Pharmacy missions fund named in honor of retired chair



















A new fund that will support pharmacy students on medical mission trips was recently created in honor of retired Pharmacy Practice Chair Larry Swanson, PharmD, at Campbell University’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.


The announcement was made during a surprise retirement dinner for Swanson on October 5.


“Because of Larry’s particular love for missions activities, we instituted the Dr. Larry N. Swanson Family Pharmacy Missions Fund,” said Gil Steiner, PharmD, associate professor of pharmacy practice, during the event.


The Department of Pharmacy Practice created the fund and invited other faculty and staff within the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences to contribute. Nearly $13,500 was raised, and a certificate was presented to Swanson at his retirement dinner.


“The missions fund in my family’s name was such a wonderful recognition,” Swanson said. “These monies will provide much needed support to our pharmacy students who wish to complete fourth-year missions rotations abroad.  It has been my joy over the last few years to listen to the life changing stories from these students when they return to campus.”


Swanson came to Campbell in 1991, serving over 20 years as chair of pharmacy practice. He arrived only five years after the PharmD degree was established, giving him the opportunity to develop the clinical faculty and curriculum into the robust, successful training program that it is today.


An initiative close to his heart, Swanson facilitated the offering of a missions elective for third-year pharmacy students in 2006 and helped expand missions rotation opportunities for fourth-year students. 


The missions elective is a one credit course that prepares students for short or long term medical mission trips.  The course focuses on culture, food and living conditions in developing countries as well as the specific role pharmacists can play in the mission field.  Students who complete the elective have the opportunity to travel to developing countries during their fourth year of school as one of their clinical rotations.


Dozens of pharmacy students have traveled to Kenya, Vietnam, Belize and many other countries on medical mission trips since the elective was created. The new Swanson Family Missions Fund will provide the opportunity for more students to complete one-month mission rotations.


“I will remain forever grateful to my colleagues and friends here at Campbell for their kindness,” said Swanson.  



Photo: The Department of Pharmacy Practice announced the establishment of the Dr. Larry N. Swanson Family Pharmacy Missions Fund during Swanson’s surprise retirement dinner on Oct. 8 at the Angus Barn in Raleigh. Pictured from left, Dr. Byron May, Dr. Connie Barnes, Dr. Larry Swanson, Dr. Paige Brown, Dr. Valerie Clinard and Dr. Gil Steiner.