Vice President of Novant Health delivers graduation address

Campbell University’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences held its 24th graduation ceremony today at the John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center. Dr. Michael Nnadi, corporate vice president and chief pharmacy officer at Novant Health, delivered the commencement address.

“Now that your dream has turned out to be a reality, your new challenge is to love pharmacy and get good at it. And as Steve Jobs said, ‘Stay hungry.’  And I say to you stay hungry in pharmacy,” Nnadi said.

When Nnadi was growing up he wanted to help people just like his mother who was a nurse. As he grew older he realized his mother was genuinely happy because of what she did on a day to day basis at her job. This helped him learn how important it is for individuals to love what they do in their careers to stay driven.

“If your heart is not beating for your vision, your goal, your business, for the pharmacy profession, if you do not stay hungry, then your career dies from lack of heartfelt compassion,” Nnadi said.

He challenged graduates to set the highest goals possible, reminded them that service is better than selfishness, and urged them to stay passionate, persistent, fearless and grateful.

“A goal is a dream that you color today with behavior. And out of that behavior come the steps to achieve it,” Nnadi said.

A new opportunity awaits Michele Simmons, who graduated with her doctor of pharmacy degree. Simmons is getting ready to move her family halfway across the country to Omaha, Neb., where she will start a residency at the Nebraska Medical Center in July. She hopes to complete a second residency the following year in order to practice as a clinical pharmacist with a specialty in bone marrow transplant and oncology.

“I’m driven because of the patients,” Simmons said. “I know that I will need to remember every day that I am there to help them fight for their lives and beat cancer.”

Abhishek Agrawal, who graduated with his master’s in pharmaceutical sciences, is motivated to become a formulation scientist. He wants to help save lives or ease patients’ pain by developing innovative drug products.

“This program prepared me to think critically and troubleshoot the process of drug development while always keeping the welfare of the patient in mind,” Agrawal said.

Nnadi started his career at Cardinal Health and held management positions at four major health organizations before arriving at Novant Health which based in Winston Salem, N.C. He is currently responsible for pharmacy services at all 13 acute care hospitals under the Novant Health system located throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

A total of 166 degrees were conferred during the ceremony including 98 doctor of pharmacy, seven master’s in clinical research, 24 master’s in pharmaceutical sciences, 25 bachelor’s in clinical research, seven bachelor’s in pharmaceutical sciences, and five bachelor’s in general sciences.