“The White Coat Ceremony is a huge milestone to accomplish in our early professional lives,” says Amanda Bernarde, second-year PharmD student. “It symbolizes the completion of our first year in pharmacy school, but more importantly, a celebration of early acceptance into an incredible professional community.”
The White Coat Ceremony, at the end of the first year, is the first major milestone of a pharmacy student’s journey toward graduation. And those bright white coats wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy alumni.
Chris Leuenberger (PharmD ’16) says he was motivated to donate white coats because of the ceremony’s significance. “I remember finding a small card in my own white coat with advice from a practicing pharmacist during my ceremony,” says Leuenberger. “And I remember thinking that, even though I will likely never know this person, it was a nice gesture to be welcomed to the profession, and I want to do the same for someone else.”
“Being gifted a white coat through the generous donations of a UW–Madison alum is one of the first connections to the pharmacy community. It demonstrates in the most meaningful way that Badgers, past and present, will always advocate and support future Badger pharmacists,” says Bernarde.
Nicholas Friedlander, also a second-year PharmD student, shares a similar reflection on his white coat:
“Throughout our time in school we are told that pharmacy is a small world, and as students, we aspire to gain acceptance as valuable members of this tight-knit community. Receiving my white coat was an exciting early symbolic step on this long journey; but, knowing that my white coat was sponsored by an alumnus, someone who was once in my position, made me feel a genuine sense of belonging. Through this relatively simple act, the alumni truly made the first year students feel officially and warmly welcomed to the field of pharmacy.”
From the class of 2021: Thank you!