A member of the School of Pharmacy Class of 2021 receives her white coat.A member of the School of Pharmacy Class of 2021 receives her white coat.

Concordia University Wisconsin’s School of Pharmacy held its eighth annual White Coat Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 22, ushering in the newest members of its Doctor of Pharmacy program.

A total of 75 students completed the necessary prerequisites to earn a spot among Concordia’s Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2021.

The White Coat Ceremony symbolizes students’ transition into the profession of pharmacy as a student pharmacist. At Concordia, that means becoming servant leaders who are dedicated to patient-centered care, said Dean Arneson, PharmD, PhD, dean of the School of Pharmacy.

“This ceremony and the receiving of the white coat is when it really sinks in for our students what it means to become a health care professional,” Arneson said. “They realize that dedication to their patients is what makes them a true professional.”

The students are already six weeks into their journey to become a PharmD graduate and pharmacist. Next week, they’ll start their first clinical rotations, where they will participate in a variety of hands-on training in clinical settings for two weeks before they return to Concordia’s campus for the remainder of their first semester coursework.

B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, served as the keynote speaker for the evening event, which took place in Concordia’s Chapel of Christ Triumphant. Hoey is the chief executive officer of the National Community Pharmacists Association, an organization that represents the nation’s more than 22,000 pharmacies and its pharmacists. Hoey has spent more than 20 years working in and representing community pharmacies, with nearly 13 of those years as COO of the association.

Following the keynote address, students were ceremonially coated, and Arneson delivered the Oath of a Pharmacist.

Concordia’s School of Pharmacy is committed to the development of pharmacists who are servant leaders dedicated to providing value-based, patient-centered care that improves the health of communities in rural and urban areas. Faculty accomplish this through excellence in teaching, research, service, and practice. More than 99 percent of CUWSOP graduates find a job following graduation.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.