OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s Class of 2019 participated in the school’s White Coat Ceremony recently at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
The ceremony, an annual tradition, marks the completion of the students’ pre-pharmacy curriculum and their transition to the school’s four-year professional program. The school has 118 first-year students enrolled this fall.
The white coat is the universal symbol of professionalism in the health care field, and the ceremony is a way of formally recognizing and fostering students’ commitment to professionalism.
Dean David D. Allen gave opening remarks at the event.
“An exciting academic and experiential program awaits you,” Allen said. “Our faculty and staff will continue to guide you, support you and ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and experiences to become outstanding pharmacists. This is our commitment to you, and we will not waver from it.”
Acting Provost Noel Wilkin delivered the ceremony’s keynote address. Wilkin, a pharmacist and professor of pharmacy administration, shared his perspective on the profession.
“Over your lifetime, you will accomplish many goals, and your life will go through many phases,” Wilkin said. “Few will be as significant as the phase you are entering tonight. Because of your accomplishments, your dedication to learning and your desire to pursue pharmacy education, you are being welcomed into the student phase of a wonderful and rewarding profession.”
Student body president-elect Katherine Baggett assisted Allen in presenting the coats. Baggett charged the class to remain dedicated to the field of pharmacy, be passionate about service and be open to change.
“May the white coat remind you to be dedicated to service,” said Baggett, an Ocean Springs native. “Patient care is at the forefront of pharmacy, and I hope that you will always be leaders by serving these patients and keeping their best interests at heart.”
Brent Smith, a 1975 graduate of the school and president of Chaney’s Pharmacy, led the students in the recitation of the Pledge of Professionalism. During the ceremony, each student signed a copy of the pledge, which will be framed and placed in the school’s hallway.
For a complete list of students (and their hometowns) who received their white coats, visit pharmacy.olemiss.edu/studentaffairs/programming/white-coat-ceremony.