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School Welcomes Class of 2009 at White Coat Ceremony September 2

September 2, 2005

The School of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the Class of 2009 with a White Coat Ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Friday, September 2 in Freeborn Hall.

Whit Coat CeremonyThe president of the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association, April Miles, joined Dean Bennie Osburn to "coat" the new classmates as Associate Dean for Student Programs Susan Hildebrand introduced each class member. Miles spoke to the students about respecting and nurturing the honor and privilege intrinsic in being a member of the veterinary profession, and she followed with advice to "ask for help, go out on Friday night, and make friends."

The white coat identifies students as members of the veterinary community and signifies the final step on the path to becoming a veterinarian, that is, the four-year professional DVM degree program. It also reminds students of the goals, responsibilities and standards of the profession. Dr. John Pascoe, executive associate dean, asked students to reflect on the professional attributes, ethics and behavior that mark the social contract a veterinarian holds with society. "We are stewards of 'all things great and small.' Veterinary medicine is not just an occupation or a profession. It is a vocation. We truly have a responsibility to serve animals and people."

All recited the Veterinary Medical Student Oath and pledged life-long commitment to "the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the sustaining of animal resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge."

First-year students participate in five days of orientation. They learn how academics, clinical training, research opportunities and volunteer activities are integrated in the DVM program. They also receive information about curriculum, financial aid and other topics.

The school offers a two-day leadership retreat to provide future veterinarians with a "tool box" of skills that will help them make the most of classes, volunteer activities, and future civic or business responsibilities. After conducting a successful pilot program for Whit Coat Ceremonyfour years with selected students, school officials extended leadership training to all 122 entering students this year.

The White Coat Ceremony was sponsored by the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association and Hills Pet Nutrition.

Following orientation sessions, students were scheduled to begin their first required course, "Cell and Tissue Structure and Function," Monday, September 12 at 9 a.m.

Do you want to go to veterinary school? Find information from the Office of Student Programs