Forty-three classmates made up the first class to go through Cooper Medical School. The class, largely comprised of tri-state area residents, walked at their commencement ceremony on Monday.
Speakers at the ceremony included Dean Paul Katz, Rowan University President Ali Houshmand, and Governor Chris Christie.
Congressman Donald Norcross was slotted to speak at the ceremony as well, but was unable to attend due to the death of his mother on Saturday.
“CMSRU put together a world class faculty, attracted top notch students, trained and educate them in city of Camden, and have them go forth as ambassadors for the school, community, and ambassadors of the quality of education here,” said Christie. “It’s probably hard for you all to grasp how important that is... But you 43 students are the first tangible evidence of Camden’s future.”
“This is a big deal for us,” said Katz. “We shaped these students but they also shaped us.”
“We had a vision for this class before we even had them enrolled, but these students took that vision and reshaped it into something better,” said Katz. “
For the past four years, the students learned the general knowledge they needed to continue on into fields of their choice. Their educators went above and beyond to make sure their educations were well rounded, emphasizing service and community into their regular lessons.
All 43 students were matched to residencies. Of them, 11 will remain in New Jersey, and 24 will be in New York City, Philadelphia, and Wilmington. The remainder of the students will be as far as Miami.
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