Chicago State University College of Pharmacy to graduate first class
Newly minted pharmacists to take part in hooding ceremony on May 16 and commencement on May 17

(May 10, 2012) – The inaugural class of the Chicago State University College of Pharmacy (CSU-COP) is preparing for the first of two ceremonies leading up to graduation. The 77 students will take their oaths as Doctors of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) and receive their hoods on May 16. The Oath & Hooding Ceremony will be followed by a dinner and reception at the Grand Ballroom of Navy Pier. On May 17, the newly minted pharmacists will join students across CSU for a college-wide commencement. The Oath & Hooding Ceremony and graduation events will be held at the Emil & Patricia Jones Convocation Center on the campus of CSU.

This inaugural CSU-COP graduating class boasts some impressive firsts in it short history, among them two Albert Schweitzer Fellows and first-prize awards in environmental sciences and chemistry from the 2012 Spring Symposium & Student Research Conference in Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The program has been recognized as the most diverse pharmacy program in Illinois and one of the most diverse in the nation, ranking No. 11 in underrepresented minority student-pharmacist enrollment. The composition of the 2012 graduating class is one-third Caucasian, one-third Asian and one-third African-American. The COP has, as its goal, producing pharmacy professionals who will positively affect the health care needs of a global community. They accomplish this by offering a dynamic curriculum that embraces student-centered learning while encouraging engagement between students and faculty that fosters students' academic and professional goals.

"This is an exciting time for the pharmacy profession," says Dr. Miriam A. Mobley Smith, dean of the College of Pharmacy at CSU. "Pharmacists have evolved from dispensers of medication to providers of health care services, yet their roles continue to expand. At CSU we are preparing our pharmacy students, not just for today, but for future patient care needs, clinical management and policy thought leadership."

In the midst of a challenging economy, statistics show that the employment outlook for those holding a Doctor of Pharmacy degree to be high, with starting salaries above $95K, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Further, employment for pharmacists is expected to increase by 25 percent by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Pharmacists can also expect an array of options as to the setting in which they work, ranging from community pharmacies to hospitals and intuitions, pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, and state and federal agencies.

Details of the events planned for the College of Pharmacy are as follows:

Pharmacists' Oath & Hooding Ceremony
1 p.m., Wednesday, May 16
Emil & Patricia Jones Convocation Center
Sponsored in part by CVS

Mortar and Pestle Graduation Reception & Dinner
6-9 p.m., Wednesday, May 16
Grand Ballroom, Navy Pier, Inc.
600 E. Grand Street
$85 — Limited Seating
Sponsored in part by Walgreens & MassMutual Financial Group
For information, call 773.821.2169

Commencement Ceremony
11 a.m. Thursday, May 17
Emil & Patricia Jones Convocation Center
Ticketed event