"History is great, but always look ahead..."
If UofSC alumnus James "Jim" Long (1970 B.S. pharmacy) has learned anything from his decades of experience in pharmacy, it's to always keep looking forward. Jim celebrated his retirement in May 2022, after a 30+ year tenure as a pharmacist on Fort Jackson followed by 8 years of teaching in the College of Pharmacy's Aseptic Compounding Experience Laboratory. We wish him the best as he embarks on this next phase of life.
Tell us about what you do:
I have worked in various pharmacies since 1963. I served as a civilian employee for the U.S. Army as a pharmacist at Moncrief Army Hospital at Fort Jackson from 1974 to 2010 (36 years.) In that role, I prepared IVs in the inpatient pharmacy.
In 2014, I became a Laboratory Instructor for the ACE Lab at the UofSC College of Pharmacy. I recently retired in 2022 after 8 years of instructing students. Instructing in the ACE lab was both challenging and gratifying. Students are taught proper technique, accuracy, and sterility in basic IV preparation. Students who are inexperienced in this aspect of pharmacy become proficient and comfortable by the end of the course.
How did you originally get interested in your field?
I worked in a retail pharmacy during high school in my hometown in western North Carolina.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A baseball player.
Why did you choose the University of South Carolina?
I worked with a graduate of the UofSC College of Pharmacy and I wanted to attend a college different from most of my high school classmates, yet be near home. I found Columbia, then and now, to be a great city made up of many different and diverse neighborhoods.
Who has been a mentor to you?
My father, C. Rex Long. Although he died when I was 11, I still feel he influences my decisions and celebrates my achievements.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Returning to my alma mater as a member of the UofSC College of Pharmacy faculty to help prepare students for the profession of pharmacy.
What is your advice for current students / future pharmacy professionals?
Explore many pharmacy options to challenge your education and abilities, but don’t be afraid to change paths. Keep continuing your pharmacy education to learn new procedures, aspects, technology, and fundamentals. Make a list of all the people you work with for future reference. And remember: Don’t touch the ribs!
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Woodstock 1969 or the start of my college life at UofSC, 1965.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
History is great, but always look ahead. You may want to change directions.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
- Bob Costas
- Jon Miller
- Mick Jagger
- Bob Dylan
- Harris Pastides
- Dawn Staley
- Jim Suarez
- Brian Snitker
- Kevin Millar
- Chris Rose
- Matt Vasgersian
- Peter Gammons
- Tim Kurkjian
- Any of my classmates from the UofSC Pharmacy Class of 1970
- Any of the faculty / staff of the UofSC College of Pharmacy
- ...and if they were still alive: Johnny Carson, Gill Hodges, Yogi Berra, and Hank Aaron
What would your superpower be?
Run extremely fast.
What do you do to relax?
Listen to rock music, watch sports, and work on restoring my 2006 Scion xB car.
What is your favorite memory from pharmacy school at the University of South Carolina?
Being admitted to UofSC, attending college with great classmates and outstanding faculty, experiencing senior trips, then graduating becoming a registered pharmacist.
What is top of your bucket list?
To spend more time with my family – my wife of 50 years, Jane, our children Rex & Libby, and grandsons Reese & Ellis. I’d also like to visit all 30 MLB ballparks.
Topics: Alumni Programs, Meet Our Alumni