National pharmacy leader tells MU's newest class:
“Always serve your patients' needs first."

News release (Aug. 2, 2013)

Manchester University’s newest pharmacy students heard it from a national leader in their chosen profession: “Have courage and always serve your patients first.” The advice came from Janelle Sobotka, immediate past president of the American Pharmacists Association, who flew into town Friday to welcome 73 students to their four-year journey of a professional doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.

In a speech filled with insider knowledge, Sobotka told the crowd at the White Coat Ceremony, “Pharmacy is one of the most trusted professions in our country. This is true only because many pharmacists before you have worked hard to protect our profession’s credibility.”

The ceremony on the North Manchester campus concluded four days of orientation on both campuses. All students begin classes Monday at the College of Pharmacy on the Fort Wayne campus. The new students come from very diverse backgrounds, as is typical in the Pharm.D. program. Almost 60 percent have baccalaureate degrees and two have master’s degrees, although only two years of pre-pharmacy curriculum are required. Nine of the students did their undergraduate study at Manchester University.

“The white coat you put on today is a symbol of trust,” said Sobotka, who also is a professor and endowed chair of Pharmacy Practice at Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy. “Its image is very powerful to the public … when you put on your white coat people will trust you with their personal health information and ultimately with their life as they believe you will help them with their medicines and their health. By accepting your white coat today you have agreed to this obligation to have courage and always serve your patients’ needs first.”

The Class of 2017 and their famiilies also heard study advice from a second-year “expert” who with many in Manchester’s inaugural Class of 2016 will join faculty to serve as mentors to the new students. “Not only have I met great classmates, but also staff and faculty members who constantly encourage me to succeed and act as outstanding role models, reminding me of what it takes to be a great leader,” said Andrea Fung of Naperville, Ill., vice president of the Class of 2016.

Manchester University’s Mission is a perfect fit for the College of Pharmacy. “We respect the infinite worth of every individual – a central tenant of the health profession, where every patient deserves dignity and respect,” said Pharmacy Dean Dave McFadden, MU executive vice president. “It sounds trite to say that our faculty, staff and students want to help people, but to a person, that’s what motivates them.”

The students also committed to the Pledge of Professionalism, led by Jeremy Thain, president of the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance. Immediately after donning their white coats, the students stepped to a podium to sign the Manchester University Honor Code of the College of Pharmacy:

As members of the Manchester University College of Pharmacy, we commit ourselves to unwavering professionalism and rigorous ethical standards. We will behave with integrity and honesty, upholding the honor of our profession and institution and accepting full responsibility for our actions. We are dedicated to being professionals of ability and conviction and leading principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

For more about Manchester University’s College of Pharmacy, visit or call 260-470-2700.

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