Notice to Manchester’s new pharmacy
students: “The profession is watching”

MU pharmacy student Daniel Bartoli of Columbia City, Ind., receives his white coat from Dean Dave McFadden (right) and his faculty mentor, Ahmed Abdelmageed.

News release (Aug. 10, 2012)

The 64 first students of Manchester University’s College of Pharmacy received their clinical white coats and a daunting challenge in a ceremony Aug. 9 before very, very proud families and faculty mentors.

“As the first pharmacy class at Manchester, you will set the bar,” said Indiana Sen. Ron Grooms, a registered pharmacist and former owner of Hanger Drug Co. in Jeffersonville, Ind. “The pharmacy profession is watching. Employers, graduate schools and residency programs will compare the first Manchester graduates to graduates from Butler, Purdue and other colleges of pharmacy across the country.”

Jacob Clendenen faces the challenge with the confidence of experience in the field. Most recently, he has served as a pharmacy tech trainer for CVS. “I am looking forward to being and setting an example for future classes in the role of pharmacy,” says the Fort Wayne resident, eager to start Aug. 13 on a four-year journey to the professional degree of Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) at the new College of Pharmacy in north Fort Wayne.

The class is the most diverse in Manchester’s history, not only in the nationality of the students, but also in their U.S. hometowns. About 27 percent are of Asian heritage, typical of pharmacy student bodies nationwide. Ten are African-American. That’s a comfortable fit for MU, with an undergraduate program on its North Manchester campus that annually offers scores of international opportunities to students from two dozen countries.

While 40 percent of the pharmacy students are Hoosiers, license plates in the parking lot comprise a U.S. road map: Texas, California, Kansas, Tennessee, Ohio, New Jersey, Alabama, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Virginia, Georgia, Michigan, Colorado, and of course, Indiana.

Most of the students already have college degrees; about a third arrive with only the pre-requisite two years of pre-pharmacy study. They range in age from 20 to 41. Seven already are quite familiar with Manchester University as undergraduates.

In her welcome, President Jo Young Switzer spoke of the Manchester heritage. The ceremony was on the North Manchester campus, to help students understand the compassionate roots of their pharmacy education. “We meet today in Cordier Auditorium, named after Manchester graduate Andrew Cordier, a top aide to Dag Hammarskjold who, with others, founded the United Nations,” said President Switzer.

She also spoke of alumni Dr. Paul Flory, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, and his roommate, Dr. Roy Plunkett, who invented Teflon. “And, we meet today on a campus where the nation’s first academic program in Peace Studies was established in 1948 and where it thrives today, known worldwide for its combination of theory with practice.”

The students also heard from Dean Dave McFadden, executive vice president whose inspiration led to the MU College of Pharmacy, and Jeremy Thain, president-elect of the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance, who led students in the Pledge of Professionalism. Students received their white coats from their faculty mentor and Dean McFadden.

Sen. Grooms talked of the transformation of the profession during his time. “Pharmacy is no longer just dispensing or filling prescriptions. Pharmacists are much more integrated into the health care system. They are involved with educating and advising both doctors and patients, and managing the medications a patient takes to find the best outcome.”

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for students beginning the study of pharmacy that encourages a psychological contract for professionalism and empathy in the practice of pharmacy, emcee Joe Bonnarens, associate dean for student affairs, explained to the crowd of families and friends. Each member of the Class of 2016 also signed a copy and affirmed their commitment to the MU College of Pharmacy honor code:

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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