2024 Commencement Speaker

Image of Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD
Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice

Dear Emory Community,

I write you today with exciting news! The President and CEO of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, will serve as Emory’s 2024 Commencement speaker.

Dr. Montgomery Rice’s achievements as a groundbreaking physician-scientist and university leader are an inspiration to so many in our great city and beyond. During her time as president and CEO, the Morehouse School of Medicine has flourished, solidifying its reputation as a powerhouse in the advancement of health equity. This important work—serving vulnerable populations with breakthrough care and solutions—has been a hallmark of Dr. Montgomery Rice’s career.

Dr. Montgomery Rice has worked tirelessly to foster diversity within the medical profession and scientific workforce. For her, it is not enough to simply achieve greatness. She wants to hold the door open so that others can follow and find success in their careers and lives. Dr. Montgomery Rice has strong ties to Emory, having completed her medical training at the School of Medicine. Because of her partnership and vision, the connection between the Morehouse School of Medicine and Emory University is stronger than ever. I cannot wait to welcome Dr. Montgomery Rice back to campus so we can present her with an honorary degree and hear her inspiring words and reflections.

During Commencement, the university will also present honorary degrees to violin virtuoso Robert McDuffie and the President of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Victor Dzau. As an acclaimed performer and recording artist, Mr. McDuffie has dazzled audiences the world over, adventurously interpreting masterworks and new compositions alike while fostering music education and appreciation through the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University and the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy. Dr. Dzau has conducted pioneering research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics, and throughout his extraordinary career in leadership, developed initiatives to transform and improve health locally and globally, championing compassionate care, community connection, and the elimination of healthcare disparities. 

On Monday, May 13, we will have an incredible Commencement celebration and it will be a memorable day on the Quad for the Class of 2024 and their families. To all those who are graduating or participating, see you there!


Gregory L. Fenves