EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) --The University of Texas at El Paso celebrated the School of Pharmacy, welcoming the largest class ever with a white coat ceremony.
"I wanted to make a change. And I wanted to make a difference," said Sophia Candelaria, a Doctoral student.
"She's been working really hard at school and trying to get into Pharmacy school, and so we're all really excited for today," said Arthur Aguirre, Sophia's cousin.
UTEP welcomed students with a white coat ceremony. The long-standing tradition marks students’ formal entry into the Doctor of Pharmacy program.
"Right now I'm getting white-coated. And so in four years, when I graduate, I'll be a Pharmacist," said Candelaria.
UTEP celebrated its largest cohort ever entering the Doctor of Pharmacy program with 63 students. Those students are also a part of the largest applicant pool in the school’s history.
"So my cousin Sophia is getting her white coat for pharmacy school," said Aguirre. "She wasn't entirely sure when she first started school what she wanted to do. And then she continued with their education. It became clear what her passion was."
"I have a long line of medicinal family members who are in the medical field, and I decided to get into the medical program, and I wanted to make a change. And I wanted to make a difference. Just like people before me," said Candelaria.
School administrators presented the future pharmacist students with a white coat. Symbolizing authority, professionalism, clinical care and service, and a trust that must be earned.
"I think being able to start with this, makes it more real. And so I'm just really proud of her," said Aguirre.
Each student completed the ceremony reciting the Oath of a Pharmacist, promising to devote themselves to a lifetime of serving others. The Doctor of Pharmacy class is expected to graduate in 2027.