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At White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2010 Receives Warm Welcome

September 5, 2006

September 5, 2006

The School of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the 131 members of the Class of 2010 with a White Coat Ceremony Friday, September 1 in the new Gladys Valley Hall teaching complex. (See related story)

Bennie I. Osburn, dean, encouraged students to take advantage of the many opportunities available for academic and practical enrichment that faculty and staff can offer. He promised, "During the next four years, we will do our utmost to share our knowledge and clinical skills and provide you with the best veterinary education possible. It is the most important thing we do."

The president of the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Jill Aschehoug Gallo (2008), placed a white coat on each student. The coats identify students as members of the veterinary community and signify their transition into the profession. Gallo said, "I challenge you to get to know one another. Your classmates will become your closest friends, a second family." She acknowledged the difficult work ahead but advised, "Have fun. Don't lose sight of the joy. Remember how excited you were today. You are walking the path you envisioned." 

As each student crossed the platform, Dale Moore, associate dean for Student Programs, introduced each class member.

Jan Ilkiw, associate dean for Academic Programs, emphasized the responsibilities of the veterinary profession. "We are the stewards of 'all creatures great and small'," she said. In exchange for a lifelong commitment to competence, integrity, compassion, tolerance, and other attributes of the profession, she explained, society grants the profession considerable control and autonomy. However, she concluded, veterinarians are always accountable to the society that they serve.  

To conclude the ceremony, Dean Osburn led the students in a recitation of the Veterinary Medical Student Oath. They pledged themselves to their education and dedicated themselves 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."

The White Coat Ceremony marked the first day of a week-long orientation program that includes an introduction to academics, financial aid, clinical training, research opportunities, and other activities. Students also participate in a class retreat. 

The Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Hills Pet Nutrition, Inc., and the School of Veterinary Medicine sponsor the White Coat Ceremony and related orientation activities. Merial and IAMS also support selected orientation events.

Class size grew this year from 122 to 131 students thanks to the opening of Gladys Valley Hall, the instructional heart of the newly emerging veterinary campus in the Health Sciences District. The Class of 2010 is the first to use this teaching facility, which was dedicated in June.

School of Veterinary Medicine classes begin Monday, September 11.

Do you know someone who wants to come to veterinary school? Find out more from the Office of Student Programs