College of

White Coat Ceremony for the 2011 College of Human Medicine Entering Class

August 28, 2011

Michigan State medical students kick off studies with White Coat Ceremony in Grand Rapids

Published: Sunday, August 28, 2011, 10:52 PM
By Zane McMillin | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS - Pomp and circumstance took a backseat as pride and purpose took the helm Sunday at a formal welcome for the latest crop of medical students to enter Michigan State's College of Human Medicine.

The college, headquartered at the Secchia Center in downtown Grand Rapids, held its traditional White Coat and Metriculation Ceremony for the 200 ingoing students at DeVos Performance Hall.

For Nandita Anand and her fellow classmates, it was a time for reflection on past successes, and pause before embarking on the next leg of their journeys toward medical degrees in various fields.

"I'm really excited," Anand said prior to the ceremony. "I'm so honored. ... It's so surreal."

The class made the cut out of 6,256 applicants. Their ages ranged from 20 to 44, and slightly more than half the class are women.

Half the class will study at the Secchia Center; the other half will head to MSU's East Lansing campus.

Nearly 80 percent, or 159, students hail from Michigan. The remaining percentage call states such as California, Florida, New York and Utah home. Six are from Canada.

About a quarter received undergraduate degrees from MSU; another quarter graduated from the University of Michigan. Other schools, including Grand Valley State University, Calvin College and out-of-state universities, also contributed their alumni.

Each student, regardless of demographic, walked with a waist-length, white coat draped on their arm. They were helped into the symbolic garments on stage by the college's faculty or alumni.

When the students complete their training in 2015, those waist-length coats will drop to their shins in another symbolic display.

But as Dr. Marsha Rappley, the college's dean, told the students, the coat is much more than a symbol.

"It's really a symbol of trust, the pact of trust that we've made with our patient and with the people at large that we serve," Rappley said. "When they see this coat, they trust that you will put their interests ahead of your own. ... The white coat is very symbolic in the expectations that we have and the promise that we make to the people who seek our help."

# # #

Photos | Harley Seeley
Photos | Harley Seeley

White Coat

The White Coat Ceremony
is the symbolic start of a
career in medicine.



Dean Marsha

Dean Marsha D. Rappley, MD
Photo | Harley Seeley