Published September 7, 2023
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo (UB) School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPPS) welcomed incoming students during our 2023 Welcome Week, which included a multi-day orientation program, school-wide picnic and White Coat Ceremony for first year PharmD students.
On August 23, one hundred and sixteen PharmD students from the Class of 2027 took their first step toward becoming pharmacists during our 21st annual White Coat Ceremony, held in Slee Hall.
The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage and signifies entrance into the initial stages of the profession of pharmacy. It represents a contract for excellence in providing compassionate patient care. The ceremony also highlights the importance of scientific scholarship and emphasizes the highest principles of moral, ethical and legal conduct and welcomes our UB PharmD students to begin study among the ranks of pharmacy professionals.
“This ceremony is the public embrace of our next cohort of student pharmacists and future professionals,” said Gary M. Pollack, PhD ’84, dean, UB SPPS. “It marks your transition from being undergraduate or graduate students to being professional doctoral students and is a really profound transition.”
During the "Calling of the Class," students were recognized by Nicole Albanese, PharmD, assistant dean for Student Success and Engagement. Students were cloaked in their white coats by William Prescott, Jr., PharmD, chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice. Students then crossed the stage wearing their time-honored white coats and were greeted by Kathleen Boje, PhD, associate dean, Professional Education, Donald Mager, PharmD, PhD, chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Gary Pollack, PhD, dean, UB SPPS.
Mary Randall, PharmD’20, pharmacotherapy specialist clinical pharmacist at Kaleida Health, delivered the keynote address and shared with our PharmD students, “You are about to embark on four incredible years that will set up the foundation for your careers in pharmacy.”
PharmD students and incoming pharmaceutical sciences students attended orientation sessions to learn about school policies, meet student organization representatives, and connect with faculty and staff who will help support and guide their academic journey. Students also heard tips from our current students on navigating student life and explored pharmacy careers with our alumni panel.
New undergraduate pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences students visited the pharmacy school as part of UB’s undergraduate welcome weekend. Students enjoyed an ice cream social, met with staff and current students, and participated in games, activities and a scavenger hunt of the Pharmacy Building.
Welcoming events for our incoming students culminated with our annual school-wide picnic, held at the Pharmacy Building for all faculty, staff and students. Students enjoyed lawn games and participated in a scavenger hunt of the Pharmacy Building with members of their new Learning and Engagement Communities.
Following the picnic, our Non-Pharmacy Options student club organized a student, faculty and staff softball game on Clark Lawn. In the final inning, the student team took the lead over the faculty team and won the game 14-10.