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Long Island University’s Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy Marks 118th Commencement on Friday, May 11, 2007


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Brooklyn, N.Y. – At 1 p.m. on Friday, May 11, the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will award degrees to approximately 260 students at its Commencement ceremony on Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus. University President David J. Steinberg will confer an anticipated 192 Pharm.D., seven Ph.D. and 61 Master of Science degrees plus three honorary degrees.

College of Pharmacy Dean Stephen M. Gross praised the graduates, declaring, “The members of the class of 2007 are extraordinarily prepared to serve the community as pharmacists and as advocates for people’s health.” Predicting an expanded role for pharmacists in patient care and cost containment, he added, “These graduates have the advanced training to address a broad range of patient needs and to collaborate with other health professionals in improving drug therapies.”

This year’s commencement is the 118th for the College, which is one of the oldest and largest pharmacy schools in the nation. Established in 1886 as the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy, it affiliated with Long Island University in 1928. Nearly 50 years later, the College merged with some of the growing health professions programs at the Brooklyn Campus to become the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Today, the College continues to thrive as part of Long Island University, one of the largest private universities in the nation.

Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipients

Delivering the commencement address will be Bruce T. Roberts, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Community Pharmacists Association. Mr. Roberts will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. A staunch advocate for the future of independent, community pharmacy in the United States, he also isthe founder and owner of three pharmacies and a home health care company in Loudon County, Virginia, where he has offered innovative pharmacy services that make the pharmacist an integral part of the health care team and the community.

Pamela S. Brier, president and chief executive officer of Maimonides Medical Center, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. As leader of the 700-bed teaching hospital, she has helped Maimonides gain a distinguished reputation for its humane patient care, working tirelessly to position the hospital as a major tertiary care center, while ensuring that it remains true to its community roots. A veteran of the New York City health care industry, she has held several senior-level positions in the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and has served as chief executive officer of its Jacobi Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital Center units, two of the largest public hospitals in the City. In 2003, she was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to serve on New York City’s Board of Health, and she also serves on the City’s Workforce Investment Board.

Also receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree is Debra A. Sandler, Worldwide President for McNeil Nutritionals LLC, a Johnson & Johnson company. The force behind the highly successful consumer launch of Splenda, now the number-one selling sugar substitute in the United States, she developed the ingredient marketing strategies, working with existing and potential new customers for the ingredient brand in addition to developing the global business strategies to drive both the consumer and ingredient product lines in core markets. In 2004, she was recognized by Advertising Age as part of the Power 50 Marketers Award for Excellence in Marketing, by Ebony magazine as one of the Top 15 African-American Female Executives in Corporate America, by The Network Journal as one of the Top 25 Influential Black Women in Business and by Black Enterprise as one of the Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America. She has also been named one of the Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications.


This year’s class valedictorian, selected by faculty members for outstanding academic performance, is Gabrielle Joy Schicchi, 27, of Massapequa, Long Island. Graduating summa cum laude with a Pharm.D. degree, she also will be honored for superlative grades with a gold medal from the College, two Merck Awards and the TEVA Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Student Award. In addition to  being on the Dean’s List every semester of study, Schicchi (pronounced “skeeky”) is a member of Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society, Alpha Chi National Honor Society and the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists.

Distinguished Alumni Award and Chancellor’s Award Recipients

Daniel Stateman Alumni Awards will be presented to three distinguished alumni.

John V. Cocchiara ’86, pharmacist consultant officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service; Ronald Del Gaudio ‘79, the president and owner of Kings Pharmacy; and Lee Joffee ’78, supervising pharmacist for Curascript, Inc., deputy commander for the National Disaster Medical System Team New York 2, and captain and chief pharmacy officer for the New York Guard, Army Division.  

The Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service will be bestowed on Nouri Y. Mary, professor of pharmacognosy and associate dean at the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

One of the oldest and largest schools of its kind in the country, the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, on Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus, educates nearly one quarter of the pharmacists in New York State and many who practice across the country. Its illustrious roster of alumni includes pharmacy professionals who are at the top echelons of their fields and at the forefront of groundbreaking developments in the pharmaceutical industry.

Posted 05/29/2007

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