The White Coat Ceremony has been a tradition for pharmacy students at Drake University since 1998. This ceremonial rite of passage occurs before the start of the fall semester for all P1 students, welcoming them to the professional pharmacy program.
In 2007, Drake expanded the white coat tradition to include sponsorships for students’ coats. Ben Urick, PH’11, was one of the many P1 students who were given the gift of a white coat through donations.
“I remember as a P1, reaching into my pocket and reading the name of the person who sponsored my coat,” said Urick. “At that moment I knew that I was not only a future pharmacist but also a member of the Drake pharmacy family. That reassuring sense of community felt great.”
Urick says Drake’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) provided him a number of opportunities to build relationships, which is one of many reasons he feels passionate about giving back. Urick currently participates as a mentor to the students in Phi Delta Chi and the student chapter of the American Pharmacists Association.
“I have found that giving back is something that fulfills me both personally and professionally,” says Urick. “Helping encourage and guide students as they pursue their educational and career goals is extremely rewarding.”
Urick is not only generous with his time, but also with his treasure. He was asked to donate to the White Coat Sponsorship Program in 2012 and 2013, and did so without hesitation—despite being a recent graduate, part-time pharmacist, and full-time Ph.D. student.
Through small monetary donations, sponsors like Urick can significantly influence the lives of students, helping them feel connected with the program from the start.
“I knew my donation to the White Coat Sponsorship Program would give a student that same powerful feeling of belonging I had when receiving my coat,” says Urick.