PA students put on long white coats in a heat wave

You don’t usually think about wearing a coat in mid-July, especially in hot, humid North Carolina weather. But that didn’t deter the College of Pharmacy & Health Science‘s seventh cohort of Physician Assistant students from walking across the stage on July 19 in Scott Concert Hall to receive their long white coats.

The 55 students worked tirelessly the past two years to reach this education pinnacle, and they were thrilled to slip their arms into the sleeves of the outward sign of their profession assisted by a family member, friend or mentor.

Betty Lynne W. Johnson, chair of the PA program, welcomed the packed-house crowd with an acclamation of scripture from Psalm 118: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

PA charter class member and new assistant professor of Physician Assistant Practice, Ashley Nordon, gave the White Coat Address. She said, “For just as the long white coat is a symbol of hard work and dedication to us PAs, it is a symbol of trust for our patients. And just as we should be proud to wear our long white coats, we must also strive to be worthy of the power that comes by wearing it.”

Nordon concluded with a charge to the Class of 2019, “Never forget why you wanted this in the first place and reflect on it often. Begin each day with an open mind, a positive attitude and most importantly, a grateful heart. You truly never know how you will touch someone’s life and how someone can touch yours. And, always remember that you have the support of your Campbell family.”

As part of the ceremony, Campus Minister Rev. Faith Beam and Mrs. Johnson blessed the hands of the students as an expression of the sacred calling to serve others and touch lives, body, mind and soul.

Several awards were presented and honors bestowed on the class and its preceptors. See the full list of awards and recipients in the ceremony program.