First-year MAT students (L to R) Frankie Porter, Drew Orr,
and Madi Sehmer.

Drake University’s first cohort of students in the Masters of Athletic Training (MAT) program within the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) were formally welcomed into the profession during the inaugural Blue Coat Ceremony on October 5th in the Shivers Courtside Club of the Knapp Center. First-year MAT students Drew Orr, Frankie Porter, and Madi Sehmer were each presented with their blue coat and name tag during the ceremony. Together, they recited the pledge of professionalism before their families, friends, and the college faculty.

Similar to the College’s White Coat Ceremonies that began in 1998, the Blue Coat Ceremony serves as a symbolic rite of passage. Through the simple gesture of slipping a blue coat over their shoulders, this ceremony is a meaningful celebration as the students begin the next phase of their profession development – clinical rotations. The blue coat, a sporty windbreaker, was chosen as it is appropriate for the athletic training profession.  

Renae Chesnut, CPHS Dean, and Troy Kleese, Iowa Athletic Trainers Society Governmental Affairs Chair, provided opening and congratulatory remarks. Michael Nelson, CPHS Dean of Student Affairs, introduced the students as Megan Brady and Richelle Williams, assistant professors of athletic training, presented the students with their blue coats. Nate Newman, Iowa Athletic Trainers’ Society Treasurer and MAT Program Director, led the students in their pledge of professionalism. The Blue Coat Ceremony was attended by Provost Sue Mattison as well as CPHS students, faculty, staff, friends, and family members.

“The Blue Coat Ceremony was a wonderful event for our students. They truly understood the honor it is to be welcomed into a healthcare profession and it was great to see their excitement as they walked across the stage,” said Nate Newman, MAT program director. “I look forward to seeing what each student does as they begin their clinical experiences and continue through the MAT program.”