Message from the Dean
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
And just like that, we are FINISHED! The class of 2021 has graduated and is off to make us proud and we are on to summer. First, congratulations to the class of 2021. You made it. It has been a long and difficult year, but there is nothing more rewarding than to see our students don their caps and gowns to share with their loved ones the pride and joy of earning their degrees. While this year’s commencement was not traditional by any means, it still made for heartfelt memories. The college hosted a virtual awards ceremony honoring all our Doctor of Pharmacy graduates, and a successful drive-through ceremony last week. On behalf of the college, we are all so proud of our graduates.
Seeing our students cross that stage would not be possible without the support of people like Jim, class of 1957, and Diann Robbers, who recently made another significant gift to the James and Diann Robbers Pharmacy Student Research Fund. This endowment, which has been supporting student travel and research for more than ten years, is now being expanded to help us recruit the best and brightest students to the college, and expand the Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. We are so grateful to have such committed alumni who are willing to invest in our students so that the next generation of Cougar pharmacists can succeed
Another great win: thanks to your support for this year’s #CougsGive virtual event, the college raised nearly $14,000. This too will also go far in helping to support our students in their education. During this pandemic, our students have stepped up to volunteer their time and effort to vaccinating thousands. I’m grateful we can show our appreciation for all the work they are doing to protect the health of their communities. Though the pandemic continues to devastate communities around the world, hearing your stories has continued to be the guiding light as we feel our way through this pandemic. In particular, this recent story about class of 2008 alumni Ahmed Ali and his pharmacy which caters to the diverse community of South Seattle reinforces our mission as educators in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences.
Finally, it is with a very heavy heart, I announce that Vice Dean Linda Garrelts Maclean, professor, mentor, and longtime advocate for the pharmacy profession will be retiring on June 30. While this is bittersweet news for everyone at the college and the pharmacy community at large, we wish her the best as she moves to the next phase in her life. Despite her busy schedule, Linda has mentored students and colleagues, and selflessly lifted others up to help them achieve their full potential. She is truly one of a kind, fearlessly optimistic, with a personality which instantly brightens any room and her impact on the profession has been felt far and wide. If you know Linda, then you know that she’s always on the move. While she will be stepping back from her daily duties in the college, she will continue to advocate on behalf of the college and profession in her appointment as Emeritus Professor, which she details in her note below. On behalf of the college, thank you, Linda, for your decades of service. We are so honored and privileged to have you in our community and wish you the best in this next chapter of your life. Please join me in congratulating Linda on her retirement.
Thank you all for another wonderful academic year in the books.
Mark Leid, Professor and Dean
WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Editor’s note: This is the final newsletter for the 2020-21 academic year. The next CougaRx News will be published in August 2021. Have a great summer!