Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine welcomed its incoming Class of 2019 DMD students with its annual White Coat Ceremony, held Monday, August 17, at the Zellerbach Theatre in the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center. Family, friends, alumni, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate with the Class of 2019 as they began their study of dental medicine.
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.
This new class includes 120 students – 71 women and 49 men, representing six foreign countries (Canada, People’s Rep. of China, Germany, Lebanon, South Korea, and Thailand), Puerto Rico, and 23 different states. Twenty languages, from Albanian to Vietnamese, are spoken by members of the incoming class, and they have strong family connections to the field of dental medicine with 52 students having relatives who are dentists, including eight legacy students with relatives who are Penn Dental Medicine alumni. “The white coats you receive distinguish you for what you are now, sources of pride for your families, and as men and women who will carry on the finest traditions of the University of Pennsylvania,” said Morton Amsterdam Dean Denis Kinane in the program’s welcoming remarks.
The program included a keynote address by Geoffrey Garrett, Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise and Professor of Management of Penn’s Wharton School. 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 week-long orientation for the class.