The idea was born three years ago when a University of Findlay College of Pharmacy staff member joked that, “Athletes have all the fun!” The staffer was referring to the University’s annual football signing day, an event with all the trappings of a major celebration.
“We thought that our new pharmacy ‘recruits’ might also enjoy some recognition, so we held the first Pharmacy Signing Day in the spring of 2015,” said Debra Parker, Pharm.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy. “The event was so popular, it’s on its way to becoming a University of Findlay tradition.”
Parker, the College of Pharmacy faculty, staff and 45 recently accepted students and their parents walked through an orange and black balloon arch on Friday, March 17, 2017, into the Alumni Memorial Union. For two hours, the crowd of almost 200 enjoyed refreshments, a photo booth and lots of socializing. Parker posed with students for individual photos posted later to the University’s Facebook page, mimicking UF’s publicizing of its new football “signees.”
According to Parker, the event has a serious purpose amidst the lighthearted activities. Incoming students have a chance to meet and talk with faculty about interests, concerns and just to get acquainted. The new recruits also meet their College of Pharmacy student mentors; upperclassmen that will help them navigate the first semester away from home as well as providing support and advice.
“We all know that the doctor of pharmacy program is very rigorous,” stated Parker. “Our students really form a bond. They study together and support each other throughout the entire six years. Having a mentor when you arrive is a start to this process.”
Although many students hailed from Ohio, others came from as far away as Arizona. The reasons for choosing the University of Findlay were varied, with several parents stating that the “0+6” program played a significant role in their student’s choice. Other reasons included the University of Findlay’s reputation and the personal attention given to students in all programs.
As they walked off with goodie bags and the email addresses of several new friends, the future College of Pharmacy students were already planning their “kick off” in August 2017.