Families, friends, faculty and staff gathered at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s event lawn last Friday evening to celebrate and welcome 150 new veterinary students during the annual White Coat Ceremony. With a mixture of excitement and nerves, the Class of 2022 listened to words of encouragement and advice from the speakers before donning their white lab coats and reciting the veterinarian’s oath.
Dean Michael Lairmore acknowledged the hard work the incoming class had accomplished to achieve their dream of getting to this step. In addition to hard work, these students come from a variety of backgrounds with an assortment of skills and talents.
A couple of students have summited Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states; many have lived and traveled throughout countries like Japan, Italy, Haiti, Nepal and Indonesia; several are first generation college graduates; dozens are athletes in sports such as soccer, gymnastics, figure skating, scuba and sky diving; one has driven a team of mules at Bishop Mule Days; and at least one is an ambidextrous baby raccoon bottle feeder (which will come in handy if they become involved in the Orphan Kitten Project).
Keynote speaker, Dr. Katrina Castaneda, ’09, recounted how inspiring the COSMOS program was to her as a high school student. Later, as an undergraduate, she attended the Summer Enrichment Program.
“Those experiences were instrumental in helping me prepare and come to veterinary school at UC Davis,” she said.
Castaneda encouraged the new students to stretch themselves to develop communication skills.
“You will gain the academic and clinical skills to become a veterinarian, but to be a truly great doctor, you need to challenge yourself to go beyond those,” she said. “It’s not always easy, but you’ve chosen the greatest profession in the world.”
Dr. Karl Jandrey, associate dean of Admissions and Student Programs, urged the students: “don’t be afraid of failure—that is where the learning happens.”
The white coats and ceremony for this year’s entering class were made possible, in part, by gifts in memory of Dr. Paul Miller, ’71, and the California Veterinary Medical Association.