Although the ceremony began long ago in the medical profession, many other disciplines have adopted this tradition, including dentistry and dental hygiene. For all health professions, the white coat ceremony acknowledges an individual’s entry into a formal professional program and signifies the beginning of a lifelong career of service to others. The white coat symbolically denotes professionalism, compassion, trust, and knowledge.

The USD Dental Hygiene Department accepts 32 students each year. The 2016 entering class hails from the South Dakota cities of Sioux Falls, Watertown, Colman, Parkston, Elk Point, Dell Rapids, Aberdeen, Groton, Rapid City, Alexandria, White, Howes, Huron, Hazel, Sturgis, Mound City and Lennox as well as communities in northwest Iowa, southwest Minnesota, northeast Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Download an image of the 2016 class.

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