Global Health Nexus, Fall 2000

New Students Welcomed at White Coat Ceremony

NYU Dentistry is distinguished by students who are, each year, better and better qualified. These students are the focus of NYU Dentistry’s new mission statement, which pledges that “the College of Dentistry will partner with students in achieving academic excellence, providing the best oral health care, and engaging in research, scholarship, and creative endeavors to improve the health of the highly diverse populations in New York City and around the world.” So on September 5, in a first-ever White Coat Ceremony, NYU Dentistry welcomed all entering D.D.S. students in a special expression of dedication to student-faculty partnerships.

“From their very first day on campus,” said Dean Alfano, “we want our students to know that they are qualified to successfully complete four years at this dental school and become fine dentists. We are confident that they will succeed, and we want to emphasize that we are with them all the way.”

After hearing welcoming remarks by Dean Alfano, the students were greeted by immediate past-president of the ADA Richard F. Mascola, ’68, who urged the students to wear their new coats with pride in being identified as professionals and to express their professionalism by becoming involved in organized dentistry.

The students also heard from Dr. Gerald M. Klaczany, ’86, president of the NYU Dentistry Alumni Association, who recalled his own anxious first days of dental school and assured the students that the road ahead was filled with rewards as well as challenges.

Then, one by one, each student was called up to be cloaked by a member of the faculty participating in the College’s new mentoring program. As faculty mentors cloaked the entering students in their first white coats, the students affirmed their commitment to professionalism, humanism, integrity, and ethics in dentistry.

Following the ceremony in Saklad Auditorium, the students and faculty enjoyed a reception in a tent that had been set up for the occasion outdoors. Students appeared extremely pleased with their welcome. As one student put it, “This is what I always hoped my first days at dental school would be like.”