William (Bill) Gaskins is a 1969 College of Pharmacy graduate, clinical pharmacy instructor, Washington State University (WSU) Athletics Hall of Fame inductee and was director of pharmacy at Pullman Regional Hospital for 43 years. This fall he will also be the first-ever recipient of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences R. Keith Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award.
Every fall the college celebrates the leadership and support of alumni, mentors and preceptors during Pharmacy Homecoming Weekend. As part of the Crimson Gala on Friday, October 18, 2019, the college will celebrate the career and lifetime achievements of William Gaskins.
“Any accomplishments which can be attributed to me are because of the individuals with whom I interacted,” said Gaskins. “I am a perfect example of the prodigious words, ‘it takes a village.’”
Today, Gaskins acts as a part of that village for current WSU student pharmacists. He continues to be a strong supporter of the college, frequently offering student pharmacists advice and counsel.
“Our students are the best and the brightest,” said Gaskins. “It has always amazed me that these young men and women keep us fresh by exploring new ways to look at the future.”
In an effort to support these bright students, proceeds from the 2019 Crimson Gala will fund a William and Felicia Gaskins Scholarship at the CPPS to honor the life work and legacy of Bill and Felicia Gaskins at WSU. Bill and Felicia are college sweethearts, having met at WSU in 1962 as undergraduates. They married in 1964 and recently celebrated 55 years of marriage.
“I came to WSU as a freshman because it appeared to me from my recruiting visitations that WSU was like being in a family,” said Bill. “Through the years that initial feeling has only been enhanced.”
Bill was recruited to WSU from Spokane’s Lewis and Clark High School to play football and run track for the Cougars. He played football for WSU from 1962-66 and as a member of the 1965 “Cardiac Kids” team, was awarded the J. Fred Bohler Inspirational Award. He finished his collegiate career with second team All-American honors. After playing two years of professional football for the Calgary Stampeders, Bill returned to WSU to finish his pharmacy degree. He was inducted into the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
In 1970, Bill and Felicia returned to Pullman when Bill accepted the positions of Director of the Pullman Regional Hospital Pharmacy and clinical pharmacy instructor in the College of Pharmacy. In his dual role, Gaskins was a preceptor and mentor to more than 300 WSU student pharmacists, who earned internship hours and clinical experience in the hospital pharmacy. In the Pullman community, he served the American Cancer Society, Pullman Presbyterian Church and on the Pullman City Council. For 17 years Gaskins was a PAC-10 football official and served as the starter for WSU track events.
Felicia graduated from WSU with a B.A. in Music Education and later earned a M.A. in Intercultural Relations from the McGregor School of Antioch University. During her 40-year tenure at WSU Felicia was Senior Associate Director of the International Education Program, Director of the Conflict Resolution Program and Associate Vice President of Equity and Diversity.
Bill and Felicia are now both retired and living in Pullman. They have two children, Helen and William III, both of whom are WSU graduates, and five grandchildren.
Scholarship support to help student pharmacists is an issue of critical importance to the Gaskins. In Bill’s words, “the cost of education continues to increase and it is important to invest and provide funding to help the next generations of young people reduce their post-graduation indebtedness.”
If you would like to contribute to the William and Felicia Gaskins Scholarship please visit bit.ly/Gaskins-scholarship or go to pharmacy.wsu.edu/alumnifriends/ to learn more about Pharmacy Homecoming Weekend and Crimson Gala sponsorship.
You can also contact Kelly Sylvester, director of advancement and alumni relations at 509-358-7651 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like more information.