Each year, the White Coat Sponsorship program at WMed is one of the most significant ways for members of the community to have a direct and positive impact on the medical school’s newest students.
“It is an exciting and rewarding opportunity for our donors to really make a personal connection with WMed’s entering medical students,” said Jack Mosser, PhD, associate dean for Development and Alumni Affairs. “And that impact, in some ways, has the potential to be lifelong. Often, our students and their white coat sponsors stay in touch throughout medical school, into residency training and beyond.”
In September, the 84 students who make up the MD Class of 2024 will be officially welcomed into the medical profession during the White Coat Ceremony. The event is scheduled for Saturday, September 26, at 2:00 p.m., and students will receive their white coats in a socially distanced ceremony that can be viewed by family, friends, and the WMed community via livestream.
As the important milestone for the Class of 2024 draws closer, Mosser said there are still white coat sponsorship opportunities available for donors. The sponsorship helps provide each student with their first white coat and medical equipment, including a WMed-branded stethoscope, reflex hammer, and tuning fork. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the students will also receive personal protective equipment, including masks. Donors are also invited to write a personal note of congratulations, which is placed in the pocket of their student’s white coat.
Mosser said the addition of the PPE and the WMed-branded medical equipment, which is also new this year, prompted a modest increase in the cost of a White Coat Sponsorship. "Personal protective equipment is critically important for keeping our students safe and prepared for their course work and clinical experiences in this era of the coronavirus."
The Office of Development and Alumni Affairs is offering continuing donors who wish to participate at last year’s level the opportunity to sponsor a student with another donor. Mosser indicated that is meant to address the fact that the costs of a sponsorship have increased and give continuing supporters the opportunity to stay active in the program as sponsors.
“We welcome all donors who want to be involved in the program,” Mosser said.
An exciting new development which sponsors are expressing enthusiasm for is WMed’s new Leadership White Coat Sponsorships.
These new sponsorship levels include:
- White Coat Classic Sponsor: $500
- White Coat Bronze Sponsor: $1,500
- White Coat Silver Sponsor: $2,500
- White Coat Gold Sponsor: $5,000
- White Coat Platinum Sponsor: $10,000
The leadership levels for white coat sponsors – classic, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum – are an exciting new feature this year. Donors who commit to sponsorships at one of the leadership levels will also be recognized as a member of the new Dean’s Circle Leadership Giving Society.
Donors providing leadership level sponsorships are stepping forward to support medical student success and helping to enhance the educational opportunities available to all medical students at WMed. These expanded educational opportunities include support for the Dean’s Innovation Fund, online textbooks, simulated patient experiences, research and travel funds, support for equipment and instrumentation, and student wellness programs.
Whether at the Classic Level or at a leadership level, the White Coat Sponsorship program offers donors an important and meaningful way to help medical students launch their medical studies and clinical experiences. There is a personal bond that often develops between donors and students. For donors, the program is a way to really see the impact they’re having in the lives of our students. For students, being sponsored by a donor provides an affirming and empowering experience at the very beginning of their medical education where the support and encouragement is needed most.
If you are interested in participating in this year’s White Coat Sponsorship program, please contact Jack Mosser by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 269.337.6335. Donors can also give by sending a check – payable to WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine – to WMU Homer Stryker School of Medicine, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, 1000 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49008. Please write “2020 White Coat” in the memo section of your check.