UPDATE 11:45 P.M. – WATCH KNIGHTNEWS.COM’S VIDEO STORY:
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UPDATE 4:45 p.m.

UCF made history Monday by welcoming 41 of the state’s smartest med students to campus at its first ever “White Coat Ceremony,” where the future doctors received a white coat from the community donor paying for their entire education.

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According to UCF, its charter class of med students has an average 3.8 GPA and 32.2 MCAT score. Those averages are higher than that of any incoming med student classes in the state this year, including: UF, UM, USF and FSU.

More than 4,300 students applied to UCF’s med school, “breaking the state university record for most applications” and becoming “the most selective medical school in the country” this year, according to a UCF release.

“Today we begin a long tradition of excellence, and we will set the bar high,” said med school Dean Deborah German while presiding over the 9 a.m. ceremony.

UCF’s 41-member charter med class is made up of 22 women and 19 men. Up until the ceremony it was thought there were only 40 students, but German announced enough money was raised for a forty-first lucky student to join the first class for free as well.

All the med students were awarded a full scholarship worth $160,000. The funds were raised by members of the Central Florida community, and UCF says this is the first time an entire med class will graduate completely debt-free.

It’s not clear whether UCF can continue raising enough money for free educations for the next class of students during the tough economic times.

During the ceremony, KnightNews.com embedded a live video stream of the event provided by UCF right here on this page. The live stream ended shortly before 11 a.m.

KnightNews.com crews at the ceremony gathered interviews with key UCF officials credited with making the med school possible, including Dr. John Hitt. Watch his raw interview above.

Check back for updates.

RELATED VIDEO:
Watch a recent video report on the Med schoool courtesy of UCFTV, the university’s official TV station:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqlOZ3Re3Cs

Top story photo courtesy UCF News and Information