On May 18, 2008 the University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy awarded its first degree to Robin M. Absher of Raven, Virginia. Ms. Absher received her doctorate of pharmacy degree from Frank M. Kilgore, Chairman of the University's Board of Trustees, and Dr. Eleanor Sue Cantrell, President of the University and Dean of the College of Pharmacy. Ms. Absher joined 66 of her classmates who were also awarded degrees during the momentous ceremony. Every member of the inaugural class had received at least one offer of employment at the time of graduation, and Mr. Kilgore estimates that over 80% of the graduating class will accept positions working in medically underserved communuties in Central Appalachia. Most graduating class members have already accepted employment offers, or will further their training in residency programs.
According to Mr. Kilgore, who was instrumental in the founding of the University of Appalachia, the graduation ceremony was the fulfillment of a dream and was a "watershed event that will be of be of huge importance to generations to come as the history of our school is written". Mr. Kilgore also expressed thanks to others who had worked toward the dream's fulfillment: associate deans Dr. Susan Mayhew, Dr. Chuck Bresse, and Whitney Caudill; and Dean of Institutional Development Terry Kilgore. These individuals deserved special thanks, according to Chaiman (Frank) Kilgore, due to their "sustained and skillful efforts toward program development, accreditation, recruitment, teaching, event organizing and fundraising" for the new school.
The University of Appalachia School of Pharmacy is located in Oakwood, Virginia. If you would like to learn more, visit the School's website here.
Photo by Eric McCarty, courtesy of the University of Appalachia