COP conducts first white coat ceremony

September 11, 2007

(KINGSVILLE, TX) — The 76 students of the inaugural Class of 2010 at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy moved closer to becoming patient care providers Saturday, Sept. 8 through a rite of passage giving them a visible symbol of the pharmacy profession – the white laboratory coat.

During the white coat ceremony in Jones Auditorium on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus, each student ceremonially donned a white lab coat, the symbol of clinical service and care. In doing so, the students – entering their second year of pharmacy classes – demonstrated their dedication to health care and the pharmacy profession.

The inaugural Class of 2010 at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy received their white coats Saturday, Sept. 8.Once all the students received their white coats, they recited the Pledge of Professionalism, vowing to be responsible and accountable as members of the pharmacy profession; foster life-long professional competency; commit to the highest standards of excellence and ethical practice; and maintain the highest ideas and professional attributes as a pharmaceutical caregiver.

“This is a time for students to realize they’re passing from being primarily a student to primarily a professional,” said Nancy Dickey, M.D., President of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs for the Texas A&M System.

Keynote speaker was Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., executive vice president and CEO for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education and educators.

“There has simply never been a more exciting time to become a pharmacist,” Dr. Maine said. “Society is realizing what we’ve known for decades – drug therapy is a critical part of health care. Pharmacists are needed in every setting where people need health care.”

Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., founding dean of the HSC-Rangel College of Pharmacy, gave two posthumous awards of recognition to people instrumental in formation of the College, which opened in 2006.

One award recognized the late Minnie Rangel Henderson, sister of Irma Lerma Rangel, the namesake of the HSC-COP. Ms. Henderson championed the forming and funding of the College until her passing in May. Her husband, Howard Henderson, accepted the award on her behalf.

The second award was given to the late Steven H. Crandall, vice president for Finance and Administration at Texas A&M-Kingsville from 1990 until his passing in 2006. Mr. Crandall helped secure funding for building construction and its transition from Texas A&M-Kingsville to the HSC. His wife, Roseanne, accepted the award.

The first professional school in South Texas, the HSC-COP has earned “candidate” status from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), putting it on track to earn full accreditation on schedule in 2010. It also has moved from affiliate member status to full member of the AACP.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its six components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, and the School of Rural Public Health.

— Marketing & Communications