DPT white coat

The Lincoln Memorial University Doctor of Physical Therapy (LMU-DPT) program hosted a White Coat Ceremony on April 12 at the Knoxville Convention Center.

The 53 students of the Class of 2026 were presented with a white laboratory coat to signify they have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to move on to the next phase of physical therapy training. This ritual provides an opportunity to reflect on the importance of humanism in physical therapy practice and patient-centered care.

"Your patient is more than just another patient," said Dr. Kellee Harper-Hanigan, program director for LMU DPT. "They, too, have a long list of things that make them who they are. Please commit now and do everything in your power to treat each patient as an individual with unique needs and to never fall into a one size fits all mentality."  

The ceremony also featured remarks from Dr. Jason McConnell, LMU interim president, Dr. Christopher J. Loyke, dean and chief academic officer for the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM); Dr. Tim Yost, associate program director and associate professor; Kailen Bradley, class president, and Dr. Brittney Gunterstockman, director of clinical education and assistant professor.

Faculty advisors coated the students on stage during the ceremony. Program faculty include: Hanigan, Yost, Gunterstockman, Dr. Elizabeth Fonken, Dr. Mike Spadafora, Dr. Laura Gagnon, Dr. Kwaku Kankam, Dr. Lawrence Ramiscal, Dr. Ian Rheault, Dr. Wanli Lei, Dr. Jeremy Houser.

View the ceremony here:

View candid photos here:

The Lincoln Memorial University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is located in Knoxville, Tennessee on the campus of LMU-Knoxville (9731 Cogdill Road). DPT is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community and is dedicated to advancing physical therapy practice through interprofessional and evidence-based educational opportunities that engage and support student in their development into knowledgeable, skilled, reflective, and collaborative practitioners. For more information visit, call the LMU-Knoxville at 865.338.5746 or email

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