A graduate in red and gold speaks at a microphone

Libère Ndacayisaba, now PhD, addressed his fellow graduates at the commencement ceremony. (Photo/Courtesy of the Keck School of Medicine of USC)

While the pandemic brought many new, unique challenges to graduate school, missing in-person events was just one of the struggles that made walking across the stage at their commencement on Saturday extra special for graduates of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

The main speakers delivered inspiring addresses to the exceptionally accomplished graduates. First was Libère Ndacayisaba, a new PhD in medical biophysics from Burundi, who came to the United States for college after his father died in the civil war. Even though he could not read or write, his mother taught him the value of education.

The special guest speaker was also a University of Southern California graduate who performed his research at the Keck School, Dexter Holland, PhD. He is also the lead singer of The Offspring, a popular rock band.

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