Salus University to host 126th Commencement Ceremony Thursday, Honorary Degree presented to Dr. Ala Stanford

Salus University will host its 126th commencement services for the Class of 2023 on May 25 at 2:00pm at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

More than 300 aspiring healthcare professionals will receive their master’s and doctorate degrees in the professions of audiology, biomedicine, blindness and low vision studies, occupational therapy, optometry and speech-language pathology.

The University will also confer an Honorary Doctor of Science degree to Dr. Ala Stanford, Region III director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was appointed director by President Joe Biden in Spring 2022, after she gained national recognition during the COVID-19 pandemic using the infrastructure of her pediatric surgery practice to create a grassroots organization to focus on testing, contact tracing and vaccination in communities devoid of access to care and resources. Her focus on the most vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 saved lives. 

Dr. Stanford has been recognized as the 2021 Top 10 CNN Hero and 2021 George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award Recipient. During the Winter of 2022, she led a FEMA mission, Region III Team to vaccinate students in the School District of Philadelphia and a mobile vaccination unit in hard-hit Southeastern Pennsylvania neighborhoods. 

About Salus University 

Salus University, founded as the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1919, today is a diversified, globally recognized professional academic center of learning that offers a wide range of degree programs in the professions of Optometry, Audiology, Physician Assistant, Blindness and Low Vision Studies, Biomedicine, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology and Orthotics and Prosthetics. Salus operates four clinical facilities in Philadelphia and Montgomery counties that provide highly specialized vision, hearing and balance, speech-language pathology and occupational therapy services. The University has more than 1,200 students, and more than 14,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, please visit

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