Class of ’61 ramblings and reminiscences — AL SCHALOW and RAY SMITH


·         We as students thought our labs had the latest “state of the art” equipment. By today’s standards, it was very primitive … boxy hoods, “shower-no drain” stuck … Eely got wet.

·         Professors, teachers, lab instructors were all willing to schedule time to give extra help to students in need of it.

·         Fellow students were always willing to study together and share information.

·         Yes, our class was the class that boycotted the annual senior banquet. Upon review of the planned Senior Take-Off and Parody, Dean Weaver canceled the Take-Off portion for being too racy and explicit. The class ordered pizzas and beer – and we had our own party. Tom Murry got boxed foods from the dinner banquet.

·         For some students, college was a financial struggle. At the time, we paid tuition by trimester. Many times I remember being short of the total needed. The office secretary always allowed a week or so to make full payment.

·         McCaw Library was a godsend for borrowing textbooks. I personally bought the required books only. It was a juggling act to check out and renew checked-out textbooks. Many times the library only had a few “in-date” versions – so an outdated version had to do.

·         Probably my most embarrassing moment: During a physics final exam, we had been up all night cramming. That morning, my eyes were scratchy, but a couple cups of coffee kept them open. I opened the exam book and quickly read through the questions. I selected the questions most comfortable with higher numerical percentages of value and did them first. I remember completing between 75 percent and 80 percent. The next thing I remember was the professor standing in front of my desk. I awoke as he announced that time was up. I looked around the empty classroom and sheepishly apologized while handing him my booklet. I did pass the exam.

·         No one told, but the whole class knew who was performer of the “brownie caper.”

·         In Pitts’ chemistry class, instructor Annie Leeper explaining how to clean glasses, saying “You have to get them beer-glass clean.” Said wash them in cold water – when I asked if the soap wouldn’t be more soluble in warm or hot water, she looked daggers and said, “When I say wash them in cold water, I mean cold water.” I still wonder about that.

·         Many know that generally I disdain “big government.” But it was nice that the state had a vested interest in pharmacists and subsidized much of the costs of tuition.

·         Vat room – body parts – mysterious!

·         McGuire Annex — $8 to go down fire escape. Fellow students took up collection. I went down the “silo fire escape” four floors to bottom. Landed in triumph. Professor on ground floor looked out window and said, “There go those d— freshmen again.”

·         Nonstop bridge games in the dorms.

·         Joe running the snack bar at dorm – reasonable prices – edible food.

·         Charlie Thomas – was charged 20 cents for two slices of toast. He got mad: “We could buy a whole loaf of bread for that!”

·         Pitts complained about “Willis” and hose making noise by washing cars in the alley.

·         Parking always a problem – tickets always a problem.

·         All the guys in love with Bertha Rolfe and Charlotte Harris, lab instructors.

·         Everyone could smoke in class if they wanted, and so could professors.

Mission of Mercy: “Going into my second year …,” CHRISTINE NGUYEN, 4/4/11

Going into my second year at MoM, I did not know what to expect.  On some level, I thought that most of the activities would be the same as last year. 

However, I discovered that, as with many projects, these changed once we got there.  Not only did we have the opportunity to interact with every single patient who had prescriptions, but we were also able to educate them about common side effects for each of their medications, how to take their medications according to their dentist’s instructions and how to take care of their mouths post-op.  We even found ourselves removing bloody gauze from patients’ mouths and inserting new ones upon discharge! 

After this year and last year, I am hopeful that the VCU pharmacy students will be able to continue to positively contribute to the MoM projects in the future.  I greatly enjoyed working with all of the volunteers at the event (from nurses and dentists to dental hygiene students and general volunteers), and am honored to have worked with such a fun and enthusiastic pharmacy group!


Mission of Mercy: Introduction, 4/5/11

Five School of Pharmacy students, all P2s, were selected to participate in the 2011 Mission of Mercy project in Roanoke, Va. They were Christine Nguyen (team leader), Ann Bui, Tiffany VanDervort, Wanda Nguyen and Bradford McDaniel. They were joined in Roanoke by fourth-year student Sara Clark, who was on rotation in the area.

In the last three years, the project has provided free dental services to more than 3,000 low-income, uninsured and underserved adults in the Roanoke area.

MoM 2011 took place April 1-2 at the Roanoke Civic Center. Evan Sisson, SOP assistant professor, received this note on April 4 from SOP alumna Terri Bryant (B.S. ’85), who is in charge of pharmacy services for MoM:

“The Roanoke Mission of Mercy project was a huge success this year! Although the data is currently being tabulated, we had approximately 1,000 patient visits in two days. Pharmacy services provided medication consultation, as well as adding patient care instructions for dental extraction packet guidelines.

“The success of our teaching would not have been possible without the teamwork provided by the cohesive VCU pharmacy student team of Wanda, Ann, Christine, Tiffany, Brad and Sara. Their knowledge and compassion was evident in every patient interaction and their enthusiasm remained strong from the early hours to final clean-up.

“They also provided additional assistance with blood pressure checks in triage and pre-op medication dispensing. Other departments also expressed their gratitude for their willing assistance.

“I am once again thankful for VCU’s collaboration in providing for the needy of the Roanoke MoM project and for the kindness and support of these wonderful pharmacy students. I hope to continue this collaboration for the future.”

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