The Commencement ceremony will be a little more colorful this year as epidemiology and public health EPH graduates march in the procession for the first time under a banner that bears a coat of arms designed especially for them.
"We are delighted that our alumni-ae have presented us with the idea for our coat of arms. It reflects our history and signifies the importance of public health at Yale," says Dr. Michael Merson, EPH dean.
The coat of arms was designed by Travis K. Hedrick, a 1977 M.P.H. graduate who serves as director of the Health Administration Program at Quinnipiac College and as president of the Association of Yale Alumni in Public Health. Mr. Hedrick has a keen interest in the history of public health and in the life of Charles-Edward Amory Winslow, a pioneer in public health and medicine who in 1915 founded Yale's department of epidemiology and public health.
The upper portion of the EPH coat of arms, which is the same as that of the School of Medicine, follows the coat of arms of Elihu Yale, the East India merchant and benefactor after whom Yale college is named. This consists of an ermine field, white with small black stylized tails and the red cross of St. Patrick, called a saltire. The lower portion of the EPH coat of arms is based on Winslow's family coat of arms, which features seven gold lozenges on a red diagonal band. The field is white, and at the suggestion of the EPH faculty, the new coat of arms uses a blue background to celebrate its incorporation into the Yale community.
The academic program that Winslow founded is accredited nationally as a school of public health. Winslow believed that equally important with scientific ideas about health and disease was a commitment to equity and social justice -- that social ills must be the first conquest in the conquest of epidemic disease.
Under the new banner, the 72 students who will receive M.P.H. degrees and the two completing Dr.P.H. degrees will gather at 9:30 a.m. to march in a procession from the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health at 60 College St. to the Old Campus for the University's Commencement. Afterward, the students and their family members and guests will return to the EPH lawn for the diploma ceremony. Awards will be presented and a reception will follow.