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HomeAcademicsCollege of PharmacyBelmont University Celebrates College of Pharmacy Charter Class Graduation May 5

Belmont University Celebrates College of Pharmacy Charter Class Graduation May 5

First class of 65 students recognized for accomplishments, service

The Belmont University College of Pharmacy (BUCOP) will celebrate the graduation of its charter class on May 5 with 65 members of the Class of 2012 expected to cross the stage to receive their Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. After opening its doors in 2007, the College of Pharmacy accepted its first students in fall 2008, and the initial class has paved the way for future BUCOP students, setting a high standard for academic excellence and community service.

Belmont’s College of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Phil Johnston said, “The University and the Nashville community have enabled us to develop a stellar College of Pharmacy at Belmont. I am proud of the commitment of faculty and students to take on leadership roles in this profession to make a difference in thousands of lives. Also important is the contribution of more than 450 affiliate faculty, who open their businesses to our students to provide quality education and mentoring.”

Belmont President Bob Fisher said, “As these students hang their degrees in offices and wear their white coats in labs, retail pharmacies, hospitals and clinics across the United States, they demonstrate the University’s mission to engage and transform the world.  Belmont is especially grateful to Trustee Emeritus Clayton McWhorter who, inspired by his brother, the late pharmacist Fred McWhorter, endowed support to the state-of-the-art academic building that houses the College of Pharmacy.  We are honored to have our students follow their example of living in service to others and championing healthcare reform.”

BUCOP has provided students with the skills to contribute to the growing health care needs of Nashville. Since the college’s first class was admitted in August 2008, students’ academic accomplishments and service has grown exponentially each year. Among their achievements are:


  • Students have filled more than 7,800 prescriptions, maintained inventory, counseled patients and played an integral role in the layout of the on campus Health Services Pharmacy, which serves Belmont’s students, faculty and staff.
  • Twenty percent of the Class of 2012 will receive post-graduate residency training in retail pharmacies, managed care facilities and hospitals across the United States.
  • Chenette Burkes, Class of 2014, interned at Johns Hopkins in summer 2011.
  • Morgan Jones, Class of 2014, will intern with the Mayo Clinic in summer 2012.

Honors and Awards

  • A Belmont team consisting of pharmacy students Rebecca Lucas, Kimberly Bentley, Lee Rembert, John Barnwell and Courtney Manning ranked in the top eight out of 85 competing schools in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Clinical Pharmacy Challenge in October 2011.
  • Shanna Harris, Class of 2012, served as the 2011-2012 president of the Tennessee Society of Student Pharmacists, the student branch of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association. She also was named the AACP Wal-Mart Scholar in 2011 and competed in the annual Interprofessional Case Competition (ICC) sponsored by the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance in Nashville as part of an interdisciplinary team of Belmont students.
  • John Barnwell, Class of 2013, received the Respect, Excellence and Service in Pharmacy (RESPy) Award for excellence in pharmaceutical care as presented by Wal-Mart and Pharmacy Times.
  • Bethany Bedford and Rebecca Lucas, Class of 2012, ranked in the top 10 in the 2011 American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists’ Clinical Skills Competition.
  • Amy Demonbreun, Class of 2013, ranked in the top 20 at the 2012 American Pharmacists Association’s National Patient Counseling Competition.

 Community Service

  • BUCOP faculty and students have participated in medical mission service in Cambodia, Guatemala, Ghana and Oglala Sioux Nation in South Dakota to meet health care needs of underserved residents locally and globally.
  • A dozen pharmacy students went to Guatemala City to provide screenings and general surgical care to residents and design the pharmacy at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in partnership with The Shalom Foundation.
  • Adam Culbertson, Class of 2012, founded the Edgehill Rose Park Walking Club, a group of Edgehill neighbors, civic leaders and university athletes who walked the Rose Park track on weekday mornings. Belmont students have volunteered more than 240 hours to walk with a dozen adults and some 70 youth.
  • Through the Dispensary of Hope, more than two dozen Belmont pharmacy students have distributed hundreds of prescription medications to low-income residents in I.W. Gernert Homes and Edgehill Homes weekly since summer 2011.
  • Thirteen student organizations in the BUCOP averaged 800 hours of community service a semester through their work with nonprofits and events including Hands on Nashville, Renewal House, Siloam Family Health Center, Feed the Children, Ronald McDonald House, Rescue Mission, Vanderbilt Hospital NICU, YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter, Kroger Health Screening, Susan G. Komen, Edgehill Night Out Against Violence and Tennessee Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Research.


  • Professors have published their research in more than 50 peer-reviewed posters, abstracts and articles and have contributed chapters for textbooks.

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) is the official regulatory body that accredits all colleges of pharmacy in the United States. Belmont’s College of Pharmacy is on track for full accreditation, which is awarded to a new program once it has graduated its first class and met all requirements. The University will be notified this summer regarding BUCOP’s accreditation status.

About Belmont’s College of Pharmacy
Home to 292 students and 27 faculty members, The College of Pharmacy at Belmont University is preparing a new generation of health professionals to meet the changing needs of pharmacy practice with a future-oriented Doctor of Pharmacy degree. It starts with a solid educational foundation in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice from a faculty of experienced practitioners and educators. On this foundation is an innovative academic program and extensive experiential component designed to provide depth and breadth of knowledge and skills to prepare students for an emerging array of career options in pharmacy. Students can specialize in pharmacy management, information management, missions, pharmacotherapy or interdisciplinary care delivery.

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