School of Medicine welcomes Class of 2020 with White Coat Ceremony

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Contact:  Sheanna Spence, Assistant Director, Alumni Relations and Community Relations, School of Medicine, 304-691-1639

School of Medicine welcomes Class of 2020 with White Coat Ceremony

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The largest class in the 38-year history of the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine will begin its medical school journey Friday, Aug. 5, at the school’s annual White Coat Ceremony.  

The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on Marshall University’s Huntington campus. 

Among this year’s class of 83 students are eight legacy students, meaning one or both parents are Marshall School of Medicine alumni. Some interesting statistics about the Class of 2020 include the following: 

  •          88 percent of the class are West Virginia residents
  •          96 percent were science majors
  •          Average age is 23 years
  •          60 percent are males; 40 percent are females

The White Coat Ceremony, where incoming students receive their first white coats, stethoscopes and medical instruments, was first introduced at Marshall in 1996.  It is considered a rite of passage for first-year students and is designed to instill the values of professionalism, humanism and compassionate care. Joseph B. Touma, M.D., a retired ear, nose and throat specialist and former chair of the Marshall University Board of Governors, and his wife, Omayma T. Touma, M.D., have generously donated funds to provide each student with a stethoscope and will be presenting the gifts. School of Medicine alumni, family and friends have given students their white coats and medical instruments.

The event is by invitation only but is being streamed live at



Date Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2016