A Message from President Riley to the Class of 2024

By Office of the President | May 23, 2024

Wayne RileyI extend heartfelt congratulations to each of the more than 600 students who crossed the Coney Island Amphitheatre Stage last week for SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University’s Commencement.

I was proudly joined by F. Charles Brunicardi, M.D., FACS, College of Medicine dean; Lori Escallier, Ph.D., RN, College of Nursing dean; David A. Christini, Ph.D., School of Graduate Studies interim dean; Allen N. Lewis, Jr., Ph.D., CRC, School of Health Professions dean; Kitaw Dimissie, M.D., Ph.D., School of Public Health dean, and Jeffrey S. Putman, Ed.D., Student Affairs vice president to celebrate your hard work, dedication, and accomplishments.

Your time at Downstate was marked by rigorous academic challenges, intensive practical experiences, and the assurance of excellence demonstrated by resilience, innovation, and compassion—essential qualities in the field of healthcare—all through an unusually challenging four years that began during the height of the COVID pandemic.

You now enter a world of healthcare, research, and education that are in constant evolution. Your next steps will be crucial in shaping your future and the future of healthcare itself.

This transition signifies both an ending and a beginning. You are now equipped with the knowledge, skills, and values required to make a meaningful impact. Embrace the complexities and innovations ahead with the same enthusiasm and determination you have shown throughout this journey.

Your path forward will be marked by continuous learning and adaptation. Healthcare thrives on the latest discoveries and technological advancements. Stay curious, open to new ideas, and committed to lifelong learning. Seek mentors, collaborate with colleagues, and never stop growing.

You are now ambassadors for SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. Continue to uphold the values of excellence, integrity, and service that define our beloved institution and also inspire future generations of healthcare professionals. There is no doubt that you will lead with compassion, innovation, and dedication.

Congratulations, Class of 2024!