Western University of Health Sciences will welcome more than 1,100 new students to the beginning of their health professions careers at Convocation and white coat ceremonies in Lebanon, Oregon and Pomona, California.

WesternU will hold its Convocation ceremony for 1,037 students coming into the Pomona campus at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015 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.

Pedram Salimpour, MD, president of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, will serve as the keynote speaker. Dr. Salimpour attended Boston University School of Medicine, where he was named an Alpha Omega Alpha Research Scholar and an Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Medical Society Member, and was the first two-time recipient of the American College of Physicians’ Research Award. He completed his residency at USC Medical Center/Keck School of Medicine, and holds a master’s degree in public health from UCLA.

WesternU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific – Northwest campus will welcome 108 new students at its Convocation and white coat ceremony Aug. 1, 2015 at First Assembly of God Church, 726 W. Oak St., Lebanon, Ore. 97355.

John W. Becher, DO, president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), will serve as the keynote speaker for COMP-Northwest’s Convocation ceremony. An AOA board-certified emergency physician, Dr. Becher serves as Director of Osteopathic Medical Education at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He is also chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine and a professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and an adjunct professor of emergency medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Convocation marks WesternU’s annual opening of the academic year, and the white coat ceremony symbolizes students’ entry into the health professions. WesternU Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, will preside over his final Convocation ceremonies in Lebanon and Pomona. Dr. Pumerantz will retire Sept. 8, 2015, 38 years after opening WesternU’s founding college, the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific.

In addressing incoming students, Dr. Pumerantz said, “Hippocrates told us long ago that, ‘Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.’ I submit to you that nowhere is this more true than at WesternU, where compassion and caring for others are as much a part of this curriculum as anatomy and neuroscience.

“This is my final Convocation and White Coat Ceremony as President of our University. I am especially grateful to be joining you on this new journey, as I will begin a new one of my own later this year as President Emeritus. Regardless of my role, however, I will be here for you – you can be sure.”