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Traditions old and new

Premier Ball to present honorary white coat at annual ceremony

Campus and Community

By Heidi Wicks

One year ago, newly minted Premier Dwight Ball received the first honorary white coat at the School of Pharmacy’s 10th annual White Coat Ceremony.

Premier Dwight Ball
Photo: Chris Hammond

The tradition began as a way to recognize trailblazers in the field of pharmacy.

This year’s ceremony takes place at the School of Pharmacy on Thursday, Jan. 12; Premier Ball will present this year’s honorary recipient, who will be revealed during the ceremony, with their white coat.

Celebrating community

Dr. Lisa Bishop, interim dean, says the school has many ties with the pharmacy community and celebrates those collaborative relationships.

“The pharmacy community has contributed to our students’ experience in so many ways,” she said.

“Whether it’s by becoming a preceptor to supervise our students during their structured practice experience placements, volunteering during admissions interviews, collaborating on research projects, volunteering on school committees or contributing towards our student awards, we wouldn’t be where we are today without these partnerships.”

Members of the Class of 2019 pose for a picture at the 2016 White Coat Ceremony.
Members of the Class of 2019 pose for a picture at the 2016 White Coat Ceremony.
Photo: Chris Hammond


In recent years, the pharmacy profession has shifted from a dispensing focus to a more direct, patient care role. Pharmacists today have more opportunities to apply all their knowledge and skills as medication therapy experts. This change would not have come about without the leaders who worked to make it possible.

“Pharmacy wouldn’t be where it is today without the history-makers,” Dr. Bishop continued.

“The recipients of the honorary white coats exhibit the qualities we want our students to have; we want them to strive to be leaders, mentors and forward-thinkers. We want them to be inspired by the people around them, to continue that cycle and inspire others throughout their education and when they begin their practice.”

Members of the Class of 2019 during the 2016 White Coat Ceremony.
Members of the Class of 2019 during the 2016 White Coat Ceremony.
Photo: Chris Hammond

Official welcome

The White Coat Ceremony officially welcomes first-year students into the profession of pharmacy.

Faculty, staff and members of the university and pharmacy communities join the students and their families to celebrate the traditions and goals of the profession and the significance of pharmacists in providing for a healthy society, as well as to instill their moral obligation as health-care professionals.

This year’s ceremony welcomes the Class of 2020 into the pharmacy profession.

The School of Pharmacy is grateful to the supporters of the White Coat Ceremony, including DRUGStore Pharmacy, Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys Pharmacy, the Pharmacists Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board. Without their support this important ceremony would not be possible.

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