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White Coat Ceremony is An Affirming Rite

FOR RELEASE: March 12, 2004

By Linda Story

Patricia Clement celebrates her daughter Cherise Clement's advancement to the clinical phase of her education. Despite a foot of snow outside, there was nothing but warmth inside James Law Auditorium during the third annual White Coat Ceremony December 6.

The College of Veterinary Medicine and the Alumni Association inscribed 85 white clinician's coats for the class of '05 to mark their advancement into the clinical phase of their professional education. The white coats, a universal symbol of the medical professional, were presented by Alumni Association Executive Board members Dick Grambow, DVM `57 and Pepi Leids, DVM `83.

Each individual received their coat from a person of their choosing who significantly fostered their interest or skill in veterinary medicine. Pride and celebration were in the eyes of each beaming parent, mentor, spouse or friend who slipped a white coat around the shoulders of their student.

Dean Donald F. Smith and Assistant Dean Katherine Edmondson congratulated students and welcomed them to the next step on the road to becoming professionals.

Dr. Edmondson noted that the "simple change of uniform, wearing the white coat, will sharpen the distinction between you and your clients. It defines your role. It carries power and status, and it represents Cornell, the finest veterinary college in the country."

She encouraged students to see their clinical experience as an opportunity to "earn the respect of clients, strive for authority based on trust, and demonstrate through your behavior why veterinarians are among the most trusted of all professionals."

Faculty initiated a champagne toast to the students' advancement toward professional excellence.

Judith Sander's family drove four hours on snowy roads to be with her for the College's White Coat Ceremony. Her parents are George and Phyllis Sanders.  Her  grandmother is Mary Mariani.    Veterinary Medicine runs in the family of Kenneth Osborn, DVM '01, who returned to his alma mater to    Ithacan Nora Schmidt received her white coat and many hugs from her parents Oskar and Ellen Schmidt.