“Let’s Begin This Incredible Journey Together:” Annual GSDM Professional Ceremony Welcomes DMD 27 and DMD AS 25 Classes


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Check out our Professional Ceremony 2023 album on Flickr to see more photos.


Students in the Doctor of Dental Medicine Class of 2027 and the Doctor of Dental Medicine Advanced Standing Class of 2025 were formally welcomed to the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine during the Professional Ceremony on July 28 on Talbot Green. 

The annual Professional Ceremony marks the start of the new students’ dental journeys at GSDM. For the first time, students recite the professional oath, pledging themselves to the service of humanity, their patients, their community, and the dental profession. Students also receive a Boston University pin that they will wear at their future White Coat Ceremony and Commencement. The Professional Ceremony was the culminating event in a week of informative and inspiring matriculation activities.  

In his opening remarks, GSDM Dean Cataldo Leone said it was a pleasure to once again welcome new students to the GSDM community.  

“Our purpose here is to recognize the students entering into the two-year DMD Advanced Standing Class of 2025, and the four-year DMD Class of 2027, as they embark upon what will be a professionally fulfilling journey,” Leone said. “We congratulate all these individuals for their significant achievements so far and we know that they will continue to thrive here at Boston University.” 

Students in the DMD Class of 2027 come from seven countries, including the United States, and from 27 states and Puerto Rico. Students in the DMD AS Class of 2025 come from 29 different countries, including the U.S. 

Dr. Calabrese, GSDM associate dean of students, said the DMD 27 and DMD AS 25 classes set a record for being the most engaged group of students during a predoctoral matriculation week. He said he is eager to see how this initial engagement translates to the rest of dental journeys.  

“What an exciting time to be in Boston,” Calabrese said. “On July 5, we welcomed our new postdoctoral residents, and this Monday, we welcomed our new Doctor of Dental Medicine students. We hope that matriculation was exciting and informative for everyone, and that this week will be the beginning of what turns out to be two more great classes in our school’s history.”  

Dr. Karen Antman, Boston University Medical Campus provost and Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine dean, said students should embrace all the resources they have access to as members of the Boston University Medical Campus community. She commended GSDM for having cross-disciplinary education programs that draw on expertise from the Chobanian & Avedisian School and the School of Public Health, giving dental students incredible exposure to working in a team with epidemiologists, pharmacologists, nurses, physician assistants, etc.   

“The dental school is integral to the medical campus,” Antman said. “The dental school’s faculty and students provide care at Boston Medical Center and healthcare for the homeless on campus. They care for school children in Boston and Chelsea – critical, given that kids with dental pain aren’t going to concentrate on their schoolwork. The culture of the three schools is remarkably collaborative.”  

Dr. Ana Zea, GSDM community-based education director, was this year’s Professional Ceremony keynote speaker. Based on her experiences at GSDM as both a long-time faculty member and as a parent of a DMD student – Zea’s daughter graduated in the Class of 2023 – she said that she can “proudly and wholeheartedly” tell the incoming students that they made the right choice in selecting GSDM.  

“Your path to get here has involved long hours of study and academic achievement, successfully completing your admissions exams, countless hours of extracurricular activities, community engagement and service, research, sport, working, and shadowing other dentists, along many more,” Zea said. “For some of you, it also involved leaving families and friends behind in your countries or states of origin and truly beginning an entirely new lifelong journey. Congratulate yourselves, feel proud of what you have done so far and let all those achievements remind you that you have what it takes to be successful in this program and beyond.”  

Before the newest members of the GSDM community could celebrate their latest accomplishments in the neighboring tent, Leone led the students in the professional oath, leading to a joyous round of applause from the student’s loved ones in the audience.  

In his closing remarks, Leone told the students that they had now entered into a contractual relationship: GSDM faculty pledge to teach all that they must, and the students pledge to learn all that they can.  

“Please be reminded that success in any professional school requires commitment, dedication, and plain old hard work,” Leone said. “The profession of dentistry is no exception. I mentioned that you are the most highly qualified matriculants in this year’s entering class. That means that our expectations of you are also [very] high…Let’s begin this incredible journey together.”


For photos from the event, see our Professional Ceremony 2023 Flickr album.  

Read GSDM Welcomes DMD Class of 2027 and DMD AS Class of 2025:  A Day-by-Day Breakdown of Predoctoral Matriculation Week 2023 


By Rachel Grace Philipson