SPHS 8 22 16 White Coat NewsStory

School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ 3rd Annual White Coat Ceremony a Success

Ninety-three students received their White Coats at a formal ceremony recognizing them as members of the 3rd class of the KGI School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and as members of the pharmacy profession. The event, which took place Saturday, August 20 hosted approximately 550 attendees, which included family, friends, KGI faculty, and distinguished guests.

Symbolizing dedication to clinical service and patient care, the White Coat Ceremony is held every year when new students first enter into KGI’s PharmD program. During the ceremony, each student was given a White Coat signifying the beginning of the student’s career. This year the ceremony was held at the Garrison Theater in Claremont, CA.

Opening the ceremony, KGI President Sheldon Schuster introduced Reverend Dr. Leon Wood Jr., from the Office of the Chaplains, who delivered the invocation, which was followed by the National Anthem, sung by Suchitra Ramachandran, a graduate from KGI’s Master of Bioscience class of ’16. President Schuster also welcomed the Class of 2020 into the KGI community and introduced Founding Dean of KGI’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Kathy Webster.

Speaking of this momentous event, Dean Webster said: “Here, at the School of Pharmacy we work hard to ensure our PharmD students receive an education that reflects the current state of the pharmacy profession. We challenge our students to prepare themselves for dynamic careers that may demand flexibility and adaptability and do this by providing a curriculum that is innovative, relevant, and rigorous.”

This year’s keynote speaker was California State Senator Jeff Stone (R) of the 28th Senate District. Senator Stone was elected in 2014 to represent the 28th State Senate District, which stretches from Southwest Riverside County (Temecula, Murrieta, and Palm Springs) to the Arizona border.

In addition to his work at the local government level, Senator Stone continues to own and operate his local business, Innovative Compounding Pharmacy, where he is able to maintain an active role and connection to the pharmacy industry.

Explaining why he chose to speak at KGI’s White Coat Ceremony, Senator Stone said: “While I am committed to serving my community as a state senator, I am also dedicated to the pharmacy industry. I believe that the work pharmacists do can improve the lives of their patients, and I want to be here to welcome this new class of pharmacy students into the profession. Additionally, I have found the framework and mission of KGI’s School of Pharmacy to be nothing short of innovative, and timely, and I am certain these students will go on to be leaders in their fields.”

Other speakers included James F. Widergren from the KGI Board of Trustees, Edlen Wong, President, California Pharmacists Association, Uyen Le, Healthcare Supervisor, Walgreens Representative, Tom Maez, Divisional Vice President, RX Relief, and student speaker, Danielle Tessier, Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate from the KGI Class of 2019.

After being formally cloaked with their White Coats by faculty from the School of Pharmacy or a pharmacist parent, the students recited the Pledge of Professionalism, which emphasizes the adherence to the set of rigid ethical standards demanded by anyone entering the pharmacy profession.

View photos from KGI’s 3rd Annual White Coat Ceremony.