School of Pharmacy Welcomes the Class of 2016

Class of 2012 taking oathsThe USC School of Pharmacy greeted 185 new students to the four-year, postgraduate program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

The new students were chosen from a competitive pool of nearly 1,100 applicants for seats in the Class of 2016. The white coat ceremony signifies a student’s official entrance into the pharmacy program, and to the patient care that students will provide starting in their first year of the curriculum.

During the ceremony held on Aug. 23, each student was “coated” by either a faculty member or a member of the QSAD Centurion board of directors. QSAD Centurion, a support group of alumni and friends, sponsors the annual event.

After a welcome by dean R. Pete Vanderveen, associate professor Geoffrey Joyce delivered the keynote address. Joyce, who will teach the students about health care delivery systems during their first month in school, told the students that he felt “like a fish out of water as an economist at a white coat ceremony.”

He then went on to describe how his work at the school introduced him to the tremendous opportunities in the pharmacy profession and the tremendous contributions that pharmacists will make in the future. “This is a unique time for pharmacy to expand its role,” Joyce told the students.

Fred Weissman, associate dean for faculty and student affairs, presented each student to the faculty member or QSAD member for coating. Dean Weissman welcomed the students to the centuries-old profession of pharmacy and congratulated them on the hard work that earned them a spot in the Class of 2016.

The class boasts an average undergraduate GPA of 3.6, with all enrollees having an undergraduate degree. Sixty percent of the class did their undergraduate work at University of California campuses and 22% came from a USC undergraduate program. All of the students from USC were enrolled in the School’s Trojan Admission Pre-pharmacy program (TAP), which provides talented USC undergraduates with a priority path for admission to the School. The average age of the class is 24 years old.
The ceremony culminated with the administration of the “Oath of a Pharmacist,” led by assistant professor May Mak.

Dean Weissman closed the ceremony with a note of gratitude to Albertsons/Sav-on for their support of the School, including the white coat ceremony. Following the ceremony, a reception was held on the quad honoring the Class of 2016.

Photo: Theera Thamlikitkul takes the “Oath of the Pharmacist” during the annual White Coat Ceremony.