The USC School of Pharmacy marked its 110th Commencement on May 12 before an audience of more than 1,500 family, friends, faculty and staff.
Dean Vassilios Papadopoulos, DPharm, PhD, presided over the event at Pappas Quad, advising graduates — the new pharmacists, pharmacologists or pharmaceutical scientists, health economists or regulatory experts — that they are entering the health care continuum at an auspicious but uncertain time.
“You are now the drivers of change and innovation that has the potential to save lives and improve human condition,” Papadopoulos said.
The featured commencement speaker was Jessica Núñez de Ybarra, MD, MPH, of the California Department of Public Health and co-author of the California Wellness Plan, the state’s chronic disease prevention and health promotion plan.
“You will see people on their best and worst of days,” Núñez de Ybarra told the graduates. “You will appreciate that many of the solutions to our health problems will come from outside of a medicine bottle and require the collaboration of many people.”
Speaking on behalf of the graduates was Amanda Vu, president of the PharmD class, and Zoe Folchman-Wagner, who represented master’s and PhD graduates from departments across the School.
Folchman-Wagner advised the newly minted graduates never to forget the sense of wonder they had as children and why they decided to embark on this academic journey.
“With these degrees, we have the power to make a real and lasting difference,” she said.
— Michele Keller