University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

April 21, 2005
Contact: Jennifer Ekman, (251) 460-6360

Internationally Respected Health Care Pioneer, Dr. Samuel Thier, To Address USA Spring Graduates

A nationally and internationally respected teacher and medical researcher, Dr. Samuel O. Thier, will give the University of South Alabama 2005 spring commencement address at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 at the USA Mitchell Center. The ceremony marks a new beginning for 1,243 graduates. USA has awarded 2,417 degrees this year and 55,417 throughout its history.

At the USA spring commencement ceremony, USA will award 865 bachelor's, 306 master's, 57 doctors of medicine, nine educational specialists and six doctor of philosophy degrees. Thier has achieved extraordinary distinction as an academic physician, educator and administrator. He is highly regarded for his vision and leadership in academic medicine and health care.

Michael McGlothren
Dr. Samuel Thier

Thier earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and medical degree from the State University of New York at Syracuse. He completed his internship and residency in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and went on to become chief resident and a teaching fellow in medicine at Harvard University Medical Center. During his postgraduate training, Thier served as a military surgeon for the U.S. Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander.

He served as professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and also served as professor at Yale University School of Medicine. In 1985, Thier was elected president of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. During this period, he served as a visiting professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and as a clinical professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine.

In 1991, he was selected as president of Brandeis University. After serving for three years, Thier went on to become president of Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare System Inc. Until 2002, he served in senior leadership roles for Partners, including president and chief executive.

In addition to his service on boards of trustees for academic and civic institutions, he was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 2004. In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the science of medicine and medical education, as well as his leadership in health care policy and delivery throughout his career, Thier has received 14 honorary degrees from institutions including Harvard University, Yale University, Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania. He will receive an honorary doctorate of science degree from USA.

Graduates should access reserved parking in the parking lot across from the Student Recreation Center on Jaguar Drive, located behind the Mitchell College of Business. Admittance to the Physical Education Building is limited to graduating students only.

Handicapped parking is available for students, family and friends. Entrance to this parking lot will be from Old Shell Road only (behind the Mitchell Center).

Shuttle Services for Family and Guests

Directional parking signage will be set up on University Boulevard and Old Shell Road, directing traffic to the shuttle/parking areas.

Shuttle services will run from noon - 6 p.m. Shuttle pickup points are University Commons, Gamma Residence Halls parking lot, and the parking lot east of the Computer Science Building.

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