Go to content

Record Online - June 2011

BDRO Header

Class of 2011: ‘Try to always make a difference’

Commencement 2011 Commencement 2011
Doctor of dental surgery graduates stand during
commencement exercises. At the end of the ceremony, the
Class of 2011 was recognized with a standing ovation.
Some of the 28 dental hygiene graduates, above, after
receiving their degrees.


“Try to always make a difference. Be a leader,” the keynote speaker told the 2011 Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry graduates during commencement exercises May 20 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas.

This year’s commencement speaker was Dr. Frank Higginbottom, clinical associate professor of restorative sciences, graduate prosthodontics, and oral and maxillofacial surgery and 1971 TAMHSC-BCD alumnus.

Higginbottom emphasized some key points for graduates going into professional practice, including the importance of leadership, friendship and lifelong learning.

“Never feel so confident that you can’t ask for help. Be a perpetual student,” he urged. “Extend yourself. Push your boundaries.”

Commencement 2011
Many graduates were hooded by parents,
spouses and siblings.

In all, 153 graduates were recognized. The class of 2011 included 97 doctor of dental surgery graduates, 28 dental hygiene graduates, 22 graduates receiving specialty certificates, three receiving master’s degrees in various specialties and three receiving doctor of philosophy degrees in biomedical sciences.

A number of individuals were recognized during the event. Dr. Amp Miller and Leigh Ann Wyatt, the Dental and Dental Hygiene Teachers of the Year, respectively, were recognized and led the academic procession and recession.

Student honorees included dental graduate Luke Stephen Bailey, who was awarded the First Scholastic Honors Gold Medal and Alpha Omega Award. Dental hygiene recipient Leah Sarai Spittle also received the First Scholastic Honors Gold Medal. The Baylor Oral Health Foundation Centennial Award was given to dental class recipient Benjamin Eric Cozad.

In his remarks to the audience, Dr. James S. Cole, dean, reflected that the quality of TAMHSC-BCD’s programs is achieved not only through the guidance of faculty but also through students’ continual desire to strive for excellence.

Perhaps Higginbottom summed it up with his charge to students to continue what they’ve started: “Don’t live your life saying ‘what is the least I can do to get by’ but ‘what is the most I can do to make a difference?’ Go out into the wilderness,” he said, referencing Scripture. “Make us proud.”