Former St. Jude CEO Dr. William Evans to Receive Honorary Degree at 2018 Commencement Ceremony

By Jenna Pizzi

Published on May 9, 2018

William E. EvansUSciences will celebrate the class of 2018 at its 197th Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, and bestow an honorary doctor of science degree on William E. Evans, PharmD, endowed chair and former CEO of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In addition, USciences welcomes keynote speaker Mary Ann Forciea, MD, to the 7th annual bachelor’s degree conferment ceremony on Friday, May 18, 2018.

Dr. Evans, who will be counted among the approximately 520 commencement graduates that day, began his career at St. Jude as a student in 1972. He has devoted his career to researching pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. For this work, he has received three awards from the National Institute of Health's National Cancer Institute.  

He holds the St. Jude professorship and endowed chair at the University of Tennessee Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences in 2002.

Recognized by Institute for Scientific Information as a “Highly Cited Scientist” because citations for his publications are among the top one percentile of pharmacists in his field worldwide, Dr. Evans is author of more than 300 articles, textbooks and scientific journals. He was awarded the 2012 Remington Medal from the American Pharmaceutical Association and the 2013 Hunter Award from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

Dr. Evans received his bachelor of science and doctor of pharmacy degrees from University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences. He has also received honorary doctoral degrees from Rhodes College, the Ohio State University, University of Florida, and the Medical University of South Carolina.

At the conferment ceremony, some 160 students in the doctor of occupational therapy, doctor of physical therapy, and doctor of pharmacy programs who entered the University as a first-year student in 2014, or who transferred into those programs before earning a bachelor’s degree, are eligible to receive a bachelor’s degree as they continue their matriculation toward their professional degree.

Mary Ann ForcieaDr. Forciea is a clinical professor of medicine in the division of geriatric medicine at PennMedicine. Her practice is centered on primary care of the older patient both in the office and in house-call settings.

In more than 35 years of practice in geriatric medicine, Dr. Forciea has seen emphasized an interprofessional approach to patient care, which she has brought to her role as an educator in the last 15 years.

Dr. Forciea has developed an interprofessional teaching method with representatives from USciences’ Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and students from Penn in the nursing and medical programs. In the past five years, the program has incorporated the rehabilitation professions to the panel of disciplines.  The educational program recognized with funding through a Geriatric Workforce Enhancement grant program from the Bureau of Health Professions.

Dr. Forciea she has served for eight years on the clinical guidelines committee of the American College of Physicians, including for two years as chair of the committee. She is also a master of the American College of Physicians and was named Clinician of the Year by the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Forciea also served for more than 15 years as the director of the Geriatric Education Center of Greater Philadelphia.

Dr. Forciea received her doctor of medicine degree from Duke University. Her internal medicine residency was located at the University of Minnesota and she participated in a geriatric medicine fellowship in Glasgow, Scotland.

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