Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Susan Desjardins will serve as the commencement speaker for The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences graduation ceremony Friday, May 27, at 2 p.m. at the Stranahan Theater.
There are 254 candidates for degrees: 169 who will receive doctor of medicine degrees; five who will receive doctor of philosophy degrees; 65 who will receive master’s degrees; and 15 who will receive graduate certificates.Desjardins will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree.
“We are honored to have General Desjardins speak to our graduating class,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, senior vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “Her professional accomplishments and commitment to community exemplify the leadership traits we desire to see in all of our graduates.”
“Public service takes many forms, and it is gratifying that an institution dedicated to public service through teaching the healing arts and sciences has recognized that serving in the military also enhances the well-being of our fellow citizens,” Desjardins said. “I am humbled by the great honor bestowed upon me by the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.”
A command pilot with more than 3,800 flying hours, Desjardins retired after a 32-year career in the Air Force. Her final active duty assignment was as the director of plans and policy for U.S. Strategic Command.
Desjardins received her commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy and her bachelor of science degree in international affairs/political science. She also holds master of arts degrees in industrial psychology and human relations from Louisiana Tech University and national security and strategic studies from the Naval Command and Staff College.
Currently, Desjardins is a consultant for Project Air Force with RAND Corp., and is a trustee and nominating committee member of the Falcon Foundation, which supports military prep school scholarships for those who desire to attend the Air Force Academy. She also serves as president of the Board of Governors of the Independence Museum and as the national defense committee chair of the Exeter Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Exeter, N.H. She recently was selected to the Board of Trustees of Exeter Health Resources.