Consider your purpose: PA and PharmD students receive short white coats

Hundreds of friends and family members watched the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ Physician Assistant Class of 2019 and the Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2021 receive their short white coats on Aug. 11. This auspicious occasion marks the beginning of these students’ professional training.

The college’s 56 PA students were coated by Director of Physician Assistant Practice Tom Colletti and by recent PA graduate and Wallace Student Society President, Lauren Kane (’17).  The coats were a special gift to the students from the PA Class of 2017 Wallace Student Society. 

Dr. Adams shaking hand of studentSpecial guest Melody Joyner, university relations manager with CVS Health, assisted the chair of Pharmacy Practice, Byron May in coating the 103 Doctor of Pharmacy students. Their coats were  donated by CVS Health

In addition to being coated, the students stopped on stage to sign the CPHS honor code in front of their professors, other faculty and staff, and their loved ones, expressing their commitment to exhibiting honor and integrity in the use of his or her special skills for the betterment of humankind and to act at all times in a manner which will instill public confidence in the profession.

The platform party included CPHS Dean Michael L. Adams (’96 PharmD), who welcomed everyone and provided remarks; Amber Oakes, PharmD candidate and president of the Pharmacy Student Executive Board, who offered the Invocation; Mark L. Hammond, vice president for academic affairs & provost, who provided the University greeting; Drew Kessell (’07 PharmD, MBA), CPHS Alumni Board president; and Mary Allen, dual PA and public health candidate, who provided the benediction.

Paige Brown(’06 PharmD), vice chair of experiential education and clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, delivered the professional address during the ceremony. Her address focused on being purposeful, being trusted and being honorable. She asked the students to “consider your purpose. No matter what your purpose has been prior to today — your purpose now has a higher calling – one of service to others, one of honor and trust, and one that seeks to make a difference.”

Brown summed up the day well in her speech: “What a great day — a day of celebration and milestones for your family and friends; a day of reflection for those of us who have come before you; and day of anticipation and excitement for you and what is about what is to come.”

Photo inside arena during ceremony