Dr. Victor Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine, has been the honored guest at two distinguished commencement ceremonies this academic year.

On May 20, 2021, Dzau spoke at the commencement exercises of the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine on how he has dedicated his career to advancing science to improve individual health and quality of life.

“Graduating from medical school is a real accomplishment at any time, but, of course, this is not just any time,” Dzau said in his keynote address. “You did this hard work in the middle of a global pandemic, the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in 100 years. That is truly impressive and memorable. You are embarking on a career in health and medicine at one of the most eventful times in recent history, with society being rocked by existing existential threats: the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and an awakening to centuries of systemic racism. As doctors and researchers, you will be at the heart of finding solutions to these crises.”

You can watch his speech here at the 21 minute mark. Dr. Dzau also received the Dean’s Distinguished Gold Medal for Science and Public Service, which is “awarded to individuals who have made high-impact contributions to medicine, science, or public service. The contributions can be in the areas of clinical care, education, biomedical research or in community service.  These contributions have significantly improved the health and well-being of mankind.” More information can be found here.

In addition, Dr. Dzau received an honorary degree from the University of British Columbia, in recognition of his extraordinary scientific achievements and his exemplary leadership in global health.

“Receiving this honorary degree is especially meaningful to me, as for centuries, science has been such a crucial instrument for improving health and creating prosperity. That is more true today than ever before.” Dzau said in his remarks. “I’ve been very fortunate to work in the intersection of science and medicine, and societal challenges. It’s the application of science to benefit humanity that has been my north star, and guiding principle.”

You can watch his acceptance speech here.


In October, Dr. Dzau will give the commencement address for Boston University. Please stay tuned for further information.

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