School of Medicine welcomes Class of 2021 with White Coat Ceremony

Monday, August 7, 2017
Sheanna Spence, Assistant Director, Alumni Relations and Community Relations, School of Medicine, 304-691-1639

School of Medicine welcomes Class of 2021 with White Coat Ceremony

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. —The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine welcomed its newest class of students with the annual White Coat Ceremony Friday, Aug. 5, at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on Marshall University’s Huntington campus. 

Among this year’s class of 75 students are alumni from Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as six legacy students, meaning one or both parents are Marshall School of Medicine alumni. Other interesting statistics about the Class of 2021 include the following:

  • 40 are males; 35 are females
  • 65 percent of the class are West Virginia residents
  • 87 percent were science majors
  • The average age is 24 years old

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.

The ceremony’s guest speaker was Paul B. Ferguson, M.D., chairman of the department of neurology at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, a board-certified neurologist with Marshall Neurology and member of the Class of 2007. Ferguson is also a 2017 recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Leonard Tow Award, which recognizes faculty members who demonstrate clinical excellence and outstanding compassion in the delivery of medical care and who show respect for patients, their families and health care colleagues.

Other speakers included Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine; Hayden A. Ansinelli, a fourth-year medical student; Preeya T. Shah, a second-year medical student; and Bobby L. Miller, M.D., vice dean for medical student education.

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., retired medical director of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, generously donated funds to provide each student with a stethoscope and presented the gifts during the ceremony. More than 110 additional School of Medicine alumni, family and friends sponsored the white coats and medical instruments for the Class of 2021.


Date Posted: Monday, August 7, 2017