Western University of Health Sciences will celebrate the opening of its academic year and the beginning of the health careers of more than 1,000 new students.

WesternU’s Convocation ceremony will take place at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, Calif. 91768. Each of WesternU’s nine colleges will then hold white coat ceremonies in Pomona and Claremont. The ceremonies are only open to new students, their families and invited guests.

The Convocation keynote speaker is state Sen. Norma Torres, D-32nd District. An advocate for common-sense solutions, Torres has championed legislation making California government more responsive to the needs of working families, children and seniors in the Inland Empire. Torres supports job training programs, access to higher education, and other tools to improve skills that help people get better-paying jobs. She advocates for services and programs that help families transition out of the recession, keep their homes, and provide high-quality education to their children.

Convocation marks WesternU’s annual opening of the academic year, and the white coat ceremony symbolizes students’ entry into the health professions. COMP-Northwest, WesternU’s Pacific Northwest campus for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, welcomed 105 new students at its Convocation and white coat ceremony Aug. 2, 2014 in Lebanon, Oregon. Click here to read more about COMP-Northwest and to view the slideshows.

“This is a big time of year for everyone on campus, especially for our new students, their families and their friends,” said WesternU President Philip Pumerantz, PhD. “And it’s an important time, as embarking on an education at WesternU means more than simply going to classes, studying, taking tests and perfecting technical skills. It also means fully embracing the idea that we are in the people business. The personal care and compassion we demonstrate to one another as members of the WesternU family, and to the patients and communities that seek our aid, are this institution’s calling card, and represent our mission far better than any test or technique.”