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Elon celebrates accomplishments of newest Doctor of Physical Therapy Program graduates

Forty-eight students received their doctor of physical therapy degrees at a commencement ceremony in McCrary Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 11. 

PHOTO GALLERY: 2016 Doctor of Physical Therapy Commencement

Elon University's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program welcomed the Class of 2016 into the ranks of its alumni on Sunday as 48 students received degrees at the program's annual commencement ceremony. 

Elon President Leo M. Lambert hands a diploma to a member of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program's Class of 2016. 

​Joined by hundreds of friends and family members inside McCrary Theatre, the program's newest graduates heard words of encouragement and guidance as they embark on a next phase in their lives. This year's graduating class is the 17th for Elon's physical therapy program, with members receiving insight into life and legacy from Elizabeth Rogers, professor emerita of physical therapy and dean emerita of the School of Health Sciences, who helped found the physical therapy department at Elon and retired earlier this year. 

"Class of 2016, go into the world and build your legacy by building a life that is well-balanced," Rogers said in delivering her commencement address. "May you be richly blessed every day of your life."

This newest class of graduates of Elon's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program arrived at commencement after a three-year journey that included building knowledge in the classroom, honing skills in clinical settings and making preparations for careers as physical therapists. They made their way through a curriculum that Rogers played a key role in developing 20 years ago. Rogers helped advance physical therapy education at Elon to now include a doctoral-level program and was founding dean of the School of Health Sciences, which she headed from 2011 until her retirement earlier this year. 

Rogers encouraged these newest Elon graduates to keep their intellectual curiosity alive, to cherish the relationships they have and will build, to pay attention to their own health and fitness and adhere to their spiritual priorities. All of those factor into the legacies for their own lives that they are now building, and they will contribute to their effectiveness as healers going forward, Rogers said. 

"I know you will leave a legacy that will make your corner of the world a better place," Rogers said. "Never let the words 'it can't be done' stop you from trying. Your life will make a difference for many, many people."

Adding to Rogers' own legacy, a new portrait of her was unveiled during Sunday's commencement ceremony to honor her dedication to the development and the success of Elon's Department of Physical Therapy Education during the past two decades. The portrait will hang in the Gerald L. Francis Center, home to the School of Health Sciences. 

Elizabeth Rogers, professor emerita and dean emerita of the School of Health Sciences, reacts after the unveiling of a new portrait of her that will hang in the Francis Center. 

​Elon Provost Steven House said the commencement ceremony was a recognition that these new graduates will be undergoing changes as they move from being students into the "unknown responsibilities and expectations of being a professional" in the field of physical therapy.

"We trust that Elon has built your character as well as your skills, and you are leaving with a sense of integrity and respect that will guide you in your practice and your life," House said. 

Commencement offered the opportunity to commend those who stand out for their achievements in the classroom, the lab and the clinical setting. The ceremony included the presentation of the following awards to members of the Class of 2016 and to a member of the program clinical instruction team: 

  • Outstanding Research Award — Mary Cameron Hamilton
  • Outstanding Service Award — Shannon Rubenstein Kaplan
  • Outstanding Clinical Performance Award — Ashton Elizabeth Hutchins
  • Overall Outstanding Student — Lucas Barnett Boyd
  • Outstanding Clinical Instructor Award — Terry Young
A member of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program's Class of 2016 smiles as she waits to receive her degree during commencement. 

Candidates for the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree: 

Bridget Anna Allan
B.A., Skidmore College

Joanna Mary Bayless
B.A., Calvin College

Sarah Elizabeth Bishop
B.S., Appalachian State University

Lucas Barnett Boyd
B.S., Wake Forest University

Jorge Luis Canuto
B.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Cerra Michelle Cavalletto
B.S., California State University, Northridge

Kelly Nicole Childress
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Victoria Dorothy Claybon
B.S., Marymount University

Tyler Logan Cope
B.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kathryn Marley Parsons Crouch
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Sydney Blair Frazier
B.S., Appalachian State University

Kelly Clark Gammons
B.S., Elon University

Elizabeth Bianca Guilford
B.S., University of South Carolina

Mary Cameron Hamilton
B.S., Salem College

Ashton Elizabeth Hutchins
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Jasmine Gabrielle Jackson
B.S., Elon University

Benjamin Warren Jones
B.S., Anderson University at South Carolina

Shannon Rubenstein Kaplan
B.S., West Chester University

Meredith Alyse Kelly
B.S., Greensboro College

David Matthew Kendall
B.S., Appalachian State University

Sara Elizabeth Kiser
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Jeffrey David Labrecque
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Christina Nicole Macropoulos
B.S., Clemson University

Casey Michael Madigan
B.S., Northern Michigan University

Michael Craig Mahan
B.S., Tennessee Tech University

William Paul Mancil
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Brooke Turner Martin
B.S., North Greenville University

Kelley Marie Millen
B.S., West Virginia University

Chelsea Marie Moehlenbrock
B.S., University of Florida

Brittany Davis Murphy
B.S., Methodist University

Joseph McKinley Myracle
B.S., B.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kirsten Nicole Orndorff
B.S., University of North Florida

Ashley Michelle Osgood
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Lauren Elizabeth Pearson
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Marcelus Tobias Perry
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Nathanael Ellis Raber
B.S., Temple University

Candace Leigh Riccio
B.S., University of South Carolina at Columbia

Caroline Mae Santella
B.S., University of Dayton

Kandra Victoria Selby
B.S., University of Mary Washington

Brandon James Stubbs
B.S., Pfeiffer University

Cameron Blake Templeton
B.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Alexandra Adeline Thomas
B.S., Merrimack College

Austin Edward Tucker
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Allie Marie VandeWater
B.S., Winthrop University

Erin Nicole Webb
B.S., Longwood University

Patricia Helen Weber
B.S., Elon University

Katelyn Elizabeth Whitley
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Rebecca Louise Witherspoon
B.S., Appalachian State University

Owen Covington,
Staff
12/11/2016 3:55 PM