• Tom Brokaw to Receive Mayo Clinic’s First-Ever Honorary Degree, Address Commencement

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Tom Brokaw, internationally known special correspondent for NBC News, will receive the first-ever Mayo Clinic honorary degree — the Doctor of Letters (Hon.D.Litt.) — in recognition of his career as a distinguished journalist and best-selling author, his significant contributions to the preservation of history through the arts, and his dedication to public service and exemplary service to Mayo Clinic.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Tom Brokaw will be available for media interviews from 9 - 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, in the North Lobby Boardroom at Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Drive SE, Rochester, Minn. To request an interview with Mr. Brokaw, email newsbureau@mayo.edu or call 507-284-5005 in advance. Several graduates also will be available for media interviews after the 10 a.m. ceremony in Presentation Hall, Mayo Civic Center.

The first conferment of an honorary degree (honoris causa) by Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine will occur during a joint commencement ceremony for the graduating classes of Mayo Graduate School and Mayo Medical School on Saturday, May 18.

During the commencement ceremony, 67 physicians and scientists will receive degrees from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. (In all, 84 physicians and scientists will receive degrees, including those who are not attending the ceremony.)

"Mayo Clinic is built on the shoulders of giants, people whose spirit and commitment shaped who we are and live on to be today," says John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO, Mayo Clinic. "We've established honorary degrees to recognize and honor those who display outstanding commitment to Mayo Clinic, the nation and world. Tom Brokaw exemplifies all that Mayo Clinic and this award stand for. We are honored to recognize him and thank him for his many contributions to our organization and humanity."

Brokaw's themes for the commencement address will include renewing the doctor-patient relationship, knowing what you pay for and "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Healthy."

"For the graduating students, commencement marks a significant milestone in the long journey to becoming a physician or scientist," says Mark Warner, M.D., Mayo Clinic's Waugh executive dean for Education. "And with the changing landscape of health care, it is important that we, as a medical college and a leading health care organization, prepare our students today for the practice of tomorrow."

Mayo Graduate School will confer 13 doctorate (Ph.D.) degrees in biomedical sciences and seven master's degrees. This year's Ph.D. and master's graduates came to Mayo from across the U.S. and 12 countries. Most will pursue advanced research training programs and careers in biomedical research at Mayo or other biomedical research institutions throughout the world. Additionally, six M.D. and six Ph.D. degrees are jointly conferred by Mayo Graduate School and Mayo Medical School upon graduates of the M.D.-Ph.D. program.

"The rigor of our programs and the quality of student researchers who train at Mayo Clinic contribute significantly to advancing biomedical research," says Jim Maher, Ph.D., dean of Mayo Graduate School. "I am thrilled and continually amazed by the key roles our graduate students take in achieving major research discoveries during their apprenticeships at Mayo Clinic."

Mayo Medical School will confer 47 M.D. degrees on students this year, 19 of whom will complete all or part of their upcoming residency training in Minnesota.

"Our outstanding graduating class of 2013 exemplifies what it means to be a Mayo Clinic physician. These young physician leaders of tomorrow will carry with them the Mayo Clinic culture of always keeping the needs of the patient first, while advancing the science and practice of medicine. We are extremely proud of our graduates," says Sherine Gabriel, M.D., M.Sc., dean of Mayo Medical School. Dr. Gabriel goes on to state that entering Mayo Medical School is no small feat. Each year the school receives over 4,500 applications. For the 2013-14 academic year, only 42 first-year students will pursue their M.D. degree at the medical school.

About Mayo Clinic's College of Medicine

Mayo Clinic's College of Medicine educates medical and science professionals through five schools: Mayo Medical School, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo School of Health Sciences, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education and Mayo School of Continuous Professional Development.

Mayo Medical School was established in 1972 and has more than 190 students currently enrolled in its four-year M.D. program. Mayo Graduate School was established in 1989 and grants Ph.D., M.D.-Ph.D., and master's degrees in 11 focus areas of biomedical research. The school has over 270 students.

About Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw began his distinguished journalism career with NBC News beginning in 1966 in the Los Angeles bureau where he covered Ronald Reagan's first run for public office, the rise of the Sixties counter culture, the assassination of Bobby Kennedy and the 1968 presidential campaign. Brokaw was a White House correspondent during Watergate, he hosted the TODAY Show, and was the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw from 1982 to 2004. He is currently a Special Correspondent for NBC News, and has an impressive list of firsts, including the first interview with Mikhail Gorbachev, the first network report on human rights abuses in Tibet accompanied by an exclusive interview with the Dalai Lama, and he was the only American network anchor to report from Berlin the night the Berlin wall came down. In 1998 Brokaw published his first book, THE GREATEST GENERATION, one of the most popular nonfiction books of the 20th century. He followed that with five other books, including BOOM! VOICES OF THE SIXTIES and, most recently, THE TIME OF OUR LIVES. Brokaw has won every major award in his craft, including Peabody, Duponts, Emmys and lifetime achievement recognition.

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