UF College of Pharmacy’s Centennial Celebration Starts with a Bang
By Matt Splett
With confetti falling, the University of Florida College of Pharmacy officially kicked off its centennial year with a once-in-a-lifetime party. More than 400 guests attended the Centennial Kickoff Celebration Jan. 26 on a sun-soaked afternoon to commemorate the 100th anniversary of UF’s oldest health college.
Guests enjoyed centennial cupcakes, took pictures with Albert, UF’s mascot, and spun a prize wheel to win centennial-themed swag items. Orange and blue decorations filled the courtyard.
UF College of Pharmacy Dean Peter Swaan led a 30-minute program that featured remarks from leaders who shared memories and milestones from the first 100 years. David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, offered a video tribute recognizing the college’s contributions toward making UF Health one of the nation’s premier academic health centers, while Distinguished Professor and former dean Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., recapped historic
achievements in the college’s history.
Michele Weizer, Pharm.D., BCPS, a 1990 graduate of the college and division director of pharmacy operations for HCA East Florida, spoke of the importance of alumni serving the next generation of pharmacists in training. Julie Al-Bahou, a fourth-year student and member of the college’s centennial class, shared how the college has trained her to be a leader in the profession and the pride she feels in following many distinguished alumni.
Closing the ceremony, Swaan, who began his tenure as the UF College of Pharmacy’s eighth dean in December, reflected on the vision shared by the college’s founding members in the early 20th century and how it has been fulfilled over 100 years. And he looked ahead.
The college’s second century will focus on clinical innovations, partnerships to expand the college’s footprint in Florida and research that will “push the boundaries of science and lead to discoveries that will improve the lives of patients around the world,” said Swaan, Ph.D., M.Pharm.
At the end, speakers gathered to cut an orange-and-blue ribbon. As the snip was made, cheers echoed through the courtyard and confetti cannons fired high into the sky.