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Annual Presidential Ice Cream Socials Highlight Western University's Welcome Week

by Rodney Tanaka

July 19, 2000

Read 3 mins

What began 22 years ago as a small group of incoming medical students

gathering for brunch at the college president’s house one afternoon just

before the start of the school year continues in 2000 with more than 400

health professions students gathering at the university president’s house

for ice cream over three evenings just before the start of this school


Western University President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, and his wife, Harriet,

will welcome first-year students from four of the University’s colleges in

the backyard of their Upland home for ice cream and cookies, Tuesday

through Thursday, August 1-3.

“”We had 36 students enter the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the

Pacific’s charter class in 1978 and we thought meeting and talking over

brunch at our home would be a great way to really get to know them,”” Dr.

Pumerantz said. “”We’ve grown from one college then to a university of

1,400 students today, yet it’s an event Harriet and I always look forward

to. Even though hundreds of people come to our home those three evenings,

our Ice Cream Socials remain a comfortable, relaxing way for us and our

faculty and staff to meet our students.””

The three get togethers over ice cream are among a series of events

marking Western University’s Welcome Week.

The week begins with Getting Ready Weekend Saturday and Sunday, July 29

and 30. Students entering Western University’s advanced practice nursing,

osteopathic physician, pharmacy and physician assistant programs enjoy a

weekend in the San Bernardino Mountains near Lake Arrowhead with returning

Western University students, who fill them in on the ins and outs of their

respective health professions programs.

The Ice Cream Socials come next, beginning at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday through

Thursday, August 1-3.

The pomp and circumstance of Convocation – the official start of the

academic year – will be held beginning at 9:30 a.m., Friday, August 4, on

campus in the Health Sciences Center Amphitheater. Members of the

University’s administration and faculty will march into the Amphitheater

in full academic regalia in front of students and their family members

before beginning a program that includes a welcome by President Pumerantz,

remarks by Chairman of the Board of Trustees Warren Lawless. In addition,

George Charney, DO, executive vice president of academic affairs/chief

academic officer will speak on “”The Enrichment of University Progrms in an

Atmosphere of Diversity”” and Ed Tessier, business executive and developer

will speak on “”Western University As I See It.”” A reception and campus

tours immediately follow in the Student Commons, Health Professions Center.

Parents’ Day begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 5, with a presentation

by continuing students, University deans, faculty members, and the

presidents of the Student Government Association and the Parent Support

Group to give new students and their parents an opportunity to learn more

about Western University. The annual Parents’ Day Barbecue begins at 11:30

a.m. in Founders Park. Campus tours begin at noon.

Western University’s annual White Coat Ceremonies also will be held

Saturday, August 5. These ceremonies, in which incoming students – before

friends, family and faculty – don their white lab coats for the first

time, is a symbolic moment for health professionals-in-training. They also

recite the “”Pledge of Commitment,”” a promise to work toward becoming

competent and compassionate health care professionals.

Almost 420 new students will be joining approximately 1,000 returning

students in Western University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine of the

Pacific, College of Allied Health Professions, College of Pharmacy and

College of Graduate Nursing. This year also sees the matriculation of

Western University’s first class of students entering the Master of

Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program. The University has had a

Primary Care Physician Assistant Program since 1990, granting graduates

the right to sit for the national physician assistant licensing exam. The

University’s Board of Trustees voted to move the program to the master’s

degree level last year.

In addition to welcoming new and returning students, Western University’s

Alumni Association is holding reunions for members of the classes of 1985,

1990 and 1995 at a dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, August 5, at

the Marriott Hotel near Ontario International Airport.

The University’s Alumni Association, College of Pharmacy and the

California Geriatric Education Center also will sponsor a Continuing

Medical Education (CME) Seminar on “”Primary Care/Geriatrics Care Update,””

Saturday and Sunday, August 5 and 6, on the Western University campus.

Participants may receive up to 15 CME credits.

For more information on the Alumni Association’s events, call (909) 469-


For more information on Welcome Week activities, contact Western

University’s Events and Programs Department at (909) 469-5365.


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