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UGA welcomes 114 incoming veterinary students in White Coat Ceremony

vet school class of 2020 white coats-h
The UGA College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed 114 members of the class of 2020 during its annual White Coat Ceremony held Aug. 14. (Photo credit: Whitney Mathisen/UGA)

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the Class of 2020 during its annual White Coat Ceremony held Aug. 14. Sponsored by the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association and the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians, this event officially recognized 114 members of the incoming class by donning them in lab coats to be worn during their veterinary education.

The hourlong ceremony was held in Hodgson Concert Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center. It was followed by a reception with the students’ families and members of the college’s faculty and staff at the new UGA Veterinary Medical Center.

This class features a wide variety of interests, including 17 percent interested in small animal medicine; 40 percent interested in mixed-animal medicine; 9 percent interested in zoo animal and wildlife medicine; 11 percent in food animal medicine; 18 percent in public health; and 4 percent in equine medicine.

“The White Coat Ceremony is an academic custom that symbolizes the transition from student to health care professional. For us, the white coat itself represents the purity and dedication of veterinarians, one of the world’s most respected professions. Recitation of the Veterinarian’s Oath denotes the beginning of this official journey and is an affirmation by these individuals that they can be trusted to honor the principled traditions of our profession,” said Dr. Scott Brown, the college’s associate dean for academic affairs.

The UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, to conducting research related to animal and human diseases, and to providing veterinary services for animals and their owners. Research efforts are aimed at enhancing the quality of life for animals and people, improving the productivity of poultry and livestock, and preserving a healthy interface between wildlife and people in the environment they share. The college enrolls 114 students each fall out of more than 1,100 who apply. For more information, see