As some of you know, when I came here in 2006, this college was little more than a hope and a dream. We had so little that a story developed that might be considered an urban legend. People would laughingly say the dean of pharmacy is working out of the trunk of his car. Actually, the legend is true. But I think everyone knew there was a strong commitment to get the job done since the car was a corvette and the color of the corvette was UH Hilo red.
Obviously we have come a long way since that time thanks to the effort of many people. I can’t possibly recognize everyone, but I would like to recognize three people who are recipients of the APEx award presented by the College. The word APEx, of course, means a high point. But in our case, it is an acronym for the Advancement of Pharmacy Excellence. I would like to call on Pat DeLeon, Rose Tseng and Gerald DeMello to stand and be recognized. They have contributed a great deal to our college.
Thinking back to 2006 there were many important things we did not have. A curriculum, a faculty, a pharmacy library, clinical sites, accreditation, and so forth. One of the most important things we did not have was alumni.
Over the past few years, students have come and graduated with doctor of pharmacy degrees. Now they are serving the community as seasoned health professionals. We are pleased that one of our star alumni is with us today, Jessica Toyama, president of our inaugural class. She will address us in a few minutes. Jessica, please stand and be recognized.
In addition to the fully accredited Pharm D program, the first and only in Hawaii, we have started research programs, MS and PhD programs, residency programs, and much, much more. Our progress has even exceeded our own expectations. And believe me that was not easy because our expectations have always been very high.
For the first few years I was here, I adopted a quotation attributed to Emerson. It goes like this.
“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.”
Think about that. A thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.
I have definitely found this to be true. The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy is loved by many. The College has transformed the lives of many, including my own, and those of my family.
This College is a thing that was loved before it was created.
But as time went on, I needed to modify the Emerson quotation:
“A college created can be loved before it exists. But construction is necessary to continue loving that college.”
So now it is time for construction.
The college of pharmacy has proven it is an economic engine that helps drive the entire community. Yet we could not provide a permanent
facility to carry on our work without help from the legislature. A groundbreaking to acknowledge that trust is indeed a day to celebrate.
But it has been a long and arduous process. Some people have asked if this has worn me down.
The truth of the matter is that I have always known this college has proven its value. And because this college has proven its value, I have
always known that our state representatives would see the value of the program and help us secure the future. Today is a day for all of the people to celebrate. It represents the pinnacle of an intense and sustained effort put forth enumerable individuals, to all of whom we owe a great debt of gratitude.
I would like to individually acknowledge everyone involved in this process. But in fact, so many people have come to our support that it would be impractical for me to acknowledge each and every one at this time.
But I would like to acknowledge a group that became known as the friends of pharmacy. They played a very important role in getting us to this point. Those who are here, would you please stand and be recognized? Thank you.
And those who supported us not only intellectually but contributed to our building fund. Such as Mina Pharmacy represented here today by Hany Guirguis. Would you please stand and be recognized? Thank you.
And another good partner, Walgreens, represented here today by Nancy Huang. Would you please stand and be recognized? Thank you.
Finally I would like to recognize one unsung hero who has been with us all the way – and that person is Marvin Wong. Marvin, would you please stand and be recognized? Thank you.
We are here today to celebrate the future. As signified by this blessing and groundbreaking, the College of Pharmacy will have a permanent home. This day will go down in the archives as the day that safeguarded the future of pharmacy as a profession in the State of Hawaii and throughout the Pacific Region.
When student pharmacists enter the profession, they cite an oath: “I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy.”
Through this investment in our future, you can be sure the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy will devote itself to a millennium of service for all of the people of Hawaii.
Thank you all very much for being here. We truly appreciate your support.
John M. Pezzuto Professor and Dean