Dr. Anthony Fauci to Receive Honorary Degree at USU Commencement

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) will confer an honorary Doctor of Science degree to Dr. Anthony Fauci during the University's commencement ceremony.

Dr. Anthony Fauci delivers the annual David Packard Lecture, April 11, 2022. (Photo credit: Tom Balfour, USU)
Dr. Anthony Fauci delivers the annual David Packard Lecture, April 11, 2022. (Photo credit: Tom Balfour, USU)

May 18th, 2023 by Sarah Marshall

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) will confer an honorary Doctor of Science degree to former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Anthony Fauci on May 21, Armed Forces Day, during the University’s commencement ceremony.

The ceremony will take place at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., during which more than 360 uniformed and civilian professionals will receive their medical, graduate nursing, biomedical science, public health, or clinical psychology degrees from the University. 

NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci was the guest speaker for the first USU- Walter Reed joint Medicine grand rounds, held virtually. (Photo courtesy of NIAID)
NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci was
the guest speaker for the first USU-
Walter Reed joint Medicine grand rounds,
held virtually. (Photo courtesy of NIAID)
Fauci was selected for the honorary degree based on his significant support of the University throughout his 38-year tenure as NIAID director. In April 2022, Fauci was selected to deliver the University’s David Packard Award Lecture, its most distinguished lectureship, where he provided an update on the state of COVID-19. He addressed his thoughts on how the pandemic changed medical education and what students should look for in the future as they pursue a healthcare career.  

“In a number of ways, I think it has probably inspired more people to want to go into public health and medicine because they realize how much of an impact you can make; what you can do — all of you — when you get challenged with a public health challenge like this,” Fauci said during the April lecture.

Fauci was often a collaborator with USU on a number of infectious disease research projects. In May 2020, he delivered remarks during the University’s virtual graduate education programs Commencement ceremony. In August 2021, he was an invited guest speaker at the first combined virtual USU-Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Department of Medicine Grand Rounds. During that discussion, he spoke about pandemic response efforts and the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 strain of coronavirus, and its subsequent transmission throughout the world.  

As NIAID director, Fauci oversaw an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, Zika, Ebola, tuberculosis, and malaria. He also led the NIAID research effort on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, like asthma and allergies. He also advised seven presidents on HIV/AIDS and many other domestic and global health issues, and most recently was the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. 

Fauci has led numerous research endeavors to bolster medical and public health preparedness among many emerging infectious disease threats, and made seminal contributions to the understanding of how HIV destroys the body’s defenses leading to its susceptibility to deadly infections. For these remarkable contributions, Fauci has received numerous accolades to include the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest honor given to a civilian by the President of the United States) and the National Medal of Science. Today, he serves on the editorial boards of many scientific journals and has authored, coauthored, or edited more than 1,400 scientific publications, including several textbooks. 

During Saturday’s Commencement ceremony, graduates from USU’s F. Edward H├ębert School of Medicine will include 165 Doctor of Medicine degrees, 55 master’s degrees in biomedical sciences and public health, 20 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, and one Doctor of Public Health degree. USU’s Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing will confer 50 Doctor of Nursing Practices degrees, and two Master of Science in Nursing degrees. USU’s Postgraduate Dental College will confer 71 Master of Science in Oral Biology degrees. In a separate ceremony to be held in the near future, USU’s College of Allied Health Sciences will confer 763 Associate of Science in Health Sciences degrees and 148 Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degrees to enlisted military service members.