The PA Class of 2021 and Pharmacy Class of 2023 celebrated a rite of passage as they received their white coats on Aug. 16, surrounded by hundreds of family and friends.
The special occasion marks the students’ entry and transition into their professional careers.
The professional address was delivered by Rear Admiral Brandon L. Taylor (’98 PharmD), chief of staff for the Indian Health Service and assistant surgeon general for the United States Public Health Service. He told the students about the importance of being a professional who constantly seeks to learn and understand and who strives for expertise.
“Be someone who takes responsibility for their actions, duties and assignments,” Taylor said. “Someone who lifts those around them along the way. Challenge each other to be the best in what you will become.”
After Taylor’s remarks, the 54 first-year PA students were coated by Chair and Director of Physician Assistant Practice Betty Lynne W. Johnson and by recent PA graduate and Wallace Student Society Past Vice President Jasmine Hemmings (’19), who also provided the benediction. The coats were a special gift to the students from the Wallace Student Society Class of 2019.
CPHS Alumni Board President Crystal Dowless (’09 PharmD) assisted the Chair of Pharmacy Practice, Dr. Byron May, in coating the 91 Doctor of Pharmacy students. Their coats were generously sponsored by Mutual Drug, Banner Drug Company in Statesville, N.C. (Dr. Melinda Childress, ’05 and John Childress), and Brisson Drugs in Saint Pauls, N.C. (Dr. Joe Williams ’11 and Heather Williams).
In addition to receiving their coats, the students sign the CPHS honor code in front of all gathered at the ceremony. The gesture expresses 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.
Additional esteemed platform party members included CPHS Dean, Michael L. Adams (’96 PharmD, PhD), who welcomed everyone and provided remarks; Cassie Elmore (’21 PharmD Candidate), who gave the invocation; J. Bradley Creed, president of Campbell University, who provided the University greeting; and Mark Moore (’00 PharmD/MBA and ’07 MSCR), associate dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, who presented the students for coating.