White Coat Celebration for the Class of 2024
With the COVID pandemic postponing the annual White Coat Ceremony in Augusta until spring, M1s at the AU/UGA Medical Partnership still wanted a way to celebrate this monumental occasion.
With direction and blessings from administration, the decision was made to hold a socially distanced White Coat Celebration in Athens—the first of its kind on the campus.
“We have never hosted a White Coat Celebration in Athens, so this was an exciting day,” said Campus Dean Shelley Nuss. “We wanted our first-year students to be able to experience the moment of getting their white coats, and we felt this was the best way to celebrate the class, but also remain within safe protocols due to the pandemic.”
M1 student Laurel Parker said she was blown away by the support of faculty and staff to make the event possible.
“This event wouldn’t have happened without the support of Dean Nuss and Dr. Francis, and we’re all incredibly thankful for them advocating on our behalf,” said Parker. “One of my favorite things about our campus is the closeness between students and faculty. I truly feel like our faculty wants the best for us and are always trying to help us succeed. Our White Coat Celebration is just another example of our campus leadership partnering with us and helping us get to where we want to be.”
On November 18, all students were filmed being coated by Dr. Nuss and Campus Associate Dean for Student & Multicultural Affairs, Dr. John Francis. The footage was compiled and made into a video for the celebration.
The celebration was held in George Hall on December 11, and only students were able to attend to allow social distancing. The students enjoyed lunch while watching footage of them being coated and heard advice from faculty and administration. A link to the video was available at the start of the celebration so friends and family could watch along in real time.
“I’ve been looking forward to getting my white coat since the moment I decided I wanted to be a doctor. It’s the physical representation of years of hard work and also a reminder of what we are working toward,” said Parker. “Getting to celebrate this occasion with my 49 favorite people just made it even sweeter.”