Gary G. Buterbaugh, PhD, retired professor from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has committed a gift of $58,000 to the School to establish a new fund in honor of the Class of 1999 for which he served as faculty advisor. The newly created Class of 1999 Award will assist fourth-year student pharmacists with travel to national or state conferences and students who are facing a hardship situation that could interfere with their ongoing pharmacy education.
“Gifts from faculty play an essential role in helping the School of Pharmacy continue to lead pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement across the state of Maryland and beyond,” says Ken Boyden, JD, EdD, associate dean for the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at the School. “The new fund established by Dr. Buterbaugh is unique in that it will not only offer students an opportunity to broaden their education outside of the classroom, but also help to alleviate the financial burden students often face as a result of an unexpected hardship. We thank him for his generosity and are tremendously grateful for his continued support.”
Remembering His Students
Buterbaugh received his doctorate from the University of Iowa School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He joined the School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology in 1969. In the 1990s, he played a crucial role in transforming the School’s three-year Bachelor of Science in pharmacy program into the four-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program that faculty, staff, and students recognize today. Although Buterbaugh retired as a professor after more than 40 years of service to the School in 2011, he continues to reflect on his time at the School and his interactions with students. Those interactions motivated him to make a gift to the School.
“I have many memories of my years at the School of Pharmacy,” says Buterbaugh, “But, my most memorable interactions are those that I shared with the students. Although the students of every class had an ineffable impact on me, I remember the Class of 1999 with a special fondness, as it was my good fortune to serve as their faculty advisor. The members of that class demonstrated an exceptionally caring attitude and educational tenacity that blended with their individual integrity, which epitomized and served as a tribute to pharmacy practice. It was my privilege to interact closely with that class, and I am pleased to establish the Class of 1999 Award.”
Making Memories Outside the Classroom
The lectures, exams, and abilities labs in which students participate at the School provide a strong foundation for their future practice in the pharmacy profession. However, Buterbaugh notes that it is also important for students to have opportunities to make friends, interact with students of other disciplines, and socialize with classmates. As part of these “outside the classroom” activities, some students choose to participate in a national or state pharmacy conference or other professional programming. Buterbaugh designated a portion of the Class of 1999 Award to assist with travel expenses for fourth-year student pharmacists to attend a national or state professional pharmacy conference.
“Both the students who attend professional conferences and the School can benefit from this aspect of my gift,” he says. “Not only do professional meetings provide an opportunity for students to expand their professional network with other men and women who share a common goal of practicing and delivering quality health care, but these students can also share the experience and knowledge that they gained from their involvement in these professional meetings with others at the School. A student at a conference can actively promote the School and its good works.”
Helping Others Through Hardships
Over the more than 40 years that he was part of the School of Pharmacy faculty, Buterbaugh also encountered many students who faced an unexpected hardship situation, which threatened to derail their education.
“In my experience, awards are often bestowed on a person as a result of some ‘distinction,’ such as academic excellence,” says Buterbaugh. “However, every student enrolled in the School of Pharmacy has the distinction of being a person with inimitable life experiences. There are times when a student will encounter an unexpected event that might temporarily interfere with his or her ongoing education. That event must be acknowledged, and any financial burden associated with such an experience eased. A portion of the Class of 1999 Award is delegated to such an event.”
Leaving an Enduring Legacy
Endowed gifts, such as the Class of 1999 Award established by Buterbaugh, benefit the School, its students, and programs in perpetuity.
“When a person is admitted to the School of Pharmacy as a student, he or she becomes part of a family – the SOP family,” says Buterbaugh. “Everyone who is part of that family (e.g., faculty, staff, students, and alumni) is responsible for that individual’s education and edification. I was blessed with the privilege of interacting with SOP students for many years, and those interactions substantiate my conviction that, although the education of every student must be rigorous and demanding, it should also be unique, fun, memorable, and establish lifelong learning.”
He adds, “It is my hope that this fund will contribute to the School’s responsibility of educating future generations of pharmacy practitioners and help students make the most of their educational experience at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.”