Posted on: August 18, 2020
It looked much different than in years past, but on Monday, August 17, 2020, the Class of 2024 for the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy received their white coats in a rite-of-passage ceremony commemorating their transition to their health care careers. Putting on the white coat symbolizes that they are ‘putting on’ the responsibility of their profession.
While the White Coat Ceremony is traditionally held with students, faculty and the student’s family members and friends in attendance, COVID-19 forced a revamped version of the ceremony for this year. In keeping with the university’s guidelines for social distancing and safety, the college held three separate ‘mini’ white coat presentations.
This white coat symbolizes that you will be prepared to assist your patients and that you stand ready to participate in their care.
Stephen J. Cutler, Ph.D. Dean, College of Pharmacy
Dean Stephen J. Cutler, along with Senior Associate Dean Julie Sease, Associate Dean for Student Affairs Amy Grant, and Class Advisor Michaela Almgren, and other faculty and staff, reminded the students that not only will they learn to understand the biochemistry and the interactions of drugs, they must also learn how to understand their patients’ ailments, struggles and their needs. “This white coat symbolizes that you will be prepared to assist your patients and that you stand ready to participate in their care,” he says.
He also reminded students that they are entering the state’s largest collegiate pharmacy family. “Joining this pharmacy family means that you will be supported by a community, and you in turn, will be expected to enhance that community through your actions and service.”
Following each presentation, the students celebrated with a ‘parade’ of students, faculty and staff as they walked from Coker Life Sciences over to Wardlaw and the Torchbearer statue. As the students entered the lawn, socially-distanced students, faculty and staff cheered them on to congratulate them on this important milestone as they begin their pharmacy training.