Philadelphia — Penn Dental Medicine welcomed the Class of 2020 DMD students to the study of dental medicine at its annual White Coat Ceremony, held August 15 at Penn’s Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. This annual tradition holds symbolic significance for the incoming class as they declare their commitment to assume the responsibilities and obligations of the dental profession.
The incoming 124-member class is made up of 74 women and 50 men, representing 24 states and six foreign countries (Canada, China, Jamaica, South Korea, Turkey, and Venezuela). Nine members of the class are legacy students with relatives who are also Penn Dental Medicine graduates. The highly accomplished students, selected from over 2,300 applicants, had an average overall GPA of 3.7 in their undergraduate studies.
“The white coat symbolizes a covenant between the caregiver and those they treat,” said Dr. Denis Kinane, the Morton Amsterdam Dean of Penn Dental Medicine, as part of the welcoming remarks. “With their white coats, the students are pledging to carry on the finest traditions of the University and the dental medicine profession.”
Along with the welcoming remarks by Dean Kinane, the program included a keynote address by John L. Jackson, Jr., PhD, Dean of Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, who encouraged the new class to take full advantage of the many cross disciplinary opportunities Penn has to offer. Dr. Uri Hangorsky, Penn Dental Medicine’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Life, also spoke.
Following the presentation and introduction of each student in their white coats, the ceremony concluded with the reciting of the Penn Dental Medicine Professional Pledge, followed by a reception for all attendees. The event is part of a two-week orientation for the class.
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