Dear New Doctors of Pharmacy and Doctors of Philosophy,
On behalf of the School of Pharmacy faculty and staff, we are incredibly proud of your accomplishments and excited for you to begin your professional careers. We are also indebted to your loved ones for helping you through this journey.
Commencement marks the culmination of your journey at the School, but it also signifies a time to look forward to the opportunities ahead. You are now joining a group of medical professionals referred to as the most widely accessible. The public and the health care system need your innovation, leadership and collaborative skills.
Your greatest test going forward will be to find the area of practice that is most rewarding for you and beneficial to society—consistent with the roots of your degree from a land-grant institution and similar to your incredible work providing COVID-19 vaccinations. The best jobs may not be widely advertised, but created because someone believes in you or you in yourself.
Many of the traits we look for during interviews of potential students fall in line with the words found in the Boy Scout Law. I would like you to contemplate how you are: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
One trait that is missing from those is persistence. You certainly needed that trait to earn your degree, particularly amid a pandemic! Do not be afraid of failure, for you cannot achieve improving your profession and yourself without it. You have learned many skills to facilitate future success, but your ability to best utilize them will require persistence.
A snapshot of the Class of 2021 shows you come from all regions of West Virginia, multiple other states or countries, as well as various ethnicities and backgrounds; however you all have been united by this University, this School, and now the profession of pharmacy.
Never forget your “home amongst the hills,” as we will always be here to encourage your professional growth, commiserate in not so good times, and celebrate your successes.