Department of Physician Assistant Studies
John Sealy School of Medicine Commencement

Congrats to the Class of 2023!

The President, Dean, Faculty
and the
2023 Graduating Class
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
John Sealy School of Medicine Department of Physician Assistant Studies

announce the Commencement Ceremony,
during which
Physician Assistant Class of 2023
will be awarded the degree
Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Saturday, August the Nineteenth, Two Thousand Twenty-three

Ten o’clock am   |   William C. Levin Hall
Galveston, Texas


Commencement Itinerary

Friday, August 18, 2023

  • 10:30 a.m. - Student Rehearsal, Levin Hall Auditorium (required if participating in Saturday ceremony)
  • 12:00 noon - Graduation Awards Luncheon, Levin Hall Dining Room (PAS 2023 graduates and PAS faculty)

Saturday, August 19, 2023

  • 9:15 a.m. – Arrive for commencement and go to Levin Hall Dining Area
  • 10:00 a.m. - Commencement ceremony begins

Planning Ahead:

Future commencement Dates:
Class of 2024 – Saturday, August 17, 2024
Class of 2025 -  Saturday, August 16, 2025
*Dates are subject to change.

Location & Event Day Parking

UTMB Levin Hall, 9th & Market Streets, Galveston
UTMB Garage #3, 9th & Market Streets, Galveston

Arrival and Seating

There is no limit on the number of guests, and tickets are not required. Guests are seated on a first-come first-serve basis. Doors will open at 9:00 a.m. Doors will close, if maximum capacity is reached. This decision is made by the fire marshal.

UTMB strives to ensure that all graduates and guests can participate fully in this program. Therefore, any graduates, family members or guests, who require ADA accommodations, are welcome. Advanced arrangements should be made to confirm seating. One family member is permitted to sit with each person requiring seating, and they will have assigned seating in a designated place. Other family members and friends will sit in the general assembly. If you have an accommodation request, email Shirley McGraw at no later than Monday, August 14.

When you email your request, please include the name of the guest who needs the ADA related accommodation and the name of the person accompanying them.

Other Important Information

Regalia: Link for site to order faculty and student rental regalia will be available in June 2023

Announcements and other gifts for graduates: Visit

Commencement Photography:

Livestream: UTMB John Sealy School of Medicine Physician Assistant Studies Commencement 2023

All commencement photographs may be ordered online at using password PA23

Diploma frames: Please stop by the UTMB Campus Store in the John Sealy Tower or visit their website below.

Social Media: Share the excitement of your favorite commencement moments! Post to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using this hashtag to share your unique commencement experience: #UTMBgrad

Our Speaker

We are honored to have Carl E. Fasser, BA, PA, professor and former longtime director of the Physician Assistant Program in the School of Health Professions at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, as our commencement speaker. Mr. Fasser brings a unique perspective on the history of PA education and practice as the founding director of the Baylor College of Medicine Physician Assistant Program as well as founding member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Texas Academy of Physician Assistant, and an active participant of the formation of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and the AMA Accreditation Review Committee, forerunner to today’s ARC-PA.

Fasser served as a medical corpsman in the Air Force and worked as a dialysis technician before becoming a student in the Physician Associate Program at Duke University Medical Center where he graduated with honors in 1969. His long career in PA education began shortly following graduation when he assumed the position of academic coordinator for the Duke PA Program and faculty member in the Department of Community Health Sciences, while practicing as a PA in the Faculty Health Clinic. While serving in this role he participated in drafting the early essentials for program accreditation, and the proposal to the award of a bachelor’s degree to graduates of the Duke PA Program. In 1971, he was recruited to Houston to establish Baylor College of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program. Between 1975 and 1990, he was instrumental in bringing a community-oriented primary care focus to the curriculum and transitioning the learning experiences offered students to a graduate level leading to a Master of Science degree. He would likewise oversee the implementation of the first program of student-based faculty-mentored original research and the use of high stakes exams as requirements for graduation. During the period 1997-2002, Fasser served as founding dean of the School of Health Sciences, and chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston. His knowledge of Harvard’s original interest in starting a PA program in the 1970s would result in the Dean of Medicine of Harvard Medical School agreeing to allow its faculty and affiliated clinical facilities to assist in the training of PA students enrolled in the MCPHS PA Program. In 2002, Fasser returned to Baylor College of Medicine and continued his association with the physician assistant program.

Over the period of four decades, Fasser has received numerous awards recognizing his contributions to PA education and the profession. Significant among these awards are the AAPA Founder’s Award, PAEA Master Faculty Award, BCM’s Fulbright & Jaworski Faculty Excellence Award for Educational Leadership, Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson Presidential Award for Excellence in Education, Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award, the J. David Holcomb Award for Sustained Leadership in Allied Health Education, induction into the Duke PA Program Hall of Fame as a distinguished alumnus, recognition as a Distinguished Fellow of the AAPA, and receipt of the Physician Assistant Education Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

His academic interests encompass student instruction, interdisciplinary education, and health services research. His favorite academic subjects continue to be gross anatomy, problem solving in medicine, evidence-based practice, shared decisions making, and global health. From a curriculum design standpoint, his interests center on cancer risk assessment in clinical practice, chronic disease management, faculty development. The focus of his current research is on factors affecting the consultation and referral practices of primary care providers. An outcome of these interests is a series of publications on a wide range of forces affecting PA practice.

Acknowledgments: This excerpt is from a biography from the Physician Assistant History Society.