Congratulations, Class of 2023! | A message from the Dean

Mays speaks and applauds at graduation

The following is the address Dean Keith Mays, DDS, MS, PhD, gave at the 2023 Commencement ceremony. Learn more about the ceremony.

Graduates, each of your programs have required hard work hard and long hours of study to gain the required competence to begin your careers in the oral health professions. I congratulate you for preserving and getting to the finish line. 

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged you with a disruption and alteration to your learning in this program, or in the program to get you here. You have earned degrees during the unprecedented pandemic, and that speaks volumes to what you are capable of doing. It is great to see that you have weathered the test, and have earned the joy and elation that you feel this morning. 

Being an oral health professional carries a significant responsibility, but you have received the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and ethics from your faculty that will serve you well during your careers.

Your patients require you to strive to give your best every day. It is also important that you enjoy life and family and friends, taking time to smell the roses.

You are entering a great profession, one that will provide opportunities that you cannot imagine. You will be leaders, representing your community, your alma mater, and a profession that has high expectations for you. I wish you all the best in your professional endeavors. 

I encourage you to be a shining example of the greatness that the University of Minnesota School Dentistry creates. I encourage you to come back and teach the next generation of students with all of the knowledge you gain. 

Go do great things, and inspire others to do great things as well.