Harding University

May 4, 2012

Inaugural pharmacy class to graduate Saturday 

Students in Harding University’s College of Pharmacy are setting a historic milestone during commencement exercises May 5. The University’s inaugural class of pharmacists will receive their Doctor of Pharmacy degree during Saturday’s ceremony at 1 p.m.

Harding’s pharmacy program is only the second in the state of Arkansas. The program’s inaugural class was seated in 2008. The College of Pharmacy shares a $7.7 million, two-story facility with the Physician Assistant program, the first PA school in the state.

“The graduation of the inaugural class from the college of pharmacy represents the combined efforts of many administrators, faculty, staff and students working together to accomplish a dream,” said Dr. Julie Hixson-Wallace, Dean of the University’s College of Pharmacy.  “It is definitely a group effort and the final product is a well-rounded pharmacy professional who can proudly stand next to any pharmacy graduate in the country and feel able to compete.”

This first graduating class of pharmacists includes 25 female and 31 male students from 19 states and six foreign countries. Candidates for degrees, along with their family, friends and University faculty, will be celebrating their success at a banquet at Next Level Events in Little Rock, Ark. on May 4. Carol Jones, director of admissions into the College of Pharmacy, will present several student awards at the event.

Commencement and hooding ceremonies will be held in Benson Auditorium at 1 p.m. President David B. Burks will present diplomas to all graduates. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Hewitt W. Matthews, dean of the Mercer University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Atlanta, Ga.

Continued Candidate accreditation status was awarded to the program by the ACPE Board of Directors in June of 2011 based upon an on-site evaluation conducted in March of 2011. The program can now seek full accreditation status prior to the graduation of the first class.

“The Harding pharmacist is distinguished as one who uses the profession of pharmacy as a conduit to serve their fellow man,” Hixson-Wallace said. “It will truly be gratifying to see these graduates cross the stage on Saturday.”