Health care symposium fund created with former dean's gift

  • Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    Former dean Nicholas Blanchard creates UMES endowmentPRINCESS ANNE, MD - (June 23, 2015) - Dr. Nicholas R. Blanchard has established a new endowment at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to sponsor an annual symposium featuring speakers who can address national health care issues and concerns.   

    Blanchard's $10,000 gift fulfills a pledge he made as founding dean of UMES' School of Pharmacy. He currently is dean of West Coast University's pharmacy school, a post he has held since 2014.   

    "I am very happy to be able to establish this endowment, which will be used to fund an annual symposium to bring diverse healthcare speakers to campus who can address national health care issues that would appeal to the broadest possible audience," Blanchard said.   

    This past spring, Blanchard visited the Princess Anne campus where students and former colleagues celebrated the announcement that his donation would boost UMES' efforts to expand the influence of the university's pharmacy program.   

    He presented the gift during the Class of 2015's hooding ceremony presided over by UMES President Juliette B. Bell.   

    "Dr. Blanchard's generosity will be counted toward the legacy he established as our founding dean," Bell said, "It sets a fine example for future generations of professionals UMES will be sending into the pharmacy and health care professions."   

    Blanchard joined the UMES faculty in 2008 after the university received approval to open the state's second pharmacy school at a public university. He then spent the next two years recruiting faculty and supervising the creation of a year-round curriculum that enables students to earn a degree in three years instead of the traditional four.   

    The inaugural class of Doctor of Pharmacy candidates enrolled in the summer of 2010, and those students quickly discovered that studying to become a pharmacist at UMES required more than attending class.   

    Under Blanchard's leadership and tutelage, students were expected to do community service he said would prepare them for health care's changing landscape. Today, UMES' pharmacy students routinely assist Habitat for Humanity, organize fundraisers for the Epilepsy Foundation and help collect donations for the Blood Bank of Delmarva.   

    "I will always look back at establishing the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions at UMES as the pinnacle of my career and look forward to further ways to supporting the efforts of the school and its programs," Blanchard said.   

    The university's Office of Institutional Advancement notes Blanchard has pledged to continue growing the fund as well as providing financial support for the pharmacy school's annual "Day of Service" now named in his honor.   

    Blanchard said he was heartened to hear the University System of Maryland's governing board voted June 19 to support Bell's request to pursue state funding for a new pharmacy classroom building.   

    "I am so delighted to hear the recent news regarding the approval of the n