Members of the Class of 2013 celebrated the half-way mark of their third year of learning at the "White Coat Ceremony," a formal ceremony signifying their entry in to the clinical portion of the DVM program. During the ceremony, they received one of the profession's most iconic symbols, the white coat. The 2011 event was held at the Alice Statler Auditorium, on December 3.
Guests were welcomed by Dean Michael Kotlikoff; Assistant Dean Katherine Edmondson called the students to the stage, where they were coated by a veterinarian who has mentored them in their professional journey; Dr. Jonathan May, president of the Alumni Association and a 1980 graduate of the College, led the students in repeating the Veterinarian's Oath; and Dr. Robert Marshak, a graduate from the Class of 1945, offered the keynote address. In his message, he recounted milestone events in the profession's 250-year history and urged students to find ways to make a difference.
Through their involvement in the meaningful ritual, student-veterinarians become more aware of their professional responsibilities. The ceremony impresses upon them the primacy of the veterinarian-patient-client relationship. It encourages them to accept the obligations inherent in the practice of veterinary medicine; to be excellent in science, compassionate, and lead lives of integrity. It emphasizes for students the veterinarian's responsibility to take care of patients and also to care for clients, with one of the ultimate messages conveyed being this: veterinarians should care as well as cure.
As is tradition at this event, a representative from SCAVMA recognizes professors for their excellence in teaching. Three awards are offered. This year, Melissa Andritz, the SAVMA delegate for the Class of 2013, presented Dr. Nita Irby with the Basic Science Teaching Award of Excellence; Dr. Daniel Fletcher with the Clinical Science Teaching Award of Excellence; and Dr. Elizabeth Berliner with the Community Service Award of Excellence.