July 6, 2021 – Issue 579

Dr. Yolanda Lewis-Ragland Delivers Commencement Address

On June 19th Maharishi University of Management held its 44th commencement. Around 600 students from 49 countries graduated this year, including 78 students from the Maharishi Invincibility Institute, MIU’s sister institution in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The commencement ceremony this year fell on Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the US. Commencement speaker Dr. Yolanda Lewis-Ragland expressed her belief that the recent declaration of Juneteenth as a national holiday is a beginning of true emancipation and can set the country free from a mindset that focuses on division. She also acknowledged the role of Consciousness-Based℠ education in developing the potential of every individual.

Graduates walking on stage to receive their diplomas

“Transcendental Meditation gives us a new definition of emancipation,” said Dr. Ragland-Lewis. “It helps us rid ourselves of the limitations of our minds, the shackles placed on us from childhood traumas, rejections in society, from toxic ideologies and relationships. With TM, we break free from those shackles and embrace our creativity, our ability to learn, and fully participate in this world.”

Dr. Lewis-Ragland is an MD, board certified in both pediatrics and obesity medicine, who has lived and practiced in the most impoverished and traumatized communities of Washington, DC. She has created the Dr. Yolanda Cares Foundation, an organization that focuses on reducing health disparities in vulnerable communities. She also works as a wellness coach combating obesity and is the author of three books.

Dr. Lewis-Ragland serves on the board of directors of the David Lynch Foundation and is a strong advocate of the Transcendental Meditation® program. She has received numerous recognitions for working to improve the quality of health and promote health equity. For her service to global health, MIU awarded Dr. Lewis-Ragland an honorary doctor of science degree.

Dr. Lewis-Ragland receiving her honorary degree from MIU Provost Scott Herriot and Dean of Faculty Victoria Alexander Herriot

MIU presented three additional honorary PhD degrees this year. Rena Boone received a doctor of education degree for her lifetime service to Consciousness-Based education and teaching the TM® technique. Ms. Boone taught at Maharishi School for 25 years and is currently the David Lynch Foundation’s regional director for the Washington, DC, area.

Master Zhang Gaocheng speaking from China

Jeffrey Abramson, who served as chair of MIU’s Board of Trustees for the past 12 years, received an honorary doctorate of world peace. Mr. Abramson is co-owner of The Tower Companies, an award-winning leader in green building. He has supported MIU and numerous educational and peace-creating projects around the world. He is also founding trustee of the David Lynch Foundation and the creator of the Rona and Jeffrey Abramson Center for Peace, dedicated to preventing conflict and fostering peace in war-torn regions.

Trustee Jeffrey Abramson, accepting his honorary doctorate

Watch the replay of the commencement ceremony here.

Valedictorian Jessica Mauro delivering part of her address as a song she wrote, with friend Breyonna Delanie

Salutatorian Anne Dietrich presenting the class gift (photos by Jim Davis)