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Upcoming Commencement Dates

  • June 10, 2018
  • June 9, 2019
  • June 14, 2020
  • June 13, 2021
  • June 12, 2022

Commencement 2010 Speeches & Citations

Honorary Degree Citation to Regina Benjamin (Doctor Of Science)

June 13, 2010

Regina Benjamin, you have scaled great professional heights while staying firmly grounded in community service. As a family physician in a Gulf Coast fishing community, you always put your patients ahead of yourself. You treated any patient whether they could pay in cash, in kind, or not at all. Now, as U.S. Surgeon General, you are helping to make primary health care more accessible and affordable for people across our nation. 

A daughter of the deep south, you studied medicine at Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine, where your mentor, an eventual Surgeon General himself, introduced you to rural medicine. You received your medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. As a member of the National Health Service Corps, you committed to work where doctors were needed most. That led you back to Bayou La Batre, near your childhood home in southern Alabama.

In a community where most residents lived below the poverty line, you built a clinic to help raise people up. You made house calls in your pickup truck and accepted payment in oysters. To make ends meet, you worked night shifts in emergency rooms, and you earned an MBA from Tulane to apply new lessons to your practice of medicine.

Neither two hurricanes nor a fire could stop you from rebuilding your clinic again and again. In you, Mother Nature has met a force of nature. You have not only treated serious illness, you have known too much of it in your own family. Because of your service to your patients, you were called to public service. Appointed by politicians of both parties, you have helped guide a university, a medical association and now a nation.

You have been called a “country doctor with a heart.” Now you are a doctor whose heart and service inspire medical professionals across our country. Dartmouth is pleased, with all of our heart, to award you the honorary degree Doctor of Science.

Last Updated: 3/17/16