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News Release

Date: 8/29/07

Drury alumnus honored during KCOM’s White Coat Ceremony

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – Krista Willingham, a 2007 graduate of Drury University, participated in the traditional key transfer ceremony during the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony in August. The annual White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1996 and is designed to impress upon new students the significance and symbolism of entering the medical profession.

A first-year student at KCOM, Willingham accepted the key for the Class of 2011 and addressed her class:

"It is a great honor for me, and for our class of 2011, to become a part of the founding school of osteopathic medicine and to be entrusted with the privileges and responsibilities of carrying on this tradition,” said Willingham, who is from Rogersville, Mo. “I am excited about all that we will learn together: the studying, the working, and the training, and I am looking forward to the great physicians that we will become.This key unlocks the cabin where, 179 years ago, A. T. Still was born, a single man who forever changed the face of medicine. His legacy is passed on to us today, here as the class of 2011 is born, and we are proud to commit ourselves to the growth and welfare of osteopathic medicine.”

During the annual White Coat Ceremony, the vice president for medical affairs and dean formally inducts new students into the school by asking them to join him in reading the Osteopathic Pledge of Commitment. This is followed by the transfer of the key for the log cabin, birthplace of A. T. Still, from the second-year class to the first-year class. This symbolizes the obligation freshmen have in preserving the heritage of KCOM and osteopathic medicine.


A.T. Still University is the leading institution at the forefront of multidisciplinary healthcare education founded on the principles of whole person care. It boasts Arizona’s first and only dental school, the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health,and the world’s first osteopathic medical school, the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. The University also provides osteopathic medical education through its newest school, the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. In addition, it offers online health management training programs through its School of Health Management and trains healthcare professionals in several allied health fields through the Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.