Families, friends, faculty and staff gathered at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s new event lawn last Friday evening to celebrate and welcome 148 new veterinary students during the annual White Coat Ceremony. With a mixture of excitement and nerves, the Class of 2021 listened to words of encouragement and advice from the speakers before donning their white lab coats, receiving their stethoscopes, and reciting the veterinarian’s oath.
Dean Michael Lairmore congratulated the members of the new class, acknowledging their hard work and dedication to the rigorous academic journey that has brought them to this exciting point – a place where they will learn to “not only treat animals, but to treat humanity.” His brief description of the school’s 70th class included an acknowledgement of their life experiences as athletes, dancers, gymnasts, artists, competitive equestrians, scuba divers, skydivers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Their musical talent features pianists, guitar players, drummers, violinists, ukulele players, and at least five chorale singers. This class has also amassed significant international experience. Collectively, they have visited or worked in 34 countries, which blends well with the veterinary profession’s global health focus.
Keynote speaker Karl Jandrey, associate dean of Admissions and Student Programs, challenged the students to become professionals who solve problems willingly and with bravery.
“There is a continuing expectation that those who wear white coats are granted a certain stature and respect that cannot be forgotten,” said Jandrey. “Own your intentions. Own your impact. Accept the gift of education and enter the profession with bravery and responsibility. Become the servant-leaders of the future.”
The white coats and stethoscopes for this year’s entering class were made possible, in part, by gifts from Ms. Barbara Kerr, a volunteer member of the Dean’s Leadership Council; Ms. Jan Avent and Mr. David Rosetti, longtime supporters of veterinary student scholarships; and Ms. Jill Tillinghast, in memory of her friend and SVM alumnus, Paul Miller, Class of 1971.
“Paul was always talking and teaching,” said Tillinghast. “Often, his expertise and advice was solicited by colleagues practicing equine medicine throughout the western states.”
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