A current of excitement and anticipation flowed through the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center Friday as more than 185 College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences students gathered with loved ones for the 28th CPHS Spring Commencement.
“This is one of the most exciting times of the academic year,” said Michael Adams (’96 PharmD), CPHS dean. “It’s a joyful blessing to see our students who have spent countless hours in didactic and hands-on learning cross the finish line and realize their goal of walking the stage and receiving their diploma. I look forward to seeing them continue to lead purposeful lives of meaningful service.”
Among the graduates were brothers Andrew and Bryan Darkow from Washington, North Carolina. Andrew graduated from the PharmD/MBA dual degree program and will soon begin a pharmacy practice residency at Duke Regional Hospital in Durham. Bryan graduated with a bachelor of science degree in pharmaceutical sciences and plans to enter the field of drug research in the RTP area.
“Sharing a graduation day with my brother is exciting, not just for the two of us, but for our parents,” Bryan said. “It’s also awesome that we’re in similar health-related career tracks. We’ve been able to talk about classes and experiential activities. We also have some of the same classmates and friends. It’s been a great experience.”
“It’s been truly meaningful to be able to grow along side my brother over the last four years,” Andrew added. “I will always cherish the friends and memories we’ve made together at Campbell.”
Robert M. Califf, professor of medicine at Duke University and former FDA commissioner, gave the commencement address Friday. He spoke about the tripartite mission of delivering first-class health care, teaching the art of science and advancing knowledge through scholarly research.
His fundamental question for graduates to consider: “Given the chances occurring in our society, should this tripartite mission of patient care, research and education be your life mission that you embark in earnest during your careers?”
Califf also challenged the graduates to consider three key issues as they embark on their next journey — that people have lost faith and confidence in our institutions, access to information has outstructured our ability to assimilate data, and we live in a country that has experienced its first decline in life expectancy since 1918.
As he closed his remarks, he congratulated the students on entering a fascinating new world.
DEGREES AND MORE
Forty-three bachelor degrees, 42 master’s degrees and 101 doctorates were conferred on the CPHS students by Campbell President J. Bradley Creed on Friday.
“Campbell students are smart, talented, passionate and just plain fun to be around,” Creed said. “I’ve seen firsthand your compassions, talents, experiences and perspectives you bring to campus. You’ve worked hard, and now you celebrate your amazing accomplishment.
“You’ll always be a child of your alma mater, and I’ll look forward to welcoming you home often. Class of 2017, congratulations. I can’t wait to see where you go and what you’ll do next.”
In addition to graduation, the college held several events including honor cord ceremonies, class photos, fraternity photos and the PASA hoodie ceremony.