Student Pharmacists Participate in White Coat Ceremony

Published on 29 September 2020

University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis welcomed 131 student pharmacists into the Doctor of Pharmacy program during the annual St. Louis College of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 4.

To maintain a safe, socially distant ceremony, family, friends and guests watched via livestream as students were presented with their white coats and welcomed into the professional program.

“Many of us have been waiting to receive our white coat for a long time, so it’s exciting that we were still able to be recognized,” P1 student and Class of 2024 President Jasmine Kolawole said. “Being inducted into the profession of pharmacy during the pandemic is especially significant because it further solidifies the need to persevere even when times are tough and recognizes the vital role pharmacists play in health care.”

President John A. Pieper, Pharm.D., FCCP, FAPhA, opened the ceremony by acknowledging the rewarding times that lie ahead as members of the class begin their professional journey as student pharmacists.

Keynote speaker, William A. Miller, Pharm.D., M.SC., FACCP, FASHP, professor emeritus of clinical and administrative pharmacy at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, offered congratulatory remarks and encouraged the class to demonstrate care and compassion in all of their interactions with patients.

Each student pharmacist was then invited to the stage by Kimberly Kilgore, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, while Brenda Gardenour Walter, Ph.D., professor of history and 2020 Outstanding Educator Awardee, and Abigail M. Yancey, B.S. ’02, Pharm.D. ’03, professor of pharmacy practice and 2020 Joe E. Haberle Outstanding Educator Awardee, ceremoniously helped students put on their white coats.

Brenda Gleason, B.S. ’97, Pharm.D. ’98, interim dean of St. Louis College of Pharmacy, addressed the class by explaining that the professional program should be used as a time to grow professionally and gain the skills and knowledge required to be a successful pharmacist.

The ceremony continued as Kolawole led the class in reciting the Pledge of Professionalism.

“This pledge signifies that we are taking a leap to the next level of professionalism within pharmacy,” Kolawole said. “We are one of the most accessible health care professionals so we have a responsibility to the community to not only hold ourselves to high standards, but also our profession.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, student pharmacists found special notes of advice and encouragement in their white coat pockets. The notes were left by alumni, faculty, and friends of the University who chose to sponsor the cost of the coat.

Watch the full ceremony.

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