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Muskingum Alumna Debra Clausing Sudan to Provide Keynote Address at May Commencement
Debra Sudan

Muskingum University’s May Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. in the Anne C. Steele Center. Debra Clausing Sudan ’85 will provide the keynote address. The University has more than 300 graduate and undergraduate students who will have degrees conferred at Commencement.

Muskingum will start the day hosting a Baccalaureate ceremony at 10 a.m. in Brown Chapel to honor the 2024 graduates. The Baccalaureate ceremony will be followed by a hooding ceremony for Muskingum’s graduate students who are earning master’s degrees in Applied Leadership, Business and Information Systems, Education, and Teaching.

Dr. Sudan is a groundbreaking transplant surgeon. She serves as Division Chief of Abdominal Transplant in the Department of Surgery, Professor of Surgery, and Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University, and in 2020 was the first woman honored with Duke’s Master Surgeon Award. Her clinical interests encompass all abdominal organ transplants – kidney, liver, pancreas, and intestine transplant. She is especially dedicated to efforts toward improving graft preservation and long-term graft function and patient survival.  

In 2018, she completed North Carolina’s first-ever abdominal wall transplant. She previously served as Professor of Surgery and Director of the Living Donor Transplant program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. While in Nebraska, she developed pioneering techniques for successful living donor liver transplantation and for intestinal transplantation. In addition, she was the first female surgeon in the world to perform an intestine transplant in 1996.

Dr. Sudan began her academic career at Muskingum University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, summa cum laude, with minors in Biology and German. While on campus, she played the flute in the orchestra and band, and was a member of F.A.D. and a resident assistant. She completed her M.D. degree and general surgery residency at Wright State University. She was honored with a Muskingum alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2023.

The Commencement ceremony will air live on Orbit TV and WMCO Radio. To listen or view the ceremony, go to

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