Class of 2014 starts academic career with white coat ceremony


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 Lipscomb University’s back-to-school festivities kicked off Friday, Aug. 13, with the College of Pharmacy’s White Coat Ceremony, a formal ceremony to present the Class of 2014 with their white coats they will wear as they begin their college career.
This fall’s class is the largest so far, with 77 students from 15 states, enrolling in the pharmacy doctorate program.
More than 900 people applied for Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy this year, Dean Roger Davis told the students at the ceremony.  “You’ve earned the right to be happy because you have worked hard to be where you are today,” he said.
Family and friends filled the Collins Alumni Auditorium for the ceremony, which was sponsored by Walmart Stores Inc.
In his welcome of the students, Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry related a story about the university’s founder David Lipscomb working together with Catholic nuns to clean the homes of the sick during an epidemic in Nashville in the 1800’s.
“As Lipscomb students, you have a great legacy of doing good for others in your past,” he told the Class of 2014. He urged the students upon graduation to take “a sense of love for people, compassion and an interest in serving people” out into the pharmacy field.
The ceremony also included comments by Max D. Ray, dean emeritus of the College of Pharmacy at Western University in California. Now in retirement, he serves as part-time professor of pharmaceutical services at the University of Tennessee.
Ray noted that the word “profession” comes from the root word “to profess,” and urged the student pharmacists to find something about pharmacy that they can profess each day.
“I’ve had 52 years to wear a white coat,” Ray said. “Still after all this time, when I put on my white coat I think for a second, ‘Max Ray, you are professing pharmacy. Everything I do today will be something bigger than I am.’”
The white coat ceremony was followed by a luncheon in Allen Arena for the new students and their families.
In response to the growing need for highly qualified pharmacists throughout the nation, Lipscomb University announced in September 2006 that it would create the third pharmacy college in the state, the first in Middle Tennessee.
The Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy emphasizes commitment to a Christian life of service and ideals as it prepares students to enter a service profession built on compassion and commitment to those who have healthcare needs.
The college was granted candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.