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School of Pharmacy celebrating

Twenty years of graduates

Dr. Linda Hensman, director of the School of Pharmacy, is bursting with pride as the school celebrates 20 years of graduating students

By Sharon Gray

The School of Pharmacy is celebrating 20 years of graduating students. This milestone anniversary will be observed this summer with Pharmacy Alumni Homecoming 2009 and the presentation of the inaugural Pharmacy Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honour the school can bestow on its graduates.

The first Pharmacy Alumni Achievement Award will be presented at the Director’s Dinner and Dance on Saturday Aug. 1 at Gushue Hall.

“As we celebrate 20 years of graduates it is exciting to reflect on the changes which have occurred during this time,” said Dr. Linda Hensman, director of the School of Pharmacy. “Twenty years ago we graduated 25 students. At convocation this year 38 students received degrees. The recent announcement from the provincial government that they are supporting the expansion of the School of Pharmacy enrolment to 60 seats per year will see our school continue to grow and develop.

“This is an exciting and challenging time, with a world of opportunity for our students, alumni, faculty and staff and our graduates. It is important to recognize that we would not be celebrating this summer’s Pharmacy Alumni Homecoming but for the significant and tireless work of many pharmacists in the province and their financial contributions. They have worked hard to have a Pharmacy program established at MUN.”

Dr. Hensman is the only faculty member who has continuously participated in the School of Pharmacy since its inception. “I’ve taught each graduating student either a full course or a few lectures and I am extremely proud of our alumni and the contributions they have made to advance the profession and delivery of health care to the people of our province and country. They have been strong supporters of our school – as preceptors, lecturers, committee members, role models for our students and contributors to many other activities. Several of our faculty are also graduates of MUN’s program and it has been wonderful to see them grow both personally and professionally over the years. We’ve now been around long enough to see the children of the school’s alumni graduate from our program too!”

Dr. Hensman said graduates of the early days of the program will be amazed at the significant changes in the focus and course offerings in the School of Pharmacy’s curriculum today. “I think they will marvel at the state of the art Professional Practice Laboratory which our current students have available for learning. We have witnessed considerable change since 1990 when our first graduate, Rick Abbott, crossed the stage to receive his degree. I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will bring!”