Lincoln Memorial University Celebrates Inaugural Graduation of Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program

OTD graduates

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) celebrated the inaugural graduation of its Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program on April 27, 2024. The ceremony marked a significant milestone for the institution and the future of occupational therapy. 

The graduation ceremony saw more than 50 graduates from the class of 2024 cross the stage, marking the culmination of their rigorous academic journey. Among the distinguished speakers were LMU Interim President, Jason McConnell, DBA, who delivered opening remarks, and Jeff Martin, PhD, chief operating officer and associate dean of academic affairs for the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM).   

“As you embark on the next chapter of your lives armed with the medical education imparted to you, I have no doubt that you will serve as beacons of hope and healing in your communities,” McConnell said to the graduating class. “Your role in continuing our legacy of service to the underserved is not only commendable but vital in shaping the future of healthcare.” 

Elizabeth Schmidt, PhD, OTR/L, director of research and assistant professor of occupational therapy, gave a charge to the graduates, reflected on their accomplishments and encouraged them to continue making a difference in the field of occupational therapy. 

Tiffany Fritts, OTD, who served as the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) president from 2022 to 2023, shared insights and reflections on behalf of the graduating class. Fritts' dedication to the program and her leadership role underscored the spirit of excellence embodied by the graduates. 

The highlight of the ceremony was the commencement address delivered by Crystal Henley, OTR/L, whose inspiring words resonated with the graduating class as they prepared to embark on their professional journeys. 

The successful culmination of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program's inaugural class underscores Lincoln Memorial University's commitment to excellence in healthcare education and the advancement of occupational therapy. As these graduates enter the workforce, they are poised to make meaningful contributions to improving the lives of individuals and communities. 

View pictures from the ceremony here:

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or email at  

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