Riland Auditorium was a flurry of excitement on February 17. New York Tech’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) Class of 2024 gathered for the first-ever White Coat Ceremony. The awarding of a white coat is a symbolic gesture, welcoming students into the profession as they begin their clinical rotations.
“This is such a meaningful rite of passage for our students. It allows them to recognize the importance of the work they will do and the profession they represent,” said Cheryl Hall, PT, DHSc, associate professor and chair of the DPT program. Hall thanked the alumni who made monetary donations toward the purchase of the lab coats for incoming students as part of the university’s annual Big Give online campaign in 2021.
New York Tech President Hank Foley, Ph.D., greeted the students, faculty, and guests. “It’s great to do this in person,” he said. “As physical therapists, yours is a vocation, a vocation fueled by your commitment, passion, and perseverance. The past two years have surely been a test of the vocations of all health providers.”
“The experience you will gain in your clinical rotations will be influential in so many ways,” said Greenberg. “As we sit here celebrating your achievements and the skills and the knowledge you have gained, you need to understand, ironically, this ceremony is about you, but also, not about you at all.”
Added Hochman, “White coats are often about the student or practitioner and how you present yourself to the world. This white coat shows you that you are professional…Let your white coat be a symbol of humility and openness to growth…It’s about the service to others.”
The faculty then presented the coats to each student as they made their way across the stage, proudly representing their profession.
Class of 2024 student representatives Yousuf Shah and Jessica Wynne addressed their peers with closing remarks. “As we cherish and celebrate this milestone, I ask the class to recognize the responsibility that falls onto us,” Shah said. Added Wynne, “I am looking forward to the fall semester of 2022, so we can all come back and share our experiences from this new adventure, and we can learn from each other about ourselves, professionally and personally.”
Watch the ceremony.
This article was contributed by Cheryl Hall.