Pharmacy students in the ACPHS Class of 2026 participated in an important rite of passage on September 9, the White Coat Ceremony, marking the beginning of their professional studies.
When the 83 students received their white coats for the first time, they were cloaked in more than a sign of their chosen degree. The white coats are said to symbolize their commitment to professionalism, excellence, integrity, and compassion.
Keynote Speaker Dr. Rebecca Chu ’18 also noted they are a practical sign of safety and cleanliness. She encouraged the class to wear the white coats, which especially since the COVID-19 pandemic have been abandoned by some professionals in favor of medical scrubs or other protective gear, when they are practicing professionals.
“When you wear that white coat, you publicize that you have worked hard to get to where you are,” said Chu, a 2018 graduate of ACPHS and a clinical pharmacist at New York City Health + Hospitals in Brooklyn. “It demands confidence and helps you command attention as an advocate for patient education, patient safety, and medication safety.”
As a sign of the commitment they were making, the Pharm.D. Class of 2026 also read aloud the Oath of a Pharmacist during the ceremony.
Students received their cloaks as they embarked on their first year in the study of pharmacy, after earning a bachelor’s degree at another college or completing two years of pre-pharmacy classes at ACPHS. They are slated to receive their doctorates in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) in December 2025 or May 2026.
The students received their cloaks individually from Dr. Chu and the following alumni: Kelly Bach ’13, Michael Zappone ’12, Jane Boyd ’82, Zachary Hecox ’16, Anthony DiSpirito ’10 and Paul Pagnotta ’92.
Pharm. D. Class of ’26 By the Numbers:
Age range: 19-30 years old
Countries of origin: 8
States of origin: 15