Short White Coat Ceremony readies students for careers

Hundreds of friends and family members watched the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ PA Class of 2020 and the Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2022 receive their short white coats on Friday, August 10. This auspicious occasion marks the students’ transition into their professional careers.

Fifty-four PA students were coated by Director of Physician Assistant Practice Betty Lynne W. Johnson, and by recent PA graduate and Wallace Student Society Past Secretary, Hien Behnke (’18), who also offered the Invocation. The coats were a gift from the Wallace Student Society, Class of 2018.

Special guest Grey Stewart, director of Pharmacy Professional Services with Mutual Drug, assisted our Chair of Pharmacy Practice, Dr. Byron May in coating our 96 Doctor of Pharmacy students. Their coats were generously given by Mutual Drug, along with the support of fellow alumni and donors Dr. Neal (’96 PharmD) and Mrs. Helene O’Neal, Drs. Scott (’95 PharmD) and Tayna (’97 PharmD) Brewer, and Dr. Ed (’95 PharmD) and Mrs. Carla Herring.

In addition to receiving their coats, the students signed the CPHS honor code in front of their professors and loved ones, expressing their commitment to use their skills for the betterment of humankind and to act with honor and integrity to instill public confidence in the profession.

Dr. Adam Zolotor, president and CEO of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine and associate professor of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, delivered the professional address during the ceremony.

His address focused on elements of professionalism, including being respectful, working as a team, and remembering that healthcare providers need to take care of their own health, too.

“Be the best clinician you can be,” Zolotor challenged students. “Stay informed. Read up on cases. Consult experts. Know what you do not know.”

Additional esteemed platform party members included CPHS Dean, Michael L. Adams (’96 PharmD, PhD), who welcomed everyone and provided remarks; Dr. Mark L. Hammond, vice president for Academic Affairs & Provost, who provided the University Greeting; Marcus Stanaland (’14 PharmD/MBA and ’11 MSCR), CPHS Alumni Board President, who brought greetings from CPHS alumni; Dr. Mark Moore (’00 PharmD/MBA and ’07 MSCR), associate dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, who presented the students for coating; and Katherine Adams, PharmD/MSPH candidate and Pharmacy Student Executive Board President, who provided the benediction.