Commencement 2023 - Spring Ceremonies Recap

Group of nursing students pose for photo at graduation

The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing celebrated Spring Commencement Week a bit differently this year, with festivities following a new format for the entirety of Case Western Reserve University.

To celebrate the Class of 2023, the university hosted a clap out to kick the week off. The event took place May 17 on the Case Quad, where members of the campus community gathered along the central walkway to cheer on graduates as they processed to the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center for convocation.

For convocation, university leadership gave brief remarks and presented awards, and speaker Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert, gave the commencement address.

Spring Pinning & Awards Ceremony

On Friday afternoon, nursing students gathered at the Maltz Performing Arts Center for the Spring Pinning and Awards Ceremony. Dean Carol Musil opened the ceremony by reflecting on the school’s history. 

“One hundred years ago, our school was endowed with the hope that an independent school of nursing here at Case Western Reserve would educate and prepare students to become leaders in the field of nursing,” she said. “One hundred years later, I see that legacy in front of me now.”

As is tradition, the senior class representatives presented a list of graduating student names to the president of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Alumni Association for induction into the group. Erin Kilgore, Jonathan Huynh and Sampada Arora presented their fellow graduates to Karen Hogan, president of the alumni association.

“Today, you become a part of history,” said Hogan, (NUR ’83). “Both of the legacy of the highly respected nursing program at the School of Nursing, and of the tradition of the nursing pin itself, which has been a symbol of service to others for centuries.”

Clara Ahn, a graduating Bachelor of Science in Nursing student, gave a brief address, recounting how her fellow graduates had survived the COVID-19 pandemic, met Hollywood celebrities filming movies on campus, and navigated clinicals and classes through virtual options.

Hogan and Dean Musil then presented the FPB pins, adorned with blue crosses, to graduates, symbolizing their induction into the nursing alumni association.

Diploma Ceremonies

On Saturday, Master of Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice students received their hoods and diplomas in a separate ceremony, and received sage words of advice from Elizabeth Madigan, PhD (GRS ’96, nursing), a former faculty member who’s now chief executive officer of Sigma International Honor Society of Nursing.

In total, 102 Bachelor of Science in Nursing students, 22 Masters of Nursing students, 43 Master of Science in Nursing students, 73 Doctor of Nursing Practice students and 4 Doctorate of Nursing Practice (PhD) students received their degrees.

DNP graduate Hollie Gentry and MN graduate Akanksha Malhotra gave brief addresses to their fellow graduates.

During this ceremony, the School of Nursing also presented several Awards for Excellence in Precepting:

  • Gina Rehoreg (BSN program)
  • Angela Rebholz (MN program)
  • Nicole Leach (MSN program)

The Mary Kay Lehman Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Janna Kinney.

And Dean Musil presented the Dean's Legacy Awards to:

  • Sampada Arora (BSN program)
  • Jana Haas (MN program)
  • Emily Mugler (MSN program)
  • Wafa Al Jabri (PhD program)
  • Anne Pohnert (DNP program)

On Sunday, Bachelor of Science in Nursing students walked across the commencement stage to receive their diplomas, officially making them part of the CWRU alumni family.

“If every single nurse in the world took on a leadership position—because you all can—we could change the world,” Madigan continued. “Nurses can—and should—lead from wherever they are, regardless of their positions. Your leadership is really only limited by your imagination. Now is the time for you to take the lead.”

For photos of these events, please visit the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Alumni Association's Flickr page, linked here.