Alumni News

Connecting and Celebrating with Our Alumni

After postponing several in-person events during 2020-2021, we kicked into full gear this fall with multiple events and celebrations. Here are a few of the highlights.

Alumni Receptions

We hosted alumni networking events in Duluth, Rochester, and San Francisco, as well as  Pharmacy Alumni Society Outings to Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory and the recent Gopher women’s volleyball game. Visit the photo slideshow to see the great fun had by all!

Recognition of Weaver Medalists

FWeaver Medalist GroupFollowing a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Drs. Wendy St. Peter and Karen Bastianelli, ‘90 and ‘05were recognized in person as the 2019 and 2020 (respectively) recipients of the Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal at the UMN College of Pharmacy. Since 1996, the College of Pharmacy has awarded the Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal to recognize distinguished contributions to the college in the areas of pharmacy education, research and outreach. The award also honors Larry and Dee's lifetime of work to advance the college and Minnesota pharmacy. A list of past distinguished recipients can be found on the college website Family, friends, alumni and colleagues joined in the celebration, recognizing Drs. St. Peter and Bastianelli.  For those who were unable to attend, both individuals are highly deserving of this recognition as briefly described herein

Congratulations to Drs. St. Peter and Bastianelli on their amazing accomplishments and  watch for future requests for nominations of the next Weaver Medalist.

University of Minnesota Alumni Awards

This year, the College of Pharmacy was fortunate to have tremendous representation and recognition at this year’s UMN Alumni Association’s Alumni Awards Affair. The event, which was held Sept. 29 as part of homecoming festivities, honors recipients from around the globe who have shaped their industries and strengthened the University community. The college’s recipients included:

2022 Alumni Society of the Year Award: Pharmacy Alumni Society (PAS)

2022 PAS Award group photo

Class of 1972 Reconnects During Homecoming

Alumni group photo in conference roomMembers of the Class of 1972 returned to campus earlier this fall to celebrate their 50th Class reunion as a part of the U of M’s homecoming celebration. On Friday, September 30, classmates reunited with one another and enjoyed a conversation with Dean Welage over the lunch hour. Stories of yesteryear mixed with discussion of how the profession of pharmacy has evolved since the class of 1972 last roamed the campus. While their professional paths may have varied after graduation, all in attendance credited their experience at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy for giving them a firm foundation upon which they built their enriching careers. 

After lunch, the group went on a tour of Weaver-Densford Hall and the new Health Sciences Education Center. Highlights included marveling at the technology enabled classrooms, dropping in on a student group enjoying lunch, as well as reminiscing about the still operational torsion balances found in the pharmaceutical skills lab. That evening, classmates and spouses gathered for a delightful 50th anniversary reception at the Graduate Hotel. On Saturday, October 1, members of the Class of 1972 joined the larger college community to celebrate homecoming and to cheer on the Gophers against Purdue. During the college-wide pregame reception at the McNamara Alumni Center, the class of 1972 mingled with fellow alumni, said hi to Dee Weaver, and were recognized with applause for their milestone reunion year. Special thanks to John Benson, Terry Hartman, Rich Jansen, and Dave Scott for their work in bringing this group of classmates back together!

Homecoming Celebration

group photo with alumni wearing maroon and gold at homecomingHomecoming is always an exciting time on our University Campus. This year, UMAA Award winners (see above) participated in the Homecoming Parade, which serves as the kickoff for activities. On Saturday, the College of Pharmacy held its traditional Homecoming Celebration before the game with countless students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends attending. This year held special meaning because it was the first year faculty, staff and alumni members of the medical laboratory sciences (MLS) and occupational therapy programs joined the event as part of the greater College of Pharmacy family. 

For one pharmacy faculty member, Dr. Howard Juni, it has always been in the family because his lovely wife, XXX, is a graduate of the MLS program. 

The reception also led to a bit of fun with the day’s rival. Eric Barker, dean of the University of Purdue College of Pharmacy and his lovely wife Loretta, were guests of the event. They were great sports throughout the morning, even donning some Gopher hats! However, they may have gotten the last word as Purdue upset Minnesota in the football game that afternoon.

The event also gave occasion to celebrate Dee Weaver’s 100th birthday with words of gratitude and a special treat from the Metropolitan Men’s Choir of the Twin Cities, singing their own rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Dee. Overall the event was filled with fun, rich conversations and networking among our pharmacy family. We hope you join us for next year’s homecoming festivities.

Outstanding Alumni Award

award acceptance speech in front of audience at McNamara centerIn 2020, Gary Schneider, BS ‘71, was recognized by the University president with the Outstanding Achievement Award. After a long wait, friends and colleagues were able to celebrate Gary’s accomplishment in-person on Oct. 11, 2022. This award is only conferred to graduates, or former students of the University, who have attained unusual distinction in their chosen fields or professions or in public service, and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership on a community, state, national, or international level. Schneider is a retired pharmacist practitioner, business executive and healthcare delivery innovator who has made outstanding contributions to the profession. Read more about his accomplishments and join the college in congratulating him on this tremendous recognition.

Honoring Cody Wiberg

The College of Pharmacy in partnership with the Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance recognized Dr. Cody Wiberg (insert alumni year) for his years of service as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. We wish Cody the best during his retirement.

Other Alumni News

Dr. Lucinda Maine, ‘85, was recognized by the APhA Foundation’s Women in Pharmacy Recognition Campaign in their commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Women in Pharmacy Exhibit and Conference Room. Maine is among this year’s 10 honorees who join theroster of distinguished women and organizations similarly honored in 2012. The distinguished women featured are a sampling of the many women in pharmacy who contribute to this vital health care profession every day.

Alumni Encouraged to Participate in College Affinity and Ally Groups

A sense of belonging is essential to maintaining a healthy community. One of the ways the College of Pharmacy honors its values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and creates a welcoming and supportive environment for all members of its community is through affinity groups. Alumni are encouraged to join and participate in these groups of people who have similar backgrounds or identities which may serve as barriers to inclusion or success. Together, group members discuss their shared experiences and advocate for institutional change. 

With the hard work of PharmD student, Elise Moore, a simple new sign-up form makes it easier than ever for alumni to sign up. “Our goal in sharing this new, simplified form with alumni is to hopefully get them even more involved in the groups both by joining and by potentially mentoring a student,” said Moore.

Alumni are also encouraged to consider joining the college’s Ally Group which supports our affinity groups and other DEI initiatives in the college. Ally training is required to become a member in this group and the next training opportunity will be Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 2-4 p.m. via Zoom. Please submit this form to participate.

Visit the affinity group website to learn more about each of the groups and the work they are doing.

In Memoriam

Bob SetzerBob Setzer, passed away August 25, 2022. Setzer was an alumnus of the UMN College of Pharmacy who graduated in 1952 and remained a dedicated friend and supporter of the college throughout his life.

Mahmoud Abdel-MonemDr. Mahmoud Abdel-Monempassed away in early March 2022.Abdel-Monem joined the college’s faculty in 1971 and went on to play important roles in the college’s administration, including acting dean for a period of time. Monem was a pillar of the college community, particularly in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.

Ken MillerDr. Ken Miller passed away on September 19, 2022. Miller was a former member of the college faculty, a Melendy speaker, former AACP senior vice president, former president and dean of the Albany College of Pharmacy in Albany, NY, and an esteemed member of the broader pharmacy community.