September 26, 2012 - Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) will hold the White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2016 on Saturday, September 29, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in the Tex Turner Arena on the LMU main campus in Harrogate, Tenn.

Dr. William G. Anderson, past president of the American Osteopathic Association, will be the keynote speaker. Anderson served as president of the organization from 1994-1995 and holds the distinction of being the first African-American to hold that office. This is Anderson’s second trip to LMU-DCOM. He first addressed LMU-DCOM students at the White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2012.

Anderson currently serves as vice president for academic affairs and director of osteopathic medical education at Detroit Medical Center. He received his bachelor’s degree from Alabama State University and his osteopathic degree from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his internship at Flint Osteopathic Hospital in Flint, Mich., in 1957 and thereafter returned to his native southwest Georgia, where he was in family practice for six years. He later returned to Michigan where he entered a residency in general surgery at Art Center Hospital in Detroit. Anderson is a diplomate in the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery and a fellow in the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons. Anderson has received extensive accolades during his prestigious career, including nine honorary degrees.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Anderson is known for his significant contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. In 1961 he founded and served as the first president of the Albany Movement, a desegregation coalition in southwest Georgia. Anderson is also a former director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference headed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy and other civil rights leaders. Anderson and his late wife Norma published Autobiographies of a Black Couple of the Greatest Generation, a memoir of their experiences during the 1960s. The Andersons have five children, three of whom are osteopathic physicians, and ten grandchildren, two of whom are osteopathic physicians.

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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