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The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology celebrated the achievements of its largest graduating class ever during the school’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony on May 11 in Tutor Hall on the USC campus.

More than 225 graduates from around the nation and world received diplomas in an event that also recognized the growth of the school, the increasing population of older adults and rising importance of aging as an area of scholarship, research and professional opportunity.

“We are a community of scholars who are impacting the world now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” said USC Leonard Davis School Dean Pinchas Cohen. “As evidenced by our representation in fields as diverse as healthcare and finance our students, faculty and alumni are leading the way to a better future.”

The event followed USC’s main commencement ceremony, and honored graduates from the school’s various undergraduate and master’s and doctoral degree programs.

USC Leonard Davis School keynote speaker Jeannine English, former national president of the AARP and a member of the USC Leonard Davis School Board of Councilors, spoke to students about the need for fresh perspectives to design solutions around education, housing, work and communities that benefit all.

“You are the best equipped to lead this transformation,” she said. “…the key is to develop and implement programs and policies that assure a productive, secure and cohesive transition to an equitable aging society.”

Student speaker Sarah Wong, president of the Student Gerontology Association, encouraged students to advocate for others and for themselves and noted her appreciation for the role of mentors, colleagues and family.

“Be grateful for the people who helped you here today to have the opportunity that only so many can dream of,” she said. “…Thank you for an investment of a lifetime.”

University Student Recognition Awards

Order of Areté

Roberta Peterson

Order of Troy

Elizabeth Rojas
Chae Sutherland
Sarah Wong
Ryan Ziltzer

Leonard Davis School Honors

Doctoral Student Award

Lauren Leigh Brown

Master’s Student Award

Roberta Peterson

Undergraduate Student Award

Sarah Wong

The Dean’s International Cooperation Award

Jiaxian Liu

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