoral Endodontics , reminded students that each of their paths to dental school is unique—and that they were all selected for a reason.
“You were chosen because you are qualified and you are deserving to be here,” Miller said. “No matter whatever happens over the next two to four years, never forget that.”