JACKSON, Tenn. – Aug. 28, 2008 – Forty-five students – members of Union University’s inaugural class in the School of Pharmacy – received white coats and the university’s blessing during the first white coat ceremony held Aug. 27 in the G.M. Savage Memorial Chapel.
“This is indeed a historic day for Union University, and a long awaited and anticipated day for the faculty and staff of the School of Pharmacy,” said Sheila Mitchell, dean of the School of Pharmacy, in her opening remarks during the ceremony.
The white coat ceremony is a ritual for medical schools and pharmacy schools in which students are given the white coats they will wear throughout their years as students and in their profession.
“The white coat is a symbol of responsibility that each of us, as pharmacists, have to our profession and to our patients,” Mitchell told the students. “The white coat is a symbol of what you’ve been working towards, of the profession you are now entering and of the pharmacist you will one day become.”
As part of the ceremony, students recited the pharmacist’s oath, and Union President David S. Dockery delivered a blessing to the students on behalf of the administration.
“We thank God for you, and encourage you to follow Jesus Christ as you pursue the preparation of your new chosen field of service,” Dockery said. “We believe that God has called you to serve him through pharmacy, a special calling to help serve all people, but particularly the sick, the weak, the elderly, the poor and the lonely.”
Members of the Union faculty and board of trustees, as well as representatives from the health care community in West Tennessee, were on hand for the ceremony.
Classes for Union’s first pharmacy students began Aug. 27.