After a week of orientation activities, on Friday, September 5, the Class of 2012 received its official welcome and a white coat at the White Coat Ceremony of the School of Veterinary Medicine.
This year for the first time, proud parents, spouses, and friends attended the event, which introduces students to the veterinary community. Although the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree takes four years of study and clinical training, the white coat signifies a major transition into the profession after years of academic preparation and veterinary-related experience.*
Student Michael Saksen, president of the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association welcomed his new classmates. A member of the Class of 2010, he said, "Congratulations on entering the greatest profession on the planet." You will be enjoying for the next four years the newest, most state-of-the-art campus anywhere—and the greenest facilities."
As each student walked across the stage and put on a white coat, Associate Dean Rance LeFebvre announced his or her professional interest.
In addition to small animal and equine medicine, many of the 131 students reported a desire to pursue other sectors of the profession, including areas where veterinarians are in high demand.
• Food animal/large animal medicine
• Dairy practice
• Public health
• Laboratory animal medicine
Three students have entered the Veterinary Scientist Training Program to pursue concurrent DVM/PhD degrees.
Associate Dean Jan Ilkiw reminded students, not only of their future duties and ethical standards, but of their responsibility to practice empathy, compassion and respect.
Dean Bennie Osburn promised the students," We will do our utmost to provide you with the best veterinary education possible. It is the most important thing that we do."
The ceremony ended with a recitation of the Student Veterinary Oath, a reception and a tour of Gladys Valley Hall, where classes were scheduled to begin September 15.
*Students completed an average of 3,025 hours of veterinary-related experience before admission. Nineteen students have already earned a master’s or doctoral degree.