The West Virginia University School of Pharmacy celebrated the 110th anniversary of pharmacy education at WVU with a grand event that brought together nearly 200 alumni and friends from 12 states. The festivities at the Erickson Alumni Center in Morgantown on June 1 featured an evening of camaraderie, recognition and celebration of the School’s rich legacy.

The event's highlight was the 2024 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which honored 27 distinguished alumni for their contributions to clinical practice, research, academia, and the pharmaceutical industry. This group represents less than 5% of the approximately 4,000 alumni, signifying their notable accomplishments.

“It’s an honor for us to recognize these exemplary individuals who have significantly impacted their field of work and communities,” said Dean William Petros, Gates Wigner Dean of the WVU School of Pharmacy. “Their achievements not only underscore the legacy of our school but also reinforce our commitment to excellence in pharmacy education and healthcare.”

The 2024 School of Pharmacy Hall of Fame inductees are Erik E. Abel, Mayur M. Amonkar, Neelam Azad, Aaron Cumpston, Carmella Evans-Molina, Joseph J. Filipek, Xin Gao, Robert M. Gill, Niesha L. Griffith, Khalid M. Kamal, Stephen S. Leonard, Ben Lopez, Carroll Clark Martin, Drew Massey, Jenna M. Merandi, John E. Miller, Karla M. Miller, LeeAnn Miller, Tami Rodriguez, Wanda Kellison Rogers, Mary Ann (Schwarz) Bell, James F. Smith, George G. Sokos, Jennifer Means Stephens, Joanna L. Stollings, Timothy Gibson Whitten and Lisa W. Zannoni. They graduated between 1961 and 2010.

Inductees were selected after the School made a public request for nominations this spring. The numerous nominations were evaluated by two committees of experts. The main criteria were the candidate’s pharmacy career and/or accomplishments in healthcare that were deemed truly outstanding, demonstrating sustained and meritorious contributions to the pharmacy profession, West Virginia University, or the healthcare society at large.

The WVU School of Pharmacy and the WVU School of Pharmacy Alumni Association established a Hall of Fame in 2014 and inducted 153 inaugural members. Many of those members attended the June 1 dinner. The names of all School of Pharmacy Hall of Fame members are displayed permanently in the School.

Each year, the SoP Alumni Association presents special awards to alumni and friends who have achieved remarkable accomplishments in pharmacy. Douglas Slain earned the Outstanding Service, Non-Alumnus Award. Slain is the chair and professor of the School’s Clinical Pharmacy Department. Randel “Randy” Gum earned the Outstanding Community Service Award. Gum is the former owner of The Prescription Shop in Bridgeport, W.Va. Ashleigh Barrickman earned the Outstanding Alumna of the Year Award. Barrickman is the associate dean of admissions and affairs and an associate professor in the School’s Clinical Pharmacy Department. Public nominations also select nominees for these awards.

This summer, five faculty members will begin new adventures in retirement. WVU grants emeritus status to faculty who have served the University for at least 10 years and have met the requirements of “meritorious contributions” to the University and its mission. During the ceremony, the School recognized Professor Emerita Mary Euler (11 years), associate dean for admissions and student affairs; Associate Professor Emerita Grazyna Szklarz (26 years), associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences; Professor Emerita Virginia (Ginger) Scott (30 years), professor of pharmaceutical systems and policy; Professor Emerita Elizabeth Scharman (32 years), clinical and executive director of the WV Poison Center, and professor of clinical pharmacy; and Professor Emeritus Gerald Higa (35 years), professor of clinical pharmacy. Combined, they have 134 years of service to the School of Pharmacy.

Since 1914, West Virginia University has been educating pharmacists who excel in their field, adapt to the evolving demands of healthcare, and contribute significantly to the communities they serve. You can view the Hall of Fame dinner and Alumni Day photos online. You may also want to visit the 110th Anniversary page for the School’s history and timeline.