White Coat Ceremony

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2011

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2011

Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the Class of 2011 to the Veterinary Medical Profession at the 9th Annual Convocation, also known as the White Coat Ceremony on Friday, August 17, 2007.

History of the White Coat Ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony, established by Dr. Arnold Gold at Columbia University Medical School in 1993, was designed to impress upon students, physicians and the public the important symbolic role of the white coat in patient-doctor interactions. Gold argued that students were reciting the Hippocratic Oath four years too late-upon their graduation from medical school. He felt the oath and the conferring of white coats would be better done at the start of medical school, when students receive their first exposure to clinical medicine. The White Coat Ceremony provides a mechanism by which values that are key to our profession can be openly articulated and carefully considered in the company of peers, parents, partners and faculty.

The College of Veterinary Medicine has embraced the spirit of this exercise. You will find that our ceremony has been appropriately modified for veterinary medical students. It includes an induction into the Veterinary Medical College, whereupon each student will receive a coat, generously donated by the Idaho and Washington State Veterinary Medical Associations. As a group, the students recite the “Veterinary Student Oath.”

White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2011Program Dignitaries
  • Dr. Warwick Bayly, Dean
  • Dr. Leslie Sprunger,
    Associate Dean of Student & Academic Affairs
  • Dr. Steve Hines
    Associate Dean of Student & Academic Affairs
  • Dr. Patricia Talcott, Director of Admissions
  • Dr. Robert Thompson, President-elect , Washington State Veterinary Medical Association (WSVMA)  
  • Dr. Christopher Schneider, Idaho Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA)  
  • Dr. Barry Watson, Hill’s Pet Nutrition
  • Dr. Dale Hancock, Admission's Committee
  • Dr. Mike Varnum, Admission's Committee
  • Dr. Steve Greene, Acting Department Chair, Veterinary Clinical Sciences
  • Dr. Rick DeBowes, Associate Dean, Development and External Relations
  • Dr. Bryan Slinker, Chair, Department of Veterinary & Comparative Anatomy , Pharmacology & Physiology
  • Dr. David Prieur, Chair, Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology

Keynote Address

Colonel John L Poppe, DVM

Colonel John L Poppe, DVM
US Army Veterinary Corps Commander
Pacific Regional Veterinary Command

John L. Poppe is a native of Mount Vernon, Washington where he grew up on a dairy farm.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science in 1981 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1986 from Washington State University.  He began his veterinary career as an associate veterinarian in a small animal practice in Seattle before joining the US Army Veterinary Corps in 1987.  Since joining the Army he has been stationed at Brunswick, Maine; Seoul, Korea; Incirlik, Turkey; Fort Lewis, Washington; San Antonio, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; San Diego, California; and now in Honolulu, Hawaii.  In addition to these duty assignments, he has deployed to many countries which include Botswana, Grenada, Thailand, and Iraq.  In 1992, he attended Tulane University receiving a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.  He has been happily married to his wife Denise, who is also a Cougar, since 1988 and they have three future Cougars, Janie, George, and Hollis.

White Coat Contributors for 2007

  • Dr. Thomas Fry
  • Dr. William Holleman
  • Dr. Mick and Sheryl McDevitt
  • Dr. Eric Anderson
  • Dr. Rob McMonigle
  • Dr. Bob Wuerth
  • Drs. Charles and Nancy Leathers
  • Dr. Joe Peterson
  • Dr. John Serratore
  • Greg Hanon
  • Drs. Terry Richards, Edward Kowitz, and Kim Venable - Colville Animal Hospital
    Southwest Washington Veterinary Medical Association
  • Dr. Robert Gilpin
  • Drs. Mike Burdette, Jessica Adams and Steve Harroun (Chewelah Vet Clinic)
    Inland Empire Veterinary Medical Association (Dr. Richard Whipps)
  • Drs. Debi Wallingford and Kit Bowerman
  • Drs. Marianne Randall and Tracy King
  • Dr. Charles Lohr
  • Dr. Clive Gay
  • Dr. John T. Griffith
  • Dr. Rick and Pam DeBowes
  • Dr. Kari M. Johnson
  • Dr. Cheri Fleming
  • Dr. Maria Baker
  • Dr. Kim Nicholas
  • Dr. Susan Thorson
  • Dr. Jerold D. Gemar
  • Dr. Earl Moore
  • Drs. Gerald Moon and Patricia Robinett and staff of Value Vet Animal Clinic, Everett
  • Dr. Craig Vance
  • Dr. Jerry Pospisil
  • Dr. Gerald Ponti
  • Dr. Suzy Pence
  • Dr. Cindy Alexander
  • Dr. Linda Robinette

The Veterinary Student Oath (adapted from the AVMA Veterinarian's Oath)

As a veterinary student in the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, I promise to work conscientiously to develop my scientific and medical knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. 

Throughout my time here as a student, I will conduct myself with dignity and professionalism, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.

Washington State University