Duck, duck, dentist: Highlights from 2024 commencement ceremonies

The School of Dentistry Class of 2024 had 110 graduates, the most in recent memory.

Marquette University School of Dentistry held two commencement ceremonies for its class of 110 graduates, the largest class in recent memory.

Celebrated over two days, the traditional hooding and awards ceremony took place Friday, May 17, at the Church of the Gesu.

After a lengthy awards portion, Dr. Elsbeth Kalenderian, Dean of the School of Dentistry, explained the history and significance of the hooding ceremony, which dates to the 14th century. The hoods, draped over the graduates’ head by their designated mentors, feature a lilac trim representing the color of dentistry. They also feature the graduates’ school colors, Marquette’s blue and gold.

Each name presented by the Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Jennifer Talley, received raucous cheers from family and friends that echoed throughout the standing-room-only church.

The commencement continued Saturday, May 18 with a graduation luncheon at the Pfister Hotel.

Class president Adam Fraeyman delivered the commencement address to his peers, which focused on a central theme: ducks.

In his speech, Fraeyman likened the class’s four years in dental school to a duck on the water; looking calm and elegant above the surface, but furiously paddling and navigating the waters below. Fraeyman mixed in plenty of jokes and duck puns to his heartfelt metaphor, which included a revelation that he’d been planting hundreds of small rubber ducks around the Dentistry building over the past four years.

Dr. Kalenderian then presented the conferral of degrees, officially denominating the title of Doctor for each graduate.

All photos by Erol Reyal