Class of 2022 Celebrates a Turning Point in Training at White Coat Ceremony

October 21, 2020

October 2, 2020


View the Ceremony Online

The SUNY College of Optometry class of 2022 marked a major milestone on the journey to becoming doctors during a virtual White Coat Ceremony held on Friday, September 25.

A traditional rite of passage, the White Coat Ceremony symbolizes the transition of third-year optometric students from didactic instruction and coursework to patient care in the clinic for the next two years of their training. Typically hosted in May, the long-anticipated event for students and faculty was postponed and moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Alongside College president, Dr. David A. Heath, ceremony speakers included Dr. Michael McGovern, chief medical officer of the University Eye Center; Dr. David Troillo, dean and vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Suresh Viswanathan, chair of biological and vision sciences; Dr. Richard Madonna, chair of clinical education; Dr. Samar Awad, president of the SUNY Optometry Alumni Association; Ludivina Martinez, executive director and vice president for clinical administration; and Ms. Julie FeiFei Song, president of the class of 2022.

“As 2022 prepares to take the clinic by storm, I am so proud of what we have accomplished,” said Song. “The amount of information that we have learned so far has been incredible, and the finish line doesn’t seem so far.”

Before the virtual ceremony, members of the class of 2022 were individually pre-recorded receiving their white coats from the University Eye Center clinic area chiefs. The video was shared during the online event with more than 500 people in remote attendance. The ceremony closed with reciting the “Optometric Oath for Students,” a statement recognizing and affirming the values and ethical responsibilities to patients, colleagues, other health providers, and the public the students will serve.

The White Coat Ceremony was supported by a series of sponsors, including the Luxottica, the Optometric Center of New York, Marco, Pioneer International, and VSP. The SUNY Optometry Alumni Association generously supplied white coats.

For more information about admission and programs at SUNY College of Optometry, visit

Organization contact: Adrienne Stoller,, 212-938-5600


About SUNY Optometry

Founded in 1971 and located in New York City, the State University of New York College of Optometry is a leader in education, research, and patient care, offering the Doctor of Optometry degree as well as MS and PhD degrees in vision science. The College conducts a robust program of basic, translational, and clinical research and has 65 affiliated clinical training sites as well as an on-site clinic, the University Eye Center. SUNY Optometry is regionally accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; its four-year professional degree program and residency programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association. All classrooms, research facilities and the University Eye Center, which is one of the largest optometric outpatient facilities in the nation, are located on 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan. To learn more about SUNY Optometry, visit