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Integrated pharmacy program graduates first class

The South Carolina College of Pharmacy makes history this spring as it graduates its first class -- 183 students in the integrated University of South Carolina and Medical University of South Carolina pharmacy school.

The two schools joined in 2004, bringing together the resources of a major academic medical center and a large comprehensive university. The idea was to leverage the resources of the two colleges of pharmacy to create a college on par with the best in the country.

“During the past four years, we have implemented one of the best curriculums in the U.S.,” said Joseph T. DiPiro, executive dean of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy. “We are the program of choice for hundreds of applicants; our research productivity is up; our facilities have been improved, and many of our faculty and students have received national awards and recognitions. We have exceptionally strong partners in health care organizations, and we are attracting top faculty. Not all of that is directly attributable to the integration, but it is clearly working to our advantage. The proof is the caliber of the young men and women we are sending into the profession as SCCP graduates who are USC or MUSC alumni.”

The MUSC campus of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy will hold its awards and hooding ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20 at the Omar Shrine Temple in Mount Pleasant. Commencement is at 9 a.m. Friday, May 21 in the Horseshoe on the MUSC campus.

Two of the graduates from the MUSC campus got more than just a PharmD out of their time at the College. Chris Dykes, a native of Columbia, S.C. who grew up on a military base in Germany, and Lisa Olson Dykes, an Iowan who chose SCCP because it was in a warm place she’d never been, met within a few weeks of beginning school. Now married, the two are going into a career with the U.S. Air Force.

“Well, I met my now husband within the first few weeks of school, which I never expected to happen,” Lisa Dykes said. “We were friends for awhile before we started dating and the rest is history. I was torn between the military and a civil service position. However, after many conversations with him, our recruiter, and several friends, I decided to join the Air Force as well.”

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S.C. College of Pharmacy, Class of 2010

  • Number of graduates:: 183 (108 on USC campus; 75 on MUSC campus)/li>
  • Average age of 2010 Class: 25 on USC campus; 27 on MUSC campus
  • Gender: 126 female; 65 male

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