2016 White Coat Ceremony
The 2016 White Coat Ceremony was held Sept. 1 on the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses. A traditional rite of passage in many health care professions, this event recognizes students in their first year of professional education. During the ceremony, students recited the Oath of a Pharmacist and received their white lab coats, attire that evokes the trust and respect of patients. The college’s Century Mortar Club sponsors the white coats for the annual ceremony.
Second year student and College Board Vice President Michael Rankin was the speaker at the Twin Cities campus White Coat Ceremony. Below are excerpts from his speech.
“The white coat ceremony is about the past. It is about giving back to your loved ones who have been with you the entire way. It’s a way of proving to them that all of the time and support was not for nothing and that you really are spectacular as a student. The white coat ceremony is a celebration of the commitments you have achieved and hardships you have overcome. This is probably a secret to no one but they are so proud of you…
“The white coat ceremony is about the present, welcoming you to the school of pharmacy’s family. I know it seems improbable that your fellow classmates who you have known for three weeks, second and third year students, who you probably don’t even know yet will become your new family. But they will, I promise. The one biggest tip I can give to you is to fully embrace this family and don’t be afraid to ask for help…
“The white coat ceremony is about your future, it’s your official welcoming into the profession of pharmacy and your future within it. I think the hardest thing you will find in your years in the profession is continually asking yourself why you are doing something. It is so easy and automatic to do the assignments given day-in and day-out, one day at time, however it is frustratingly difficult to continually ask yourself why you are doing something. Ultimately I ask you the question: what value will you have obtained from four years of school if you do not find your passion? Will your life gain substantial meaning from having a large house and a comfy bed or a reason to get up from that bed every morning? I would argue that this is the most important thing that our school offers each one of you students. It opens the numerous doors of opportunity. However, you have to take the effort to explore them. It is your job in the next four years to find out what the white coat means to you. Just like how each one of your white coats will fit differently, so will your place in pharmacy, you just have to find the coat that is tailored to you.
“Ultimately the white coat ceremony serves as one of life’s mile markers, a time to stop and be appreciative of your past, present and future. So when you slip on your coat today, just take a fraction of a second to stop and appreciate it because you truly are brilliant. Thank you and congratulations.”