The University’s Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the nation’s first school of pharmacy, proudly inducted 220 students into its professional family on Saturday, October 2. Surrounded by family and friends, members of the 2014 doctor of pharmacy class were presented with pins and recited the oath of a pharmacist.
At the ceremony, Dr. Lisa A. Lawson, dean of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP) and the Barbara H. Korberly Professor in Women’s Health and Leadership, welcomed the students and spoke of the prestige a degree from PCP holds and its distinction among colleagues of pharmacy.
The keynote address was given by Dr. Cynthia Raehl, professor and chair of clinical research and development, Head Clinical Research Division at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy in Amarillo, Abilene, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Lubbock Texas. Recognized internationally for her work related to hospital-affiliated clinical pharmacy services, Dr. Raehl is an accomplished scholar with over 75 refereed journal publications and many published abstracts and book chapters. One of only a few individuals to serve as the former president of both the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Dr. Raehl, along with her late husband Dr. Cab Bond, is a seven times recipient of the Research Award for Achievement in Pharmacy Practice Research from the American Society of Health System Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation.
After switching from her suit jacket to a white coat, Dr. Raehl spoke of the need for compassion in pharmacy and the importance of upholding the morals and ethics of the oath the students were about to recite. Dr. Raehl encouraged the students to look beyond their current challenges of biochemistry and towards the future, where the industry needs leaders dedicated to quality care of patients. “It’s not about the drugs,” said Dr. Raehl as she provided examples in her life where the compassion of those in the industry transcended their expertise in medicine.
Each student was called up to the stage to receive their pin by Dr. Laura A. Mandos, assistant dean of pharmacy and congratulated by faculty members from both departments within the college of pharmacy. Then the nation’s future pharmacy leaders turned to their right and left to pin their colleagues and congratulate them on coming this far in their journey. Reciting the oath of a pharmacist with Dr. Cathy Poon, executive vice chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacy Administration, the students acknowledged their responsibility and commitment to the health of the public.
In addition, the ceremony acknowledged PCP students with outstanding achievements inside and outside the classroom. Lieutenant Commander Joe Zagame BS’99 presented the United States Public Health Service Award to Thao Huynh PharmD’12; while PCP Professors, Dr. Jomy George and Dr. Peter J. Harvison, bestowed special recognition leadership awards to Jesse Goldberg PharmD’14 and Shreya Sabharwal PharmD’14.
The afternoon concluded with remarks by Dr. George E. Downs, professor of clinical pharmacy and dean emeritus, and a celebratory reception for students and their families.