When more than 240 Pharm.D. students arrived for their first day of orientation on Aug. 12, few were aware of their historical significance to the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. These aspiring pharmacists represent the college’s Centennial Class. In 2023, they will graduate the same year UF celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the College of Pharmacy.
“As members of our Centennial Class, you represent the rich legacy and history of the UF College of Pharmacy,” said Dean and Distinguished Professor Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., during her welcome address. “Enjoy these next four years as a pharmacy student because the time will go by very quickly.”
Many students in the class of 2023 were surprised to learn their graduation coincided with the college’s centennial year.
“I had no idea,” said Dari Libby, a first-year student at the Gainesville campus. “To be a part of that history and attend a Top 10-ranked pharmacy college is pretty amazing.”
While looking ahead nearly four years to graduation may not be top of mind, students in the class of 2023 are already mapping their futures as pharmacy students at UF.
“I’m really excited to participate in the clinical rotations and gain many different experiences in pharmacy,” said Katarina Lambertson, a first-year student at the Gainesville campus.
“I want to specialize in cardiovascular or anesthesiology pharmacy,” said Dallas Stover, a first-year student at the Orlando campus. “The training I receive the next four years will help me secure the residency I need to pursue this career.”
Stover’s grandfather worked as an anesthesiologist in California. His neighbor in his hometown of Titusville was employed as a hospital pharmacist. These role models helped point him toward a career in health care.
“I want the experience of helping people,” Stover said. “Pharmacy allows me the opportunity to put other people’s needs before mine, and that is very rewarding.”
The class of 2023 features 248 students, with 133 attending the Gainesville campus, 68 in Orlando and 47 in Jacksonville. There are 27 out-of-state students from 14 states and the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. UF’s first-year pharmacy students spent their first week on campuses engaged in orientation activities, including writing the class creed, learning about the curriculum and personal and professional development opportunities and engaging with current faculty and student ambassadors. A number of social activities also allowed students to connect with their classmates in a relaxed setting.