|President Kevin Alexander (front and center) with the Class of 2014 after receiving their white coats.|
The 103 student interns of the Southern California College of Optometry's (SCCO's) Class of 2014 were honored at the traditional White Coat Ceremony on Sunday, September 12. The ceremony signals the official welcome of the new First-Year Class into SCCO's doctoral degree program and the profession of optometry.
"The College is privileged to have standing before us this group of diverse, talented and enthusiastic students, waiting to take on the coat that signifies their entry into the profession," said SCCO Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Clinical Education Harue J. Marsden, O.D., M.S., '87. "I charge each of you to pursue excellence in learning and to assume professionalism in your behavior. You will be judged by your behavior as well as your knowledge. Let this white coat serve as a reminder of who you are."
First-year interns received their white doctors coat before a gathering of family, friends and College administration, faculty and staff, during the afternoon ceremony, held on the College's Fullerton campus.
"The white coat is about professionalism," said SCCO President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D. "It sets you apart from those outside the learned profession. The white coat also symbolizes responsibility, history and pride."
To close the ceremony the student interns took the Optometric Student Oath, which was administered by SCCO President Emeritus Richard L. Hopping, O.D., D.O.S., D.Sc. In 1983, Dr. Hopping wrote the Optometric Oath that was later adopted by both the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and the American Optometric Association.
Fifty pre-optometry students were in the audience with an eye toward being accepted into the Class of 2015 and participating in next September's White Coat Ceremony. These students were recognized during the event for their efforts in preparing to attend SCCO.
Alcon Laboratories, represented by Dana Bennett, sponsored this year's event.