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USD Sanford School of Medicine to host convocation ceremony

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota’s 126th spring commencement ceremony at the DakotaDome on May 4 will be preceded by the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine’s Graduation Convocation on Friday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. at the Jeschke Fine Arts Center Auditorium in Sioux Falls. Fifty graduates will be hooded as the Class of 2013 marks its transition into the medical profession.

Keith Lillemoe, M.D., a Mellette, S.D. native and 1976 alumnus of USD’s then two-year medical school, will deliver the keynote address. Lillemoe is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and served his entire surgical training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He joined the faculty at Hopkins in 1985 and rose to the rank of professor of surgery, served as associate program director for the Hopkins Surgical Residency and as vice-chairman and deputy director of the department. In 2003, he was appointed as Jay L. Grosfeld professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. In 2011, Dr. Lillemoe was appointed to the positions of surgeon-in-chief and chief of the Department of Surgery at The Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and W. Gerald Austen professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

Lillemoe has served as secretary, president and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract., president of the Society of Clinical Surgery, secretary and president of the Society of University Surgeons, and as the recorder for the American Surgical Association. He is a senior director of the American Board of Surgery, and is the editor of one of the leading surgical texts “Surgery: Scientific Principles and Practice” and is editor-in-chief of “Annals of Surgery.”

His distinguished career has been acknowledged through many awards and honors pertinent to surgery. In 2003, the Johns Hopkins Department of Surgery established the Keith D. Lillemoe Faculty Teaching Award in his name. In 2009, the Lillemoe Family Scholarship was established for students at the USD Sanford School of Medicine with an interest in surgery. Lillemoe’s clinical interests are in gastrointestinal and pancreaticobiliary tract surgery.

In addition to serving as the convocation speaker, Lillemoe will also serve as this year’s AOA visiting professor, during which he will spend a full day with students and faculty, sharing lessons in leadership and professionalism.


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News