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UC San Diego Health Sciences to Celebrate Graduation Weekend


June 03, 2009  |  

Skaggs School of Pharmacy graduation June 6th; School of Medicine June 7th

A new generation of pharmacists and physicians will graduate from UC San Diego Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine on June 6th and 7th, 2009.

On Saturday, June 6th, 56 students will graduate from the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC San Diego.  The fourth graduating class will receive their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees at a 10 a.m. ceremony at the Price Center on the UC San Diego campus.  Keynote speaker will be UC San Diego alumnus, J. Craig Venter, PhD, founder, chairman and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI).

On Sunday, June 7th, the UC San Diego School of Medicine will graduate 108 physicians, 57 men and 51 women.  The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on the East Lawn of the School of Medicine, off of Osler Drive, on the main UC San Diego campus in La Jolla.  Keynote speaker is San Diego attorney John Davies, past Chairman and ex-officio member of the UC Board of Regents. 

More on the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences Commencement:

  • Two members of this class have gone on to be the first students in the combined PharmD/PhD program.
  • 66 percent of the graduating class will be pursuing postgraduate residencies or fellowships in health care systems, the pharmaceutical industry or academia.
  • Three members of this class were the first students to participate in an educational exchange program with the Ho Chi Minh School of Medicine and Pharmacy in Vietnam.
  • Keynote speaker, J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous invaluable contributions to genomic research. He founded the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit, research and support organization with more than 400 scientist and staff dedicated to human, microbial, plant and environmental genomic research, the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics, and seeking alternative energy solutions through genomics.  He received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 1972 and his doctoral degree in physiology and pharmacology in 1975.  Venter also partnered with UC San Diego to build cyber-infrastructure for studying the genomes of microbes in the world’s oceans. 
  • Dr. Venter will be joined by Marye Anne Fox, PhD, Chancellor; Palmer Taylor, PhD, Dean, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences; and David Brenner, MD, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean, School of Medicine.

More on the UCSD School of Medicine Commencement:

  • 40 percent of the class of ’09 will enter primary care specialties. 
  • 78 percent will be staying in California for some or all of the next phase of their training. 
  • 20 percent of the class will remain at UC San Diego.
  • The class includes former teachers, mothers, graduates with multi-generational physician ties, and a professional soccer player and member of the women's national team. 
  • The graduates will be practicing at well-regarded institutions across the nation, such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Cleveland Clinic as well as UC Davis, Irvine, LA and SF.
  • John Davies was appointed to the Board of Regents by Gov. Wilson in 1992 and served through 2004.  A San Diego native, Davies has served as member and chairman of the San Diego Planning Commission and as director and president of the Centre City Development Corporation in San Diego. He also chaired then Senator Wilson’s California Judicial Qualification Committee from 1983 to 1990 and performed the same role for former Sen. John Seymour in 1991-92.  Davies holds degrees from the University of Southern California and the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley.
  • Davies will be joined by David Brenner, MD, Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean, School of Medicine.

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Media Contact: Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163,

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