HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Quinnipiac’s University School of Medicine is welcoming its newest class. The annual White Coat Ceremony was held on Thursday.

It marks the beginning of the medical school journey for the class of 2026. The ceremony not only welcomes these students to the School of Medicine but also into the medical profession with all of the responsibilities and expectations associated with being a physician.

Students say it’s not something they take lightly given the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would say it definitely bolstered my passion for the field, seeing the widespread effect the pandemic had on everybody, so it definitely encouraged me even more,” said Lucas Webb, Quinnipiac University School of Medicine, Class of 2026.

“I think people just really saw the need for health professionals and the good they were doing and that inspired people to join the medical field, in any capacity, whether it was volunteering or changing their career path,” said Rachel Vallejo, Quinnipiac University School of Medicine, Class of 2026.

The class of 2026 is comprised of 94 students from 24 states.