Long Island University’s Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to Hold 119th Commencement on Friday, May 16, 2008
More than 300 aspiring pharmacists and health professionals to receive doctoral and master’s degrees during ceremony at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus
Office of Public Relations
Long Island University
Brooklyn, N.Y. - At 1 p.m. on Friday, May 16, the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will award diplomas to an expected 329 students at its commencement ceremony on Long Island University 's Brooklyn Campus. University President David J. Steinberg is to confer 213 Pharm.D., six Ph.D. and 110 Master of Science degrees plus three honorary degrees.
College of Pharmacy Dean Stephen M. Gross declared, “The members of the class of 2008 are extraordinarily well prepared to serve the community as pharmacists and as advocates for people's health.” Noting today's fast-changing environments for pharmacy and healthcare services, he added, “This incredibly diverse group has demonstrated the skills that will be vital to collaborate with other health professionals and to address increasingly complex drug therapies, regulations and, most importantly, patient needs.”
Dean Gross will deliver the address at the 119 th commencement 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. Long Island University is one of the largest private universities in the nation.
Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipients
Stephen M. Gross, commencement speaker and dean of the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. For more than 30 years, he has been an innovator in higher education, helping to shape the development of pharmacy education and pharmacy practice policy. He served on the New York State Board of Pharmacy for 10 years and as its chairman from 1997 to 1999. Dean Gross, who holds a B.S. in pharmacy and an M.A. and an Ed.D. in higher education from Columbia University , was the dean of Columbia 's College of Pharmacy before joining Long Island University , where he has held numerous leadership positions.
Since taking on his current role in 1985, Dean Gross has led the College of Pharmacy into a period of unparalleled growth. He developed master's degree programs in pharmaceutical sciences and drug regulatory affairs as well as the Ph.D. in pharmaceutics and the Doctor of Pharmacy degree programs, while doubling the College's faculty. He also oversaw the dramatic expansion of the College's institutional affiliations, parlaying a handful of connections into a network of 600 major medical centers, long-term care facilities and community pharmacies. During his tenure, nearly 3,000 pharmacy students have graduated and gone on to successful careers in a broad range of related practice environments.
In addition, Dean Gross has served as University dean of health professions and nursing, overseeing health-related programs across the institution. In this capacity, he spearheaded the establishment of entry-level and doctoral programs in physical therapy as well as the B.S./M.S. programs in occupational therapy and in sports sciences.
Dean Gross has maintained a high profile on the national pharmacy scene. He played a major role in the development of the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) and served on the New York State Board of Pharmacy for 10 years and as its chairman from 1997 to 1998. He continues to devote time and talent to numerous pharmacy-related committees and boards. He has received awards and recognition from many organizations including the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Alpha Zeta Omega Pharmaceutical Fraternity, the Empire State Pharmaceutical Society and the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York.
Dean Gross, who will retire this year, has nurtured a lifelong passion for magic and previously served as president of the Society of American Magicians, a position once held by Houdini. He and his wife, Susan, have a daughter, Julie, who earned a B.A. and an M.A from the C.W. Post Campus. The couple resides in Glen Cove, N.Y.
David Bernauer, the retired chairman and CEO of Walgreen Co., will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. His affiliation with Walgreens, the largest retail pharmacy chain in sales volume in the nation, began in 1966, when he was a pharmacy intern at one of the chain's stores in Wisconsin . Over four decades he rose through the leadership ranks to become CEO, a post in which he guided Walgreens toward record-setting sales and earnings figures, opened nearly 2,500 new stores, and introduced new technologies to help pharmacists better meet the needs of patients. Until late April 2008, he served as chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. He continues to serve as a director of Office Depot, Lowe's, Students in Free Enterprise, and the Center for Improving Medication Management; as a trustee of Chicago 's Field Museum; and as a founding member and chair emeritus of the American Cancer Society's CEOs Against Cancer. He and his wife, Mary, live in Chicago . They have three children.
Also receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree is Lawrence H. Mokhiber, the executive secretary of the New York State Board of Pharmacy. In this role, he oversees regulatory matters involving 20,000 registered pharmacists, 6,000 registered establishments and five colleges of pharmacy. Prior to this, he was the Board's supervisor of pharmacy practice and registration. He also serves as chairperson for the executive committee of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, which bestowed its President's Award upon him . Since 1992, he has been the executive secretary of the New York State Board of Midwifery and previously served as acting executive secretary of the New York State Board for Dentistry. A registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, he has been featured in several editions of Who's Who in the East and Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. As an active part of his community, Mr. Mokhiber has been a Democratic committeeman and executive school board member in Albany, N.Y., and he has held leadership positions at the St. George Orthodox Catholic Church and Normanside Country Club. He and his wife, Katharine, have three daughters and live in Albany , N.Y.
The valedictorian for the class of 2008, selected by faculty members for outstanding academic performance, is Mali C. Bobker, 24, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. Graduating summa cum laude with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, she also will be honored for superlative grades with a silver medal from the College. She is a member of Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society and Alpha Chi National Honor Society and is included in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Daniel Stateman Alumni Awards will be presented to two distinguished alumni.
James A. Detura '79 of Bergenfield, N.J., is president and owner of the Melrose Pharmacy and president of the New York City Pharmacists Society; Mohammed Saleh '77 of Merrick , N.Y., is owner of four independent pharmacies: Utica Pharmacy, Prospect Avenue Pharmacy and Liberty Avenue Pharmacy, all in Brooklyn, and M&I Pharmacy, in the Bronx.
The commencement ceremony for the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 16, takes place on the Athletic Field of Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus, located between Flatbush Avenue and Ashland Place at Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Tickets are required.
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