Jan Vilcek, MD, PhD, Delivers Keynote Address to 166 New Doctors
NYU School of Medicine held its 173rd graduation at 6:00PM on Wednesday, May 20th, at Alice Tully Hall, located in Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan. Alumnus and philanthropist Jan Vilcek, MD, PhD, gave the keynote address to those gathered.
About the Class of 2015
The Class of 2015 is comprised of 166 students, all receiving Doctor of Medicine degrees. The class of 2015 included the first cohort of students graduating with a dual MD/MBA degree.
In conjunction with the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, this dual degree was created to revamp medial education and to offer students opportunities for individualized pathways. The MD/MBA is one of six dual degree options currently available at NYU School of Medicine, as part of its Curriculum for the 21st Century, also called C21.
Additionally, 18 students received other dual degrees, including:
- five dual Doctor of Medicine/Master of Science degrees
- two dual Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health degrees
- two dual Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Administration degrees
- nine Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MD/PhD) degrees through the Medical Scientist Training Program
Ten degrees were conferred with honors, and 28 members of the class were inducted to Alpha Omega Alpha, the national honor medical society, established in 1902.
About Jan Vilcek, MD, PhD
Before delivering the keynote address, Dr. Vilcek was introduced by NYU School of Medicine Dean and CEO Robert I. Grossman, MD, who said, “Dr. Vilcek is a man of resilience, enduring gratitude and generosity. He is a true friend and supporter of our medical center and has created a lasting legacy.”
Dr. Vilcek was born in Bratislava and educated at Comenius University and the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. He left Communist Czechoslovakia in 1964 with his wife, Marica, and settled in New York City.
For five decades, Dr. Vilcek has served as a distinguished member of NYU School of Medicine’s faculty, has published more than 350 papers, and registered 46 United States patents. His contributions to understanding the proteins that control the body’s defenses were instrumental in the development of the drug Remicade®. To date, Remicade® has been used to treat more than 2 million patients worldwide. In February of 2013, in recognition for his work, Dr. Vilcek received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement, from President Barack Obama.
He and Marica are principal benefactors of NYU’s School of Medicine, along with the Vilcek Foundation, established in 2000, to honor and raise awareness of the contributions of immigrants to the sciences, arts, and culture in the United States.
About the Ceremony
Following the procession and introductions by Anthony J. Grieco, MD, associate dean for alumni relations and academic events, class president Dana Lee Zalkin, MD, delivered the valediction. Next, chair of the NYU Board of Trustees Martin Lipton greeted the graduates. Dr. Grossman addressed the class of 2015 on the values of hard work, self-confidence, humility, kindness, and replenishment as they embark on their careers.
The conferring of degrees by Dr. Grossman and Lynn M. Buckvar-Keltz, MD, associate dean for student affairs, took place directly after Dr. Vilcek delivered the keynote address. Dr. Grossman then administered the Hippocratic Oath, concluding the graduation ceremony.