COPPS stages annual white coat ceremony

The white coat pinning and awards ceremony. Flyer courtesy: famupharmacy_1951 instagram

FAMU’s College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) held its annual white coat ceremony Friday to commemorate those third-year students in the program along with those receiving pinning’s and awards.

The ceremony began with the honorees of the night taking their seats and COPPS’ faculty and staff relaying messages to those who would receive their white coats.

Mildred Brickler, director of experiential programs, awarded those who received scholarships.

First-year pharmacy student Karmen Thomas said event inspires her to keep pushing forward through the program. The white coat ceremony is an inspiration, she said.

“The ceremony is very inspirational and gives me something to look forward to when entering my third year,” Thomas said. “There are many times when pharmacy school gets rough and makes me question if I want to keep pursuing it here at FAMU. Seeing all the white coats has made me continue to want to push forward.”

COPPS was founded in 1951 and now offers four degree programs which include a bachelor of science in pharmaceutical sciences, doctor of pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences graduate program and public health graduate program.

Former SGA president and doctor of pharmacy grad, Gallop Franklin II, explained the importance of students receiving their white coats. These students  understand that their journey in pharmacy is just beginning, he said.

“The white coat ceremony is a rite of passage symbolic of hard work and discipline,” Franklin said. “It reminds everyone that, yet the journey is not over you are progressing well and soon you’ll have the capacity to impact the global community as pharmacists. It’s a very long journey before becoming a licensed pharmacist so it is important that we do have ceremonies to remind learners, faculty and staff of how far they’ve come.”

The friends and family of those who received awards and white coats were allowed to attend the event to celebrate and those who were unable to attend were able to watch via Zoom.

According to, COPPS owns and manages four pharmacies including three in Tallahassee and one in Jacksonville. The locations in Leon County provide care to those who are medically underserved and receive additional funding for a diabetes self-management program and ADAP, which is the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. COPPS has also been awarded 28 patents over the years.

For more information on FAMU COPPS and the locations it serves visit or their Instagram at famupharmacy_1951.