Commencement Honors the Class of 2016

Published on 17 May 2016

Saturday, May 7, marked St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s 148th Annual Commencement. Held at the Peabody Opera House in downtown St. Louis, the ceremony honored the 215 members of the class of 2016 – the largest graduating class in the College’s history. Faculty, staff, and members of the College administration joined the families and friends of the graduates to recognize the newest group of College alumni.

Following a processional led by the John Ford Highland Pipe Band and Faculty Marshal Evelyn Becker-Meyer ’83/’93, Pharm.D., Joseph Fleishaker, Ph.D., chair of the Board of Trustees, called the ceremony to order. John A. Pieper, Pharm.D., FCCP, president of the College, presided over the ceremony and delivered opening remarks.

"Thank you class of 2016 for everything," Pieper said. "You have made historic contributions to this college and to my growth as a president and a person. As you leave our hallowed halls, our quad, and campus, it is time for you to take your place as leaders in your communities. You are now armed with the education from one of the nation’s very best health professional colleges; you are the practitioners that can affect the change, the ones that can help people lead healthier happier lives."

Melissa Green delivered remarks on behalf of the class of 2016.

"Throughout my time at STLCOP, I was shown the impact a pharmacist can make on a patient’s life," Green said. "It is not just about filling the medications that the patient is on, it is about building relationships with our patients so they know they can come to us for health care advice. As we start our careers, I know that STLCOP has provided us with the tools to impact our communities positively."

Two longtime and beloved faculty members, Evelyn Becker-Meyer ’88/’93, Pharm.D., and Lucia Tranel, delivered a joint Commencement address. Taking a nontraditional approach, they moved freely around the stage engaging the audience with humor and deep-felt sentiment for their time at the College. Tranel urged students to become “educational philanthropists” and led the audience in a toast of invisible glasses.

“To the graduates as they commence their lives as educational philanthropists,” Tranel said in her closing remarks. “May they use their education as a weapon to change the world, to turn mirrors into windows, and to teach people to understand.” Both Becker and Tranel will retire upon the conclusion of the 2015-2016 school year.

Following the Commencement address, the graduates were presented for the formal conferring of degrees by President Pieper. One by one, each student then crossed the stage to receive their diploma and doctoral hood in recognition of the completion of the Doctor of Pharmacy.

The 2016 Commencement ceremony also featured the presentation of the 2016 Joe E. Haberle Outstanding Educator Awards. Selected each year through a process hosted by the Alumni Association, the awards recognizes faculty members who show a remarkable commitment to educational excellence. Robert Salter ’70, Ed.D., presented the awards to Andrew Crannage ’08, Pharm.D., and Elizabeth Rattine-Flaherty, Ph.D.

Commencement by the Numbers

215 graduates

50 transfer students

101 graduates awarded honors

  • 55 Cum Laude (with honors)
  • 23 Magna Cum Laude (with high honors)
  • 23 Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors)

16 states representatives

2 countries representatives

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