Palace of Fine Arts Theater, San Francisco, California
July 16, 2011
Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr., DDS, Dean
To the members of the families who are here, welcome to this great event, the White Coat Ceremony. This is a significant step for these young men and women. For them, this is really another phase in their academic lives. They begin the part of their training which includes the delivery of oral healthcare service to the public. They have worked incredibly hard this past year — I am sure many of you got their phone calls, especially during the third quarter — but they made it. We all kept saying to them, "You will make it with a lot of hard work and determination," and they certainly have done that.
I know that as they enter this next phase, there will be a little stress and anxiety as they begin to work with their patients, but they all know it is an incredibly rewarding period of time in their education as well as they continue on. They are also assuming a major responsibility. I say that with a great deal of positives. I, the faculty, everyone knows that they are up for the challenge. They are an extraordinary group of wonderful young people and will do a great job in the coming years.
To the students, your enthusiasm, your kindness, and thankfulness - we should be thanking you. That will go along toward your character as great oral healthcare professionals. That is why I know you will do extremely well. It gives each one of us - myself and all the faculty, administrators, and staff - great pride in having such extraordinary young people who will be entering into our profession.
I wish the parents and families could be where we are on stage and see this sea of white coats in front of us, symbolic of extraordinary professionals that we know you will be. It is a really proud moment for us. I want to thank the significant others, the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, husbands, wives, and everyone who has played an extraordinary part in the development of these people. Their characteristics are because you have instilled strong values in them, you, the families who do that for them. We talk about this at Pacific Dugoni often. I know they thank you, but let me say on behalf of all the Pacific Dugoni family, thank you for all that you do for them. Continue to support them. They still have a couple more years of trials and tribulations. You will still get those phone calls asking for guidance, money, and everything else. I know they can count on you because you are here today to be part of this great next step in their lives. I look forward to seeing you, believe it or not, in less than two years when we do this great celebration as they begin the next journey in their lives.
Thank you all for being here today. Congratulations to every single one of you. I look forward to having a great two years with you all. Thank you.