Noted neurosurgeon addresses MUSC graduates

Jeff Watkins

May 18, 2012

Noted neurosurgeon addresses MUSC graduates

CHARLESTON -- More than 765 students graduated May 18 from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, acclaimed neurosurgeon and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, gave the commencement address. He is the first and only physician to successfully separate twins conjoined at the back of the head.

Carson has been called one of the nation’s foremost physicians and scientists. The Library of Congress selected him as one of 89 “Living Legends.” In June 2008 President George W. Bush presented Carson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In 2009, TNT cable network released the movie “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” starring Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr., based on Carson’s memoir. MUSC conferred an honorary Doctor of Science, honoris causa, degree on Carson prior to his address.

Other honorees included:

Loretta C. Ford, E.D., R.N., Doctor of Science, honoris causa, for establishing the nurse practitioner program following World War II, which gave nurses advanced medical training. Today, there are more than 148,000 nurse practitioners working throughout the United States.

Sen. John C. Land III, J.D., Doctor of Humane Letters, the longest serving member of the South Carolina Senate and the S.C. General Assembly. Land serves Senate District 36, which consists of Clarendon County and portions of Lee, Sumter, Florence and Calhoun counties.

William E. Evans, Pharm. D., Doctor of Science, honoris causa, currently director and CEO of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. A clinical scientist, Evans played a prominent role in dramatically reducing the mortality rate for acute lymphocytic leukemia, which primarily strikes children. He also is considered a leader in transforming the role of pharmacists to become more involved in patient care.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 700-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit For more information on hospital patient services,