On April 2, second- and third-year pharmacy students joined their peers from the first-year class in walking across the stage to ceremoniously receive their white coats. The coating ceremonies were the first hosted by the UF College of Pharmacy since April 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the 2020 and 2021 events.
More than 600 students participated across the three classes, with the first-year students being coated in the morning, followed by afternoon ceremonies for the second- and third-year students at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville.
In acknowledging the unusual circumstances surrounding the delayed white coat ceremonies, Dean Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., applauded all the students who persisted through difficult times to finally enjoy their moment on the stage.
“Making the transition into pharmacy school and navigating through the curriculum is challenging under the best of circumstances, but these students have worked incredibly hard and persevered through exceptionally challenging times,” Johnson said. “The white coat is symbolic of the highest ideals of the practice of pharmacy, and it was especially meaningful to finally present white coats to our students.”
Each ceremony featured a keynote speaker and remarks from a senior UF College of Pharmacy student. Michael Jackson, B.Pharm., executive vice president and chief executive officer of the Florida Pharmacy Association, spoke to the first- and second-year cohorts, while Theresa Tolle, B.Pharm., FAPhA, a 1988 graduate of the UF College of Pharmacy and president of the American Pharmacists Association, delivered the keynote remarks to the third-year students.