News and Events

Dugoni School of Dentistry Celebrates 117th Annual Commencement Weekend

Alan Shaw, DDS valedictorian, giving his commencement address.

June  14, 2011

Family, friends, faculty, staff and alumni gathered in San Francisco June 10-12 to celebrate the dental school's graduating classes. After years of hard work, final exams and job or residency applications, members of the Class of 2011 were honored during a much-anticipated graduation weekend.

During the dental school's 117th Commencement Ceremony, held at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall on June 12, Dyan Hollenhorst, chaplain of University of the Pacific's Newman Catholic Community, gave a speech to the crowd of nearly 3,000 graduates and guests. University President Pamela Eibeck and Dean Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr. then conferred degrees upon graduates in the DDS, IDS, AEGD, Dental Hygiene, Graduate Orthodontics and OMFS programs.

Eibeck delivered remarks to the graduates and reflected on the education and training they received during their time at the Dugoni School of Dentistry.

Alan Shaw, DDS valedictorian, also addressed his fellow graduates. Shaw, who ranked first in his class, received numerous honors and awards for his scholastic achievements. Joining him at the top of the Class of 2011 was Dr. Catherine Legaspi, who was named valedictorian of the IDS class.

During the ceremony, the Class of 2011 also recognized and honored the lives of DDS classmate Peyman Berarpour and IDS classmate Nilesh Pillai, both of whom passed away in 2009.


Alumni of the dental school welcomed the new graduates and celebrated their accomplishments during a black-tie event on Friday, June 10. Held at the Ritz-Carlton, the annual Alumni/Graduate Banquet provides an opportunity for the Alumni Association to officially recognize the graduates as alumni of the school. Nearly 450 guests enjoyed dinner, awards and dancing.

The new Alumni Association president, Dr. Ariane Terlet '86, greeted the graduates while Dr. Craig Yarborough, associate dean for institutional advancement, presented awards to graduating students and residents. The event included remarks from Dr. Maria Pallavicini, University of the Pacific provost; Ferrillo; Dan Hammer, Associated Student Body president; Dr. Kunal Karan, IDS Class president; Sirish Makan, DDS Class president; and Nikki Dejbod, Alumni Association student board member.

In addition, the 2011 class presented a check in the amount of $30,000 to the school's annual fund.  Class participation for contributing to the class gift was at 98.7 percent.

Thanks a Bunch Brunch

On Saturday, June 11, at the annual Thanks a Bunch Brunch at the Fairmont Hotel, graduating students expressed gratitude to family members and friends for their support during dental school. Graduates recognized loved ones with notes of thanks, which were read aloud by the group practice administrators, Drs. Lisa Itaya, Lola Giusti, Jeffrey Kirk and Russell Woodson.

Omicron Kappa Upsilon

Following the brunch, the Delta Delta Chapter of the Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) national dental honor society held its annual convocation, also at the Fairmont Hotel. Only the top 12 percent of the graduating class are voted into the honor society by current OKU faculty members, who make their selections based on leadership, character and scholarship.

OKU Chapter President Dr. Daniel Castagna and Dean Ferrillo inducted the following Class of 2011 graduates into OKU (listed in alphabetical order): Arash Abolfazlian, Eric Baker, Saoly Benson, Ryan Clark, Catherine Coppini, Anna Dneprov, Daniel Hammer, Preston Hansen, George Hwang, Joy Magtanong-Madrid, Morgan Nordstrom, Amanda Pinder, Ross Pulver, Clio Samia-Lindenauer, Alan Shaw, Lauren Rainey, Dr. Catherine Legaspi (IDS) and Dr. Veronica Montgomery (IDS). Faculty membership was extended to Drs. Brian Kenyon and Allen Wong, and honorary membership was extended to Dr. Sigmund Abelson'66 and current dean of USC School of Dentistry.

Phi Kappa Phi

With a focus on higher education, Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary honor society in existence. Admission is by invitation only and requires both superior scholarship and good character as criteria for membership. The name Phi Kappa Phi comes from the initial letters of the Greek words forming its adopted motto: Philosophia krateito photon.

Members selected from the Class of 2011 (in alphabetical order) are: Arash Abolfazlian, Eric Baker, Saoly Benson, Ryan Clark, Catherine Coppini, Anna Dneprov, Victoria Furman, Daniel Hammer, Preston Hansen, George Hwang, Catherine Legaspi, Veronica Montgomery, Morgan Nordstrom, Amanda Pinder, Ross Pulver, Lauren Rainey, Clio Samia-Lindenauer and Alan Shaw.

Tau Kappa Omega

Tau Kappa Omega, an honor society in dentistry, was established at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1927 for promotion of honor and service to the alma mater. Students are admitted on the basis of ideals, scholarship and character.

Members selected from the Class of 2011 (in alphabetical order) are: Arash Abolfazlian, Jeffrey Ashe, Eric Baker, Jake Banks, Saoly Benson, Timothy Betita, Alissa Bordow, Tiffany Chan, Ryan Clark, Ryan Colletta, Catherine Coppini, Lisa Mari Di Pasquale, Anna Dneprov, Tricia Doukas, Matthew Durschlag, Jonathan Fung, Victoria Furman, Daniel Hammer, Preston Hansen, George Hwang, Sophia Jin, Lance Keyes, Shawn S. Kim, Joy Magtanong-Madrid, Freddie Martinez, Laurie McCullough, Rouhina Mehregan, Morgan Nordstrom, Matthew Packard, Mark Phillipe, Amanda Pinder, Jonathan Po, Ross Pulver, Lauren Rainey, Jacob Rogers, Erin Rose, Aaron Rouleau, Clio Samia-Lin, Yasamin Sariaslani, Alan Shaw, Ashley Schwark and Chrishell Yates. 

Members selected from the IDS Class of 2011 (in alphabetical order) are Drs. Catherine Legaspi, Veronica Montgomery, Krishna Neelagiri, Fabiola Palacios-Barrionuevo and Priya Prasannakumar.


Category Type: Special Events, Honors and Awards, Alumni

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