Photo credit: Ray Welch Photography


October 20, 2008 - Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) formally welcomed the Class of 2012 into the study of medicine at its annual White Coat Ceremony on Saturday.

More than 1,000 people gathered to celebrate the second class of students at Tennessee’s newest medical school and its only osteopathic medical school. Dr. William G. Anderson, past president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), was the keynote speaker. Anderson served as president of the AOA from 1994-1995 and holds the distinction of being the first African-American to hold that office. During his remarks Anderson asked the students to stand and repeat a mantra that he hopes they remember throughout their medical education: “If in my heart, I believe it; and in my mind, I can conceive it; with this school, with this faculty, with this administration, with these hands, I can achieve it.”

Dr. Ray E. Stowers, vice president and dean of LMU-DCOM, served as master of ceremonies. Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of LMU, delivered the opening remarks, and Ian Huff, a second year osteopathic medical student at LMU-DCOM and president of the LMU-DCOM Student Government Association, gave a welcome on behalf of the student body. Dr. Robert Crook, president of the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association (TOMA), also delivered remarks on behalf of TOMA, who generously provided the white coats for the ceremony.

The Ceremony closed with a special presentation by Dr. Gary Burchett, vice president of manufacturing at DeRoyal Industries and member of the LMU Board of Trustees, and Steve Ward, president of DeRoyal Industries. Burchett and Ward unveiled a portrait of DeRoyal founder and CEO Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk, who also serves as chairman of the LMU Board of Trustees and is the namesake of LMU-DCOM. On behalf of the employees of DeRoyal, Burchett and Ward presented the portrait to Stowers to be hung inside the LMU-DCOM building.

The White Coat Ceremony is a special ceremony designed to mark a student's entrance into medical school. The first White Coat Ceremony was held in 1993 at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and is now a standard ritual in medical schools across the country. During the Ceremony, each medical student is presented and "robed" with his or her short white laboratory coat, formalizing and welcoming the student's entrance into the study of medicine.

The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide healthcare in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1-800-325-0900, ext. 7082, e-mail, or visit us online at

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