ACP Confers Doctor of Pharmacy Degrees on Class of 2024

OAKWOOD, VA (MAY 4, 2024) – Members of the Appalachian College of Pharmacy (ACP) Class of 2024 received their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees Saturday during the college’s seventeenth commencement exercises.

United Company Chairman Jim McGlothlin was the commencement speaker and Andrew Lee, of Cleveland, OH, a member of the ACP graduating class of 2024, was selected by his peers as the class speaker.

ACP President Mickey McGlothlin welcomed all to the ceremonies held inside the ACP gymnasium, noting the graduates in the Class of 2024 join the ranks of 1,037 ACP graduates already practicing pharmacy throughout the United States. He challenged members of the Class of 2024, as they prepare to take the NAPLEX exam, to become licensed pharmacists and to meet or exceed the pass rates of prior ACP students who have graduated.

McGlothlin noted ACP holds the distinction of having more than 95 percent of its graduates take and pass the NAPLEX exam and in the past has held the distinction of having  the highest pass rate of any accelerated pharmacy program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Pass rates in 2022, saw ACP students place in the top 10 percent of three-year programs and exceed the pass rate of several other prestigious four-year pharmacy programs.

“Be the best pharmacist you can be,” McGlothlin told the graduates. “Always seek that first and foremost and to serve the healthcare needs of your fellow man.

“I hope you remain students of pharmacy for life,” he added, stressing the importance of continuing education in an ever-evolving profession.

McGlothlin noted ACP is proud to be the pharmacy component of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine through its affiliation with VCOM under the parental guidance of the Harvey Peters Foundation.

“Each of you worked hard to obtain your Doctor of Pharmacy degree and we are proud of your accomplishments at ACP and will follow your professional progress with vested interest,” he added.

ACP Provost and Dean Susan Mayhew introduced Jim McGlothlin, noting he brings a wealth of life experience and history of helping to make the Appalachian region a better place in which to live and work.

McGlothlin was born in Grundy, VA and is the son of the late Woodrow and Sally Ann McGlothlin.  He was educated in the public schools of Buchanan County and attended The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA where he graduated with Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1962. He earned a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree and a Juris Doctor degree from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at William & Mary.

He returned to his hometown of Grundy following law school where he practiced law as a partner in the law firm of Street, Street, & McGlothlin until 1970 when he became a founding partner of United Coal Company, which was later merged into The United Company.

McGlothlin continues to divide his time between business and philanthropy.  He serves on numerous boards of directors.  His newest venture is the partnership with Hard Rock and bringing a resort and casino to Bristol, VA.

McGlothlin now resides in Naples, FL and Bristol, VA with his wife, Frances Gibson McGlothlin. Together, they have three children and six grandchildren.

In his remarks, McGlothlin congratulated students for their hard work and said he was honored to have been invited to deliver the commencement address. He remarked on the history of Garden Hall, noting the building had been home to an elementary school, high school and now a graduate school.

“The graduates from this building have made great contributions to the world and now you are the latest group of contributors,” he said, adding, “life goes by so quickly.”

McGlothlin noted that with their graduation, as pharmacists, they join a healthcare system at its very foundation.

He told them life has three stages, the first being when a child is born and goes through school; the second being when it becomes time to get serious about supporting oneself and the decision about where to live and start one’s career.

“That’s a hard decision, but give a lot of thought to it,” McGlothlin said.

He also urged them to plan for their own health and to set aside time for continuing education, reminding them of the importance of budgeting their time.

“Time is the most valuable thing in the world,” he added.

The third and final stage he said is where he is now. He said it is a time to give back and to enjoy life and grandchildren, to enjoy retirement and a hobby.

“It’s a joy and a privilege to speak to you today,” McGlothlin said. “Thank you and may God bless you.”

Mayhew also introduced Lee, the son of Joseph and Ana Lee. He earned a Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences from Bluefield University and a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience from Michigan State University.

While at ACP, he has held leadership roles. He has been a member of Rho Chi; is the founder of and former president of the Industry Pharmacist Organization; former Worthy Vice Counselor (vice president) of Phi Delta Chi; former treasurer of the ACP chapter of the American Society of Health Pharmacists; and former immunization chairman of the ACP chapter of the American Pharmacists Association. He was awarded the Dean’s Award  He was recently selected for a fellowship with Amgen, an American multinational biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, Calif. 

Lee began his remarks, thanking God, his ACP family – as well as family and friends gathered to celebrate the event Saturday.

“I am very proud of each and every one of you and congratulations on completing your doctor of pharmacy degree,”  Lee told his fellow classmates.

He noted each have their own personal stories and in looking though the list of Class of 2024 graduates, he said he found that 90 percent of them came from an area with an underserved medical population or with English not as their first language. 

“Diversity happens here in Oakwood,” he said.

Lastly, Lee urged students and others gathered for the event to remember the most valuable currency in life is relationships, not money. Positive social connections make the difference, he added.

“I wish each of you success in your personal and professional journey,” he concluded. “Let’s go save some lives.”

After the presentation of degrees and hooding ceremony concluded, Mayhew administered the Oath of the Pharmacist to members of the graduating class, who promised to devote themselves to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy.

Members of the graduating class who earned their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees Saturday were as follows:

Badri Mohammed Abdi, of Denver, CO; Gunner Sean Baker, of Vansant; Madison Victoria Campbell, of Hazard, KY; Johnny Fayah Chowoe, of Laurel, MD; Norah Sosthenia Dossou-Kitti, of Brooklyn, NY; Harrison Denise Faith, of Mount Holly, NC; Kaitlin Danielle Fields, of Whitesburg, KY; Annamay Mountain Hawk Fry, of Millerstown, PA; Joshua Daryl Green, of Paintsville, KY; Janessa Marie Harris, of Honaker; Malik William Charles Jaggard, of Chesapeake; William Taylor Justus, of Hurley; Bishen Kafley, of Cincinnati, OH; Madison Shakira Keen, of Oakwood; Samantha Joyce Klug, of Abingdon; Alan J. Kurian, of Houston, TX; Moses Kofi Kusorgbor, of Charlotte, NC; and Christabel Larbi, of Richmond.

Andrew Joseph-Sangjin Lee, of Cleveland, OH; Stacey Nicole Looney, of Vansant; Ada Nykole May, of Freeburn, KY; Jenevie Ebude Mesumbe, of Bowie, MD; Omotola Deborah Oke, of Frederick, MD; Emmanuel Kwaku Oppong, of Bronx, NY; Priyaben M. Patel, of Zephyrhills, FL; Breaunna Hope Rose, of Jenkins, KY; Inderjit Singh Sarai, of Live Oak, CA; Hope Chantell Shortridge, of Grundy; Gregory Dylan Stanley, of Prestonsburg, KY; Logan Bailee Surface, of Bluefield; Lindsey Alexis Sword, of Saltville; Franck Alain Tchinda Fonkou, of Dundalk, MD; Shivkumar Vijayakumar, of Statesville, NC; Luis Alejandro Villanueva, of Harrisonburg; Karlee Payton Wasilewski, of Tazewell; McKinley Nathaniel Webb, of Harold, KY; and Eric Ryan Workman Jr., of Bluefield, also earned their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees.

A reception on the lawn followed the conclusion of the commencement exercises.

The Appalachian College of Pharmacy is the only three-year Doctor of Pharmacy program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Founded in 2003, the college accepted its first students in 2005. It is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Its mission is to cultivate a learning community committed to education, community outreach and the professional development of pharmacists. Its graduate pharmacists are now practicing throughout the United States.

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