Students received their pharmacist’s white coats with a specially a designed UMKC School of Pharmacy patch and gold pin during the ceremony that honors Pharm.D. students’ successful progression through the curriculum and their commitment to patients and community. In addition, graduate students were honored for their contributions, innovations and dedication to their research.

“The purpose of this ceremony is to recognize the students who have shown that they continue to be committed to learning new methodologies towards improving outcomes for their patients and continuing to move the profession ahead, adopting the traditions and new best practices that set pharmacy apart,” said Russ Melchert, Pharm.D., School of Pharmacy dean.

Melchert shared a brief history of the school, noting how for 137 years the School of Pharmacy has followed a mission to education health care professionals and scientists, conduct research, and serve the public and pharmacy professions.

Students and their guests heard from Jordanna Jones, a third-year pharmacy student at the school’s Missouri State University campus in Springfield and this year’s student speaker. Ron Fitzwater, chief executive officer of the Missouri Pharmacy Association, which sponsored the event, was also among the dignitaries that shared in the evening’s activities.

Kathryn Holt, Pharm.D., clinical assistant professor of pharmacy, introduced each of the students as received their white coat.

“Being a member of pharmacy and research communities is a privilege that comes with great responsibility,” she said. “I challenge you to develop values that will transform you to a higher level of leaders, a deeper commitment to seeking the truth, collaboration in creating new ideas and a promise to respect each other’s differences.”

The evening concluded with the students reciting the oath of the scientists and the oath of a pharmacist.