On Sept. 9, 2022, the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Class of 2026 was welcomed into the profession of medicine with the timeless tradition of the White Coat Ceremony. This year, 179 first-year students donned their white coats in Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, surrounded by family, friends, alumni and the greater USF Health community.
Thanks to the generosity of nearly 200 donors, the annual White Coat Campaign had its most successful year — raising $181,000. Every first-year students’ coat was sponsored, in addition supporting medical student scholarships. The Class of 2026 was not only touched by the generosity of alumni and friends but also by the personal notes donors wrote to their sponsored student.
Shane Clarke, a Florida native and UFC fan who received his white coat in September, did not think much of his white coat leading up to the ceremony.
“I thought getting my white coat was something I just picked up at the bookstore. It was not until I opened up the message [from my donor] that I was really able to peel the blinders back and see that there is a community of people who care that I am even here doing schoolwork,” said Clarke.
Shane’s donor Dr. George Canizares, a 1992 USF undergrad and 1996 Morsani College of Medicine alum, wrote a heartfelt message about his time in medical school and gave some advice to Shane for his journey ahead. The personal notes of encouragement and words of wisdom connect the newly coated medical students to our alumni community in a special and significant way, through their white coats.
As our alumni do, Shane said he will wear his coat with pride and asked you to “save me a seat! Around 30 more tests and I am there.” Thank you for continuing to support our tradition of being a White Coat sponsor. Our students are inspired by your generosity and feel supported by your encouragement of their medical journey.