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First-Year Pharmacy Students Earn Their White Coats

January 13, 2020

The Wegmans School of Pharmacy honored 62 first-year students during its annual White Coat Ceremony, held on Sunday, Jan. 12.

A pharmacy student poses in her white coat.

A rite of passage for students, the ceremony celebrates the successful completion of their first semester and formally welcomes them into the pharmacy profession. Dr. Christine Birnie, dean of the School, offered welcoming remarks and first-year student Natalie Dang spoke on behalf of the Class of 2023.

“The white coat has long been a symbol of specialized knowledge and skill; and our students recite the Oath of a Pharmacist to symbolize the need to balance excellence in science and humanistic patient care,” said Birnie. “It is our sincere hope for the Class of 2023 that what you experience here will serve as a compass to your journey towards a career in the profession of pharmacy; today marks an important step in that journey.”

Birnie also announced a special gift to the School of Pharmacy, given by Lucy Malmberg, R.Ph., F.A.C.A, F.A.C.V.P., who delivered the ceremony’s keynote address.

Dean Christine Birnie helps a student put on their white coat.

Dean Christine Birnie helps a student put on their white coat.

Nationally renowned pharmacist, educational philanthropist, and entrepreneur, Malmberg is also co-founder and current chair of the board of Wedgewood Pharmacy in New Jersey.  She helped to transform the company from a local community pharmacy into one of the largest specialized compounding pharmacies in the United States. In addition, she has spent her career serving as a staunch advocate for the profession, even arguing successfully before the Supreme Court to protect the rights of licensed prescribers.

Malmberg donated $100,000 to the School to fund student travel experiences, including to professional conferences and medical missions.

“You, the Class of 2023, represent the upcoming, new generation of pharmacists. Future pharmacists and health care leaders with an incredible array of gifts, talents, and energy levels,” she said. “Once you graduate, you’ll be seeking ways to integrate your pharmacy education and passion into your work caring for others. Today, you are accepting a calling to become a pharmacist, and that calling will be to preserve and protect life. There is no higher calling than this.”