Held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is designed to help students connect through orientation activities and ultimately succeed in the classroom through learning strategies, time management skills, and some introductory coursework. In addition, the program features a focus on health and well-being, along with a friendly, year-long competition to inspire students.
“Gatton Ready is exciting because it not only gives our students a head start in the classroom, but it provides an opportunity for them to bond more quickly with their classmates, as well as faculty and staff, and help form the family culture that we value at the college,” said co-organizer Dr. Michele Williams, academic success specialist.
“Our students are who define us as a college,” said co-organizer Michele Graybeal, student life coordinator. “Gatton Ready has provided us a unique opportunity in our current circumstances: both to welcome and get to know the new class, and to reconnect with our returning students whom we have missed terribly these past few months. I have been amazed at the enthusiasm of our second-, third- and fourth-year students who helped tailor many of these virtual events.”
Here is a snapshot of the Class of 2024:
- They are from 14 states and two international countries
- Over half are from Tennessee
- The class attended 37 different colleges and 20% are ethnic minorities
- 25% are from ETSU
- 50% have a bachelor’s degree or higher
- 67% are females, 33% are males
- 36% are first generation college students
Gatton College of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Debbie Byrd spoke to the incoming class and was joined by ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland and Dr. Wilsie Bishop, senior vice president for academics, who addressed the Class of 2024 during the virtual welcome session held over Zoom.
“You are our priority,” Byrd told the class. “We want you to be the best you can be as a professional and as a human being, and we’re going to challenge you to make sure you get there.”
“You will soon discover the Gatton family of support and the community and commitment that come together in that family to make this place special,” Noland said during his address. “Persevere, be patient and exhibit grace with one another.”
The traditional White Coat Ceremony has been postponed until spring because of COVID-19. Learn more about Gatton College of Pharmacy at www.etsu.edu/pharmacy.