Published on January 16, 2024  
State of the School

Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy’s community gathered in Reid Chapel on Friday, Jan. 12 for the 2024 State of the School Address. First held in 2015, the dean’s annual address highlights accomplishments over the past year and shares a vision for the year ahead. The school’s theme for 2024 will be administered in three doses: faith, fellowship and pharmacy.

Michael Crouch, dean of McWhorter School of Pharmacy said, “This annual event is a time to reaffirm the school’s vision of preparing pharmacists who transform lives. Our faith calls us to a greater purpose as educators and professionals, and it's central to what we do and what makes us different.”

Noted accomplishments included regional and national leadership of students and faculty within various pharmacy organizations nationwide. This includes faculty member Valerie Prince being inducted as president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and alumnus Michael Hogue, PharmD ’96, being named chief executive officer of the same organization.

Furthermore, the dean recognized Samford pharmacy students’ dedication to service. In 2023, students spent more than 200,000 hours serving and learning in the local Birmingham community. Third-year students administered over 6,000 vaccinations in October in one week alone through the school's Experiential Education Program

 This upcoming year marks the implementation of the final year of the school’s novel Practice and Team Ready curriculum. The school celebrated this achievement and the success of its six joint degree programs and 13 international affiliations. One in five students is completing a joint degree, and around three dozen students traveled abroad. This past year, the school also implemented Doctor of Pharmacy concentrations, where students can emphasize their studies on research or international pharmacy.

A new collaboration with RxBenefits in Birmingham, Alabama, is yielding immediate results. In February, fourth-year students will begin a new Population Health Outcomes pharmacy practice experience, and starting July 1, McWhorter School of Pharmacy offers a new postgraduate year one (PGY1) managed care residency program, a 12-month intensive learning experience after graduation.

Construction for the Century Circle Hallway was also completed this past year to celebrate scholarships, the donors who made them a reality, and the students who have benefited from this generosity. Century Circle is a fundraising initiative to establish 100 new endowed scholarships in time for the school’s 100th anniversary in 2027.

Looking toward the new year and years to come, McWhorter School of Pharmacy will be an integral supporting factor of Samford’s strategic plan, Fidelitas, aligning with many of its themes including academic distinction, faith formation, community celebration and global influence.

Crouch said, “The new university strategic plan, Fidelitas, gives a comprehensive vision for Samford and a solid foundation for academic programs. I’m excited to develop our plan as we prepare for our upcoming accreditation visit in 2025 and our 100th anniversary in 2027.” 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.