The pomp of Convocation is over, and now incoming Western University of Health Sciences students – more than 1,100 strong in Pomona, California and Lebanon, Oregon – are buckling down to study. But they know they are not alone as they begin the most daunting academic challenge of their lives.

Through the prospective interview process and Welcome Week, WesternU’s new students felt welcomed.

“Faculty are the first ones who convinced me to like this school,” said first-year College of Optometry student Linh Ho, OD ’18. “They gave us realistic expectations about school. They are trying to be our friend and faculty at the same time. They treat us like we’re colleagues.”

WesternU Board of Trustees member Maureen Duffy-Lewis, JD, drove home this point in her Convocation speech.

“Welcome to the WesternU family,” she said. “Family and friends, hopefully you have had a chance to learn about our university’s philosophy and mission. This is where your family member or friend will be reaching for their dreams of a career in the health sciences. This is where they will study like never before, and reach for the moon and the stars.”

Clark Johnson, father of first-year College of Podiatric Medicine student Cory Johnson, DPM ’18, said at CPM’s white coat ceremony that his son knows he has a big challenge ahead.

“In the end it will totally be worth it,” Johnson said. “You’ll really be able to provide for your family and you’ll have a career that gives you the satisfaction you get from helping people in need.”