Burnett School of Medicine at TCU Celebrates Inaugural Hooding Ceremony

The first graduating class at the Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at Texas Christian University received their doctoral hoods, signifying the completion of the M.D. degree program.

By Prescotte Stokes III

Photo Credit: Laura McCarthy, Nicole Wright

FORT WORTH – The inaugural class of medical students at the Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at Texas Christian University took the Hippocratic Oath at the medical school’s first Hooding Ceremony. Department Chairs from the medical school placed the doctoral hood over the head of each of the Class of 2023 graduates, signifying their successful completion of the M.D. degree program.

The invitation-only ceremony was held on Friday, May 12 inside TCU’s Van Cliburn Concert Hall.

“Moving forward when you are wearing your hood at another graduation and someone asks, ‘Where did you go to medical school?’ You can proudly say TCU,” said Stuart D. Flynn, M.D., Founding Dean of Burnett School of Medicine at TCU. “You all are now forever Horned Frogs and TCU graduates.”

Lillie Biggins, RN, FACHE, former president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, was the keynote speaker for the event. She told the medical students how listening to their patients would be crucial in their roles as physicians.

“I have had the privilege to care for those in need. You’ll find the strongest person in the world who thinks they have it going on and when illness hits them, they are just lost,” Biggins said. “People are just people and people need physicians. They need good physicians who have a heart to care. A heart to take care of people not from where they think the patient should be but where the patient is.”

During the ceremony, Will Mitchell, a graduating student at the Burnett School of Medicine at TCU, addressed the crowd as the inaugural Empathetic Scholar® award recipient after being nominated by his peers. He spoke about his experiences over the last four years at the medical school.

“We have all acted as servant leaders and Empathetic Scholars®,” Mitchell said. “I am proud to say that this statement rings true for each and every one of us as we have engaged in our medical school and the greater Fort Worth community.”

The Hooding Ceremony is a part of the annual commencement festivities. The history of the hooding ceremony dates to European universities in the 11th or 12th Century to distinguish students as they complete academic careers. Graduates of the Burnett School of Medicine at TCU wore purple gowns with black velvet. The regalia also included a Doctoral Tam, which following tradition is a soft tam.

The Doctoral Hood, worn around the neck and draping down the back, features the colors of the graduate’s university on the inside and the color of the academic discipline on the outside. For graduates of the Burnett School of Medicine, kelly green (representing medicine) adorns the hood.

“From this moment forward, you have been given the amazing honor and responsibility to care for others as a physician,” Dean Flynn said.

The Class of 2023 will make history on Saturday, May 13 during TCU’s Commencement by being the first class to graduate from the Burnett School of Medicine. The Commencement is set to take place at Schollmaier Arena as TCU celebrates its 150th year.

In the News

Fort Worth Magazine

Burnett School of Medicine at TCU Graduates Ready To Break Ground on Careers

View Full Story


TCU Burnett School of Medicine Grad Blazes Trail of ‘Firsts'

View Full Story

FOX 4 News

TCU celebrates first graduating class of its medical school

View Full Story