June 28, 2014
Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon
Ninety-Four Degrees of NCNM
They are, as the MC of NCNM’s 2014 commencement ceremony, Marcus Miller, MD, ND (’01), noted, “…a glimpse of what the future of medicine holds.” If so, a hurting world just got 94 new healthcare practitioners who are bright, eclectic and motivated to make a difference.
Students Lauren Howell and Jonathan Edwards, chosen by their peers to speak on behalf of the School of Classical Chinese Medicine, spoke of service to all life and “following your weird.” Quoting Hunter Thompson, they said “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
William Hibbitts, speaking on behalf of graduates from the School of Naturopathic Medicine, said his initial impression of NCNM had changed from “med school plus plants,” to something much, much more. He was, he said, proud to be part of “a grass roots revolution turned into a doctoral program.”
Kirsten Wright, representing the School of Research & Graduate Studies, spoke of the value of collaboration that she experienced working with the School’s three other 2014 graduates, and joked about learning from challenges like the OHSU smoothie competition and the difficulties of using tart cherry juice in experiments.
Keynote speaker Andrei Codrescu, known for his pointed and funny prose and NPR commentaries, received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the Oregon Convention Center crowd for his stirring address, urging graduates to “fight to keep nature out of parentheses.” Noting that “Mother Nature is in trouble,” Mr. Codrescu said that people should put down their electronic toys and get out into nature, reminding the graduates that “We are custodians of Mother Nature whether we want to be or not,” but that free time is running out. He observed that the “sicknesses of the body are the sicknesses of the world…Consciousness is not the exclusive privilege of humans.” Drawing on inspiration from such disparate sources as English Romantic poet John Keats and gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello, Mr. Codrescu urged the graduates on as he evoked the crucial need for healers throughout the world. Read Andrei Codrescu’s Commencement address.
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND): 57
Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM): 14
Master of Acupuncture (MAc): 6
Combined ND/Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research: 4
Combined ND/MSOM: 9
Combined ND/MAc: 4
Professional Leadership Awards
Other highlights included a video from honorary Doctor of Laws degree recipient Bob Moore of Bob’s Red Mill in which he talked about the responsibility to give back. NCNM’s first female graduate, Betty Radelet, ND (’68), received the Presidential Medal of Service for helping keep the profession alive when there were few practitioners, and for her many contributions to patients and to medicine. Later, “Dr. Betty,” was on hand for the dedication of the NCNM Annex as Betty Radelet Hall. Said Dr. Radelet, “I bask in God’s eternal goodness, because I am blessed, blessed, blessed.”