The Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy held its White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2013 on Saturday, Sept. 11 at the Edward N. Jones Auditorium on the campus of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

During the ceremony, which marks students entering their second year of studies, 82 pharmacy students were recognized.        

The event is a meaningful tradition in which students receive their white coats – the symbol of clinical service and care. This rite of passage marks a transition from pharmacy student to patient health care provider. By donning the white coat, students demonstrate their dedication to health care and the pharmacy profession.

Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., founding dean of the TAMHSC-Rangel College of Pharmacy, recognized the members of the Class of 2013 and acknowledged their family members, spouses and supporters in attendance. Faculty members who were present received special recognition for their guidance, mentorship and commitment they have and will continue to share with the Class of 2013.

Thomas (Sam) Shomaker, M.D., J.D., dean of the TAMHSC-College of Medicine and vice president for clinical affairs for the TAMHSC, offered special remarks regarding the health profession.

“Health care has become such a big business; as you continue on in the pharmacy profession, remember that your patients are your highest priority,” Dr. Shomaker said. “Do what is right for your patients all the time, and when society asks you to give back, step forward.”

Joseph T. DiPiro, Pharm.D., executive dean of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, served as the keynote speaker for the memorable occasion.

“It is an exciting time to be entering the pharmacy field,” Dr. DiPiro said. “You will see that there is a need for your expertise, and this will be evident to you every day.”

James Robertson Jr., Ph.D., associate dean for student affairs for the TAMHSC-Rangel College of Pharmacy, then gave the presentation of the Class of 2013. The students walked on stage to have their white coats placed upon them and take full responsibility on a commitment to compassionate care and a dedication to serving their communities.

Beverly Talluto, M.HSc., Pharm.D., associate professor and associate dean for clinical programs in the office of experiential education, led the pharmacy students in the reciting of the Pledge of Professionalism. A reception followed in the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center on the TAMUK campus.

— Andrew Ramirez