Three Generations of Pharmacists Graduate from Duquesne

Mylan School of Pharmacy

Over the past five decades, the pharmacy profession has changed dramatically, as has pharmacy education. Few families have witnessed these changes as closely as the Gillespie family, which boasts three generations of graduates from the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy.

James A. Gillespie began his Duquesne education in 1954, a time when the School of Pharmacy was still led by founding Dean Hugh C. Muldoon. Gillespie can still vividly recall his time in the classroom with Dean Muldoon, who he says was "a man among men, who was recognized nationally as an educator."

Gillespie remembers that Dean Muldoon expected his students to act and dress professionally in the classroom. If a student would dare to attend class without a necktie, the Dean would dismiss him from class, saying, "we at Duquesne University don't care to see what kind of underwear you're wearing."

Before graduating in 1958, Gillespie also had the opportunity to study under Dean John G. Adams and future Dean John S. Ruggiero.

In 1966, Gillespie purchased Kramer's Pharmacy in Mt. Oliver, which he owned and operated for the next 30 years, while enjoying being an active part of the community. "I was proud when little league teams came in to give me a game ball, while wearing shirts that had my pharmacy name on them," he said.

During that time, there were 20 independently owned pharmacies on a four-mile stretch of Brownsville Road, from Mt. Oliver to Brentwood. Gillespie says that "everybody knew everybody," and the pharmacists interacted with each other socially and professionally, even forming a local group called the South Hills Pharmacy Association. After selling his pharmacy in 1996, Gillespie briefly worked at Eckerd Pharmacy before retirement.

Gillespie's son, James C. Gillespie, is a 1984 graduate of the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy. Since his graduation, he has worked at Rite Aid Pharmacy in Erie, PA.

Gillespie said that he is very proud of his son's accomplishments, and the role that he has played in guiding and counseling patients as a community pharmacist.

He is equally proud of his granddaughter, Kaitlyn Stroyne, who is a 2014 graduate of the school. Since her graduation, Kaitlyn has worked for both Gateway Health and CVS as a Clinical Pharmacist.

Gillespie said that the education that his son and granddaughter received from Duquesne University School of Pharmacy has enabled them to keep up with the evolving role of pharmacists in the healthcare community. "What pharmacists today are able to contribute to health care is excellent," said Gillespie.

3 genrations of pharmacists

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

It's time for bigger goals
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