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First pharmacy class to graduate on May 22 in Schaumburg

Posted: 05/20/2014
Roosevelt University will hold its first graduation ceremony ever in Schaumburg, where its first class of graduates from the University’s new College of Pharmacy will receive doctorate degrees in pharmacy and take the oath of the pharmacist.
 
Nearly 70 percent of the 61 inaugural graduating class members already have accepted pharmacy positions, with the majority going on to jobs at retail community pharmacies across the nation.
  
Roosevelt’s first pharmacy graduation will take place at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 22 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center and Hotel, Utopia Ballroom, 1551 N. Thoreau Dr., Schaumburg. Philip Burgess, chair of the Illinois State Board of Pharmacy and a distinguished practicing pharmacist who served as a top-level executive for the Walgreen Corporation will be the Commencement speaker.
  
“This will be a momentous day for the University, our College of Pharmacy and its very first class of graduates,” said George E. MacKinnon III, founding dean of Roosevelt’s pharmacy college, which matriculated the inaugural class on the Schaumburg Campus in July 2011.

Since then, the College of Pharmacy has had more than 2,300 students apply and has admitted more than 200 students, including its new class of 2017, which starts at the University on June 30. 

“This is a new program, and to have more than two-thirds of the class already placed in pharmacy positions speaks volumes for the quality of our students and our unique program,” said MacKinnon.

About 20 percent of the first graduating class applied for residencies at hospitals across the country. Seven students in Roosevelt’s inaugural pharmacy class were selected for residencies, including at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago and medical centers in Milwaukee, West Allis, Wis., Harvey, Ill., and Peoria, Ill.

“I’m particularly proud of our students who choose to pursue residencies,” added MacKinnon. “They had to compete against graduates from pharmacy programs from all over the country and I expect them to be successful,  not only as trailblazers for Roosevelt’s new pharmacy program,  but also as professionals who will be quite capable of adapting and excelling in a health-care environment that is rapidly changing,” he said. 
      
Emphasizing the need for pharmacy candidates to be committed, competent and compassionate, Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy is one of the few in the nation and the only one in the Midwest to offer the PharmD degree in a three-year format.  The college got its start with funding help from Illinois lawmakers and an estimated $200,000 in state capital grant funding.