Occupational Therapy graduate students.

For School of Health Sciences

The School of Health Sciences Commencement for Physical Therapy & Physician Assistant Studies will be held on August 17, 2019, at 10 a.m. at the Lincoln Theatre.

The School of Health Sciences has various ceremonies throughout the year for each of the graduate-level academic programs including Athletic Training, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Studies. Typically these ceremonies are held at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Va. 

School of Health Sciences Commencement

The School of Health Sciences Commencement happens at different times throughout the year given the timing of each specific program. The School of Health Sciences Commencement for Physical Therapy & Physician Assistant Studies will be held on August 17, 2019, at 10 a.m. at the Lincoln Theatre. 

The keynote speaker will be Ruth Ballweg M.P.A., P.A.-C Emeritus, DFAAPA. She is the recipient of the two highest awards in the PA profession, AAPA’s Eugene Stead Award in 2012 and PAEA’s first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. She was Program Director of the University of Washington’s MEDEX Northwest PA Program for 29 years from 1985-2014. A graduate of MEDEX in 1977, Ruth practiced in Primary Care and Public Health
before joining the MEDEX Faculty in 1981.

There is limited seating and attendees must have a ticket in order to attend. Each student is given up to 6 tickets to share with their family and friends.

White Coat Ceremony

Both the Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Studies programs participate in White Coat Ceremonies for each of their cohorts. These special ceremonies happen throughout the various stages of each cohort. 

For the Physical Therapy students, this signifies the beginning of the year-long clinical rotation component of the program and comes following two years focused on the didactic portion of students’ training. The ceremony is a rite of passage that serves as a symbol of the responsibility, obligations, honor, excellence, accountability, compassion and inclusiveness required of their chosen profession. 

The White Coat Ceremony for Physician Assistant Studies students signifies their transition as they prepare to begin supervised practice in a clinical setting. Students also recite the Physician Assistant Professional Oath near the end of the ceremony.

Pinning Ceremony

The Occupational Therapy program recognizes the students in their cohorts who have completed the classroom portion of their program with a Pinning Ceremony. Students will go on to begin their six months of clinical training and this ceremony celebrates their accomplishments over the past two years.