BUIES CREEK — The Doctor of Physical Therapy program formally acknowledged the start of its inaugural semester with a convocation ceremony on Friday in Campbell University’s Butler Chapel.
The convocation ceremony is a time honored tradition throughout Campbell’s academic programs and serves as a time of fellowship and celebration to mark the beginning of a new academic year. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program’s academic year runs from January through December unlike that of the other programs, which run from August through May.
Many influential leaders at Campbell and throughout the physical therapy industry in North Carolina were on hand to offer words of wisdom, welcome and encouragement to live up to the success and reputation of the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.
“Our goal is to ensure that you are academically and clinically prepared,” said Ron Maddox, vice president for health programs, during his greetings from the College. “The College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences has a remarkable foundation and unwavering support for you to succeed and become the best practitioners you can be.”
Among the leaders of physical therapy was Ben F. Massey, Jr., executive director of the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy, who gave the convocation address.
“PT school is no cake walk,” said Massey, “You will study more, read more and sleep less than ever. But I assure you that you will get goose bumps the first time you help a patient take his first independent steps after a stroke.”
Massey continued to tell the class the importance of their role in healthcare, especially in rural areas like Harnett County. He recounted the history of Harnett County in the physical therapy industry, which includes the first doctor who publicly supported the change of physical therapy from a prescription based therapy to a direct access to care. In other words, the ability for a patient to see a physical therapist without first acquiring a prescription from a physician.
Jerry Wallace, president, and Mark Hammond, vice president for academic affairs and provost, were also in attendance.
Addressing the class for the second time in a week, Wallace recounted his own personal experience with physical therapy and encouraged the students to fully embrace the culture of Campbell and healing people.
“You’re facing a blank sheet of paper for your program and the university,” said Wallace. “Write well.”
In closing, Massey encouraged the class to make a difference in the lives of others.
“You have an opportunity to make the first impression and create a buzz in the industry for Campbell University. Good luck!”
Story by Leah Whitt, College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
Photo by Billy Liggett