Photo Diary: Future Veterinarians Take First Steps into Profession at SVM White Coat Ceremony

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine buzzed with excitement as the newest class of veterinary medical students took to the stage to receive their white coats—signaling the start of their professional journey. The students were cheered by friends and family as they looked on during the SVM White Coat Ceremony, which took place on January 28 in Patrick F. Adams Hall on SGU’s True Blue campus.


During the event, students are cloaked in white lab coats by various members of SGU administration, faculty, family members, or mentors who have become veterinarians before them. Students then affirm an oath of commitment to the veterinary field by agreeing to uphold the principles of veterinary medical ethics and the highest professional standards.

Wondering what it’s like to be coated? Check out the photos from the most recent SVM White Coat Ceremony.

  • Nervousness and excitement abound as students made their way into the hall to await their turn to walk across the stage to receive their white coat.

  • SGU Chancellor Dr. Charles R. Modica, offered a warm welcome to Mr. Alva Browne, Grenada’s permanent secretary with responsibility for agriculture and lands, fisheries, and cooperatives.

  • Master of ceremonies, Dr. Shekinah Morris, DVM/MSc ’20, knew all too well how the incoming class of vet students felt—having sat in those same seats during her own ceremony seven years ago.

  • Dr. Lori Teller, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association and this year’s keynote speaker, congratulated the Class of 2027, predicting more accolades to come—today it was their white coat, tomorrow would be their diploma, followed by a license, and then the world.

  • Sharing the stage with Jessica Meyer, SVM Term 1 student, was her epilepsy alert dog, Magnolia. The pair shared a touching moment as SVM Dean Dr. Neil Olson, stopped to shake Magnolia’s paw before leaving the stage.

  • For Fiona Minear, SVM Term 1 student, one of the hardest parts of pursuing her dream of becoming a vet was moving away from her partner, Dr. Nicholas Krause, an emergency medicine veterinarian in Pennsylvania. Luckily, he was able to make the trip to Grenada and coat Miss Minear on her special day.

  • Unable to hold back tears, Dr. Ron Ridge, hospital director at St. Francis Emergency Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL, was proud of his daughter, Amy Ridge, SVM Term 1 student. Having practically raised Amy in a veterinary hospital during his 40-year tenure as a veterinarian, Dr. Ridge felt honored to coat his daughter at this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  • Although previously a cytotechnologist, Phillip Farber knew he always wanted to be a veterinarian and decided now was the time to make a career change. No stranger to studying internationally, after completing a study abroad program in Japan, the Philadelphia native was eager to move to Grenada to follow his dream.

  • Also, making her dream become a reality was SVM Term 1 student, Noor Mazeh. With the support of her mom who was in the audience today, Miss Mazeh is on her way to becoming the first veterinarian in her family—a fact she is both nervous and excited about.

  • After donning their white coats, the ceremony came to a close with the students and other veterinarians in the hall reciting an oath of commitment to uphold the highest ethical standards and professionalism.


– Ray-Donna Peters

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