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Pharmacy Class of 2021 Earn Their White Coats

January 17, 2018

The Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher College honored 78 students during its annual White Coat Ceremony, held on Sunday, Jan. 14.

First-year pharmacy students recite the Oath of a Pharmacist during the 2018 White Coat Ceremony.

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 with first-year pharmacy student Anna Arefyev.

Dr. Christine Birnie with first-year pharmacy student Anna Arefyev.

“The White Coat Ceremony is a wonderful opportunity for faculty, staff, and our community partners to officially welcome our first-year students into the field of pharmacy,” said Dr. Christine Birnie, dean of the School. “The white coat is a symbol of our profession, and when our student pharmacists wear the coats in a health care setting, they communicate a message of trust and professionalism to the patients they serve.”

Anna Arefyev, the P1 representative for the College’s chapter of Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International, was invited to deliver the ceremony’s invocation.

Her prayer included asking for strength to overcome both academic and emotional challenges while learning not only to provide pharmaceutical care but also to love their community.

Dr. Christine Birnie presents a honorary plaque to Kimberly A. Leonard, RPh.

Dr. Christine Birnie presents a honorary plaque to Kimberly A. Leonard, RPh.

Kimberly A. Leonard, RPh., executive secretary for the New York State Board of Pharmacy, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the values of responsibility, commitment, and professionalism, as well as the expanding roles of pharmacists in the practice setting.

Dr. Matthew Zak, assistant director of experiential education, led members of the Class of 2021 in reciting the Oath of a Pharmacist.

Wegmans Pharmacy was a major sponsor of the ceremony, with additional support from CVS Health, Pharmacy Society of Rochester, Rite Aid, Rochester Drug Cooperative, Inc., and Trillium Health.