Hundreds of students celebrated for their achievements

A graduate celebrates the important milestone that she and fellow graduates reached at the commencement ceremony.

Jubilant graduates crossed the stage at the Alamodome to receive their diplomas Saturday, May 18.

Proud parents, family members and friends witnessed the celebratory sights and sounds of the 1,098 graduates of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio who crossed the stage during the combined spring and summer commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, at the Alamodome.

Family and friends in the audience were filled with joy watching their loved ones on this momentous day.

Plenty of university faculty and staff were also on hand to cheer the students they had taught and mentored and to applaud their milestone achievements as they now transition to their professional roles as health care providers and medical research scientists. Many among the Class of 2024 will help fill critical workforce needs locally, throughout South Texas and across the state.

See for yourself

With so much — and so many — to celebrate, check out these links to commencement activities and the personal reflections of Class of 2024 graduates.

View commencement day video and photo highlights.

‘End of the beginning, not the beginning of the end’

Acting UT Health San Antonio President Robert Hromas, MD, FACP, congratulated graduates on reaching this important milestone.

During the commencement ceremony, Acting UT Health San Antonio President Robert Hromas, MD, FACP, congratulated graduates on reaching this important milestone and provided important insight about their professional lives into the health care field.

Hromas said the diploma for each graduate will mark the “end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end” of their learning, as it is a door to another land that can be both “magical and harsh at the same time.”

“[The land] is magical when you discover a diagnosis that changes everything and saves a child’s life,” he said. “… The land behind this diploma has harsh lessons as well … When you hold the hand of a cancer patient breathing their last [breath], you share their family’s loss. It can hurt beyond measure if you are close to that patient. But in some small way, you have lessened that family’s pain by sharing it, and even at the end of your skill, you have still provided care.”

Hromas noted that the most important key to this door to another land is humility.

“… There will come a time when you feel as if you mastered your discipline,” Hromas said. “That is the time to beware of losing your ability to keep learning. That is the time to be even more humble, as there is always one more thing to learn. ‘Life is short and the art of healing is long,’ Socrates said. We give you this diploma as a reminder to keep learning, because one day, what you have learned after this diploma will become more important to patients than what you learned before this diploma.”

Hromas followed his remarks’ by introducing John M. Zerwas, MD, executive vice chancellor for health affairs with The University of Texas System. Zerwas, a former seven-term Texas House of Representatives legislator and a physician for more than 30 years, offered his congratulations to the graduates, as he has his own special connection to the health science center, having completed his residency in anesthesiology at UT Health San Antonio.

Primary care providers and specialists abound

Graduates were beaming with joy as they walked across the stage at the Alamodome.

The spring and summer 2024 graduates include:

  • 330 from the School of Health Professions, including 47 Doctor of Physical Therapy and 39 Master of Science in Respiratory Care degree awardees.
  • 276 from the School of Nursing, including 57 with Doctor of Nursing Practice and 209 with Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.
  • 218 from the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine, including 208 bestowed Doctor of Medicine and 6 granted Master of Deaf Education and Hearing Science degrees.
  • 172 from the School of Dentistry, including 107 earning Doctor of Dental Surgery and 19 receiving Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degrees.
  • 102 from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, including 27 awarded Doctorate of Pharmacy and 12 earning Master of Science in Immunology and Infection degrees.

Also represented within these numbers is a broad range of specialty practice and research these graduates will go on to serve and study. From speech language pathology, adult-gerontology acute care nursing and pediatric dentistry to radiological sciences and personalized molecular medicine — these graduates reflect the expansive expertise of the university’s faculty and research staff.

A class of distinction

Graduates donned bright smiles as they prepare to transition to their professional callings.

Members of the Class of 2024 also join the ranks of the now more than 43,000 total graduates of the health science center, which was established as a medical school by state legislation enacted in 1959. These five six schools opened to students between 1966 and 1976. The University of Texas School of Public Health San Antonio, the newest addition and the university’s sixth school, begins accepting students in fall 2024.

Of the 1,098 spring and summer graduates, 711 are female, representing a 65% majority.

Among students who self-identified by ethnicity, the largest group of graduates is Hispanics, accounting for 454 of the 1,098 total and representing 41% of all graduates.

A year of firsts

Two students became the first graduates of the nation’s first dual degree program in medicine and artificial intelligence. The MD/MS in AI dual degree program, which officially launched in fall 2023, combines a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and a Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

Inspirational stories from each of the five schools 

Read the inspirational stories of five Class of 2024 graduates:

Embracing humility

Hromas said the graduates will continue to earn their diplomas each day that they walk into their professional setting.

“I challenge you to embrace the humility that comes with knowing that you are being entrusted with someone’s most precious possession, their health and wellbeing,” he said. We as the faculty of UT Health San Antonio have learned as much from you as you have learned from us, because we too are on the same journey, with humility and with caring… Thank you and congratulations!”




Share This Article!