School of Pharmacy celebrates 50 years of excellence

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November 05, 2012

Over the weekend, North­eastern cel­e­brated the School of Phar­macy's 50th anniver­sary, bringing together gen­er­a­tions of grad­u­ates, fac­ulty, staff, uni­ver­sity leaders, along with cur­rent stu­dents, to com­mem­o­rate the school's proud his­tory and look ahead toward its promising future.

On Sat­urday night, more than 275 people, including approx­i­mately 150 alumni, attended a grand cel­e­bra­tion of the impact uni­ver­sity leaders, dis­tin­guished fac­ulty and out­standing stu­dents have made on the School of Phar­macy over the last half-​​century.

"You may have noticed that the campus has changed, the pro­grams have changed and the people have changed, but at its core, it's that enduring com­mit­ment to excel­lence that drives us for­ward every day," John R. Reynolds, dean of the School of Phar­macy, told attendees.

Terry Fulmer, dean of the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, noted that the excep­tional accom­plish­ments from alumni and stu­dents include an “impres­sive array of suc­cesses in the advance­ment of drug dis­covery, delivery and diag­nos­tics along with our world-​​class edu­ca­tional programs.”

Stephen W. Director, provost and senior vice pres­i­dent for aca­d­emic affairs at North­eastern, called the anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion an impor­tant mile­stone and hailed fac­ulty, staff and alumni for the school’s progress over the last 50 years. He also cred­ited the school for its focus on use-​​inspired research driven by soci­etal needs, noting that health, along with secu­rity and sus­tain­ability, is one of the university’s top research themes.

We know today just how impor­tant health care and effi­cient cost-​​effective delivery of health care is in this country and this school plays a leading role there,” Director said.

A com­mem­o­ra­tive video was also played at the event, cap­turing the school’s his­tory and offering a glimpse into its cutting-​​edge research—which includes uti­lizing nan­otech­nology to combat cancer and devel­oping sub­cu­ta­neous nanosen­sors  that mon­itor blood glu­cose levels.

The event also rec­og­nized sev­eral dis­tin­guished hon­orees who have made pro­found con­tri­bu­tions to the school over the years:

George D. Behrakis, P’57, H’98, and Margo Behrakis
George, a visionary leader in the phar­ma­ceu­tical industry, and Margo Behrakis’ gift led to the founding of the state-​​of-​​the-​​art Behrakis Health Sci­ences Center. The couple has estab­lished chairs and schol­ar­ships at North­eastern and other uni­ver­si­ties and med­ical cen­ters, including the George D. Behrakis Chair in Phar­ma­ceu­tical Biotech­nology at North­eastern. George Behrakis has served on Northeastern’s board of trustees for many years, and was elected life­time trustee emer­itus in 2006 in recog­ni­tion of his lead­er­ship. He also received an hon­orary degree from North­eastern in 1998 and the Out­standing Alumnus Award from the Sport in Society, a North­eastern Uni­ver­sity research center, in 2000.

Joseph Fleming, P’70, MS’71, and Nancy Fleming, P’71
Joseph Fleming, an entre­pre­neur, was named an Alumnus of the Year in 2005, and founded the highly suc­cessful Health Sci­ences Entre­pre­neurs pro­gram at North­eastern. He is chairman of the HSE pro­gram and is active in men­toring young entre­pre­neurs. Nancy Fleming served as an assis­tant director of phar­macy at Peter Bent Brigham Hos­pital and a super­visor of phar­macy at Brigham and Women’s Hos­pital. She has been a spokesperson for the phar­macy alumni out­reach group and a member of the 50th Anniver­sary Committee

John Neumeyer and Evelyn Neumeyer, ED’78
John Neumeyer, a former pro­fessor of med­i­c­inal chem­istry in the School of Phar­macy, estab­lished Northeastern’s first doc­toral pro­gram (Phar­ma­ceu­tical Sci­ences). In 1981, he was named the university’s first Matthews Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor at the uni­ver­sity. He was also recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Med­i­c­inal Chem­istry Divi­sion of the Amer­ican Chem­ical Society and this year was named the 2012 Out­standing Edu­cator of the Amer­ican Asso­ci­a­tion of Phar­ma­ceu­tical Sci­en­tists. Evelyn Neumeyer was hon­ored by North­eastern as the 1992 Out­standing Alumna for Busi­ness and Industry. The couple par­tic­i­pates in the Health Sci­ences Entre­pre­neurs pro­gram and has estab­lished two under­grad­uate schol­ar­ships at Bouvé as well as a Research Achieve­ment Award given annu­ally to a grad­uate stu­dent in the phar­ma­ceu­tical sciences.

The School of Pharmacy’s rich his­tory dates back 85 years to 1927 when Con­stan­tine Meriano founded the Meriano School of Phar­macy in Boston. In 1940, the school was incor­po­rated into the Boston School of Phar­macy, and in 1949 it was renamed the New Eng­land Col­lege of Pharmacy.

Then, in 1962, the col­lege merged with North­eastern to become the North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Col­lege of Phar­macy. In 1999, Northeastern’s Bouvé Col­lege of Heath Sci­ences was formed, and it now houses the School of Phar­macy. Ear­lier this year, the school moved to its new loca­tion at 140 The Fenway.

A panel dis­cus­sion, hosted by the Health Sci­ences Entre­pre­neurs, drew that drew approx­i­mately 75 stu­dents kicked off the 50th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion on Friday with alumni com­mu­nity phar­ma­cists high­lighting oppor­tu­ni­ties for entre­pre­neurs in inde­pen­dent com­mu­nity pharmacy.

One of the alumni pan­elists, Vahrij Manoukian, P’81, owner of Hollis Phar­macy in New Hamp­shire, urged stu­dents to con­sider taking an entre­pre­neurial leap and build their own local com­mu­nity phar­ma­cies, which he said requires devel­oping strong rela­tion­ships with cus­tomers and stellar cus­tomer ser­vice. He also noted that Northeastern’s sig­na­ture expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion model gives stu­dents invalu­able real-​​world expe­ri­ence as they begin their careers in pharmacy.

On Sunday, the 50th anniver­sary fes­tiv­i­ties con­cluded with a White Coat Cer­e­mony for the Doctor of Pharmacy’s program’s Class of 2016, which for­mally moves stu­dents into the pro­fes­sional phase of their phar­macy edu­ca­tion. George Behrakis P’57, and Afton Wagner, P’07, from the National Com­mu­nity Phar­ma­cists Asso­ci­a­tion, were the keynote speakers at the cer­e­mony. The event was attended by a full house of the stu­dents’ family and friends in Blackman Auditorium.