2023 Crimson Gala celebrates college’s leaders in pharmacy

Dean Mark Leid (’83) (left) and Professor Emeritus Linda Garrelts MacLean (’78) (right), present Rick Doane with the R. Keith Campbell Lifetime Achievement award.

Every year, the WSU pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences alumni community make their annual pilgrimage from across the nation to the college. Their collective goal? To pay tribute to their own and raise funds for scholarships and academic programs for the next generation of student pharmacists and scientists at the Crimson Gala. It’s true. The college’s alumni are devoted to setting students up for success. This year, alumni and supporters alike honored class of 1971 alumnus Rick Doane with the R. Keith Campbell Lifetime Achievement award. The award is given to a pharmacy leader who has shaped the profession for future generations, and paved the way for future Cougar pharmacists through their guidance and leadership.

Proceeds from the Gala are put towards the advancement of future pharmacy leaders in the form of scholarships for current and future Doctor of Pharmacy students. If you would like to contribute to student scholarships, please contact Kelly Sylvester, director of development and alumni relations, at kelly.sylvester@wsu.edu or call 509-368-6675.

Congratulations, to the awardees celebrated this year:

R. Keith Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award


Rick owned and operated many pharmacy-related businesses including Evergreen Pharmaceutical, a pharmacy that serviced over 150 long-term care facilities throughout Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska. He also owned and operated Evergreen Health Management, a comprehensive health care business which included pharmacy services, home health care, medical supplies, and more. From 1992-1993, Rick was the president of the Washington State Pharmacy Association. In 1989, the college awarded him the Preceptor of the Year award, in 1996 he was also named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, and he received the university’s Outstanding Service award in 2013. Rick has also served on the WSU board of governors, where he chaired the investment committee.

Alumnus of the Year

2021 Alumnus of the Year awardee Leon Alzola (’91) (right) presents Chris Greer (’91) (left) with the 2022 Alumnus of the Year award.

The Outstanding Alum award was established by the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council in 1991. The award recognized alums for personal achievements and contributions to community, society at large or the health care profession.

The 2022 awardee, Chris Greer (’91), Pharmacy Manager for Providence St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Medical Center, has spent his career connecting and mentoring students in pharmacy for over 30 years. He served as President of the Washington State Pharmacy Association and has won Preceptor of the Year twice.

Preceptors of the Year

Through teaching and mentorship, preceptors guide pharmacy students as they work with patients in a variety of health care settings. These experiences are pivotal in determining a pharmacy student’s future career. In a testament to the importance of preceptors, every year students submit over 400 nominations for the annual Preceptor of the Year award.

Assistant Vice President of Pharmacy at Costco Chris Pierce (’00) and Associate Dean of External Relations Julie Akers (’00) presents Spokane Valley Costco pharmacist Chris Willard (’84) with the Preceptor of the Year award in his contributions in IPPE and APPE rotations.
Pharmacist at the Providence Holy Family Anticoagulation Clinic Shurrie Morris (’15) (second from the left) is presented with the Preceptor of the Year award by Providence Holy Family Pharmacy Director Michelle Sodorff (second from the right).
Associate Dean of External Relations Julie Akers presents pharmacist at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Jim Stewart (right) with the Preceptor of the Year award.

Pharmacist at Providence Holy Family Erin White (’08) (not pictured) also received the Preceptor of the Year award for her contributions in APPE rotations.

Mentor of the Year

Eight years ago, the college established a mentoring program with Fred Meyer, which pairs alumni mentors with students to share their wisdom and experience with the next generation of Cougar pharmacists. Through the program, alumni mentors guide students through the four-years of their pharmacy education and help them prepare for their future careers. In recognition of this influential work, each year the college selects mentors from student nominations for the Mentor of the Year award. This year’s awardee is particularly special because one of the founders of the program, Merrie Kay Alzola, received the award for the first time since its inception.


Merrie Kay Alzola (’93)

Merrie Kay Alzola (right) with third-year student pharmacist Kat Nguyen (left) who presented her with the Mentor of the Year award.