GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - William Carey University celebrated its first class of Pharmacy School graduates over the weekend. The 47 students earned their doctorate degrees in less than three years, thanks to an accelerated program.
“It’s the birth of our first class. Man, it was great. It was great to see,” said Michael Malloy, Dean for the School of Pharmacy. “It was great to see young men and women come into a place and then turn into professionals and then turn into a family, which we were.”
Pharmacy programs normally take four years to complete, but the intensive program at William Carey University can be completed in two years and ten months.
“I saw a lot of angst. I saw a lot of smiles. But I saw a lot of light bulbs go on. I saw a lot of people gain confidence. I saw a lot of people gain pride,” Malloy said of his students.
That growth gave these dedicated students confidence, despite the struggles of balancing school and life.
“It was hard being a married parent,” graduate Gloria Rawls said. “I have two kids and I have a husband and trying to juggle school and my husband and kids that was a real struggle.”
Saturday’s graduation marked a milestone on a long, educational journey. For graduate Wade Wheat, the journey started with a part-time job as a teen and turned into his true passion.
“I took a pharmacy tech class and I just kinda got it as making some money through college. I kinda fell in love with it and stayed on that path,” Wheat said.
And as each graduate signed the red book and took their oath, they go confidently into the world representing a new era of pharmacists on the Gulf Coast.
William Carey University School of Pharmacy accepted its first students in July of 2018. If you’d like to learn more about the program, visit https://www.wmcarey.edu/school/pharmacy