A very warm glow lights up the Centennial Hall stage when 100 happy and hopeful pharmacy students all stand together in their crisp white coats. It’s so bright you almost need shades!
April 4 turned into a milestone Friday for the PharmD Class of 2015 as its members were officially welcomed to their final year as students and to the “opportunity to learn the practice of pharmacy.” It was the college’s 14th White Coat Ceremony.
“Think about the year ahead as an adventure,” keynote speaker Max Ray told the class. Calling the pending year of clinical clerkships an exciting part of their professional development, he urged members to take full advantage of the many learning experiences that await.
Ray, a dean emeritus of the College of Pharmacy at Western University in Pomona, Calif., and consultant to the Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education, predicted that during the year ahead many students will experience “epiphanies” and find themselves drawn to career paths within pharmacy that they do not now anticipate.
Urging them to get to know other health professionals well and to know their patients “as fellow human beings who need your help,” Ray told the student pharmacists to wear the “uniform of the health professional” with both pride and humility.
Also taking part in the landmark ceremony were faculty members David Apgar, Janet Cooley, Michael Katz, Amy Kennedy, David Lee, Sid Patanwala, Richard Vaillancourt and Georg Wondrak, who helped students with the ceremonial donning of white coats. Professor Richard Herrier served as master of ceremonies, Dean J. Lyle Bootman made brief remarks and Associate Dean John Murphy announced the students by name, directed them in the Pledge of Professionalism – and indulged in a few “selfie” photos with the newly coated class.
Representing the Class of 2015 at the microphone, Amanda Condon praised the group for its intelligence, humor, dedication and “throwing the best parties.” After recounting idiosyncrasies of several professors and students, she ardently thanked college faculty members for their belief in the class’s abilities and students’ families and friends for their love and constant support.