Four New Pharmacy Scholarships Created in 2021

By Benjamin Waldrum

Two long-tenured, respected state employees.

Young graduates who became engaged at a pharmacy and now run their own.

A father and son, both pharmacists in their own right.

A self-described “drugstore cowboy,” who moonlighted as a cattle rancher.

What they all have in common is a strong commitment to pharmacy and the people it serves.

“I am so excited to see these scholarships come to fruition,” said College of Pharmacy Dean Cindy Stowe, Pharm.D. “Each one is so indicative of the stories that honor the legacy of impact the College of Pharmacy graduates have in their communities and their desire to pass it on to the next generation of pharmacists.

“Scholarships are so critical for the life of our college in honoring and memorializing the impact of those that have come before us and helping the future of the profession,” Stowe added. “I am deeply grateful for these four families in making these inspirational gifts.”

Here are the scholarships established for 2021, and the stories behind them:

  • Gene D. Pynes, Ph.D., Pharm.D., and Mrs. Bobbie Pynes Memorial Scholarship — Gene Pynes was a respected colleague and teacher held in high regard by his students and peers. He retired in 2000 from the College of Pharmacy faculty, where he served with distinction for 34 years. In 2004, he was named associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences emeritus. He received his Bachelor of Arts in pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the College of Pharmacy and later earned a Master of Science in microbiology and a Doctor of Philosophy in chemistry from the UAMS Graduate School. He was instrumental in the development, establishment and promulgation of the nontraditional Doctor of Pharmacy program. Bobbie S. Pynes worked until her retirement at UAMS in payroll and personnel and was a great support to her husband in his career. David Pynes, their son, honored them by creating this scholarship.

The scholarship will be awarded each year to a College of Pharmacy student who demonstrates good academic standing and financial need.

  • Brandon and Kaley Achor Advancement in Community Pharmacy Endowed Scholarship — Brandon and Kaley Achor, both College of Pharmacy graduates, are lifelong Arkansans who discovered their passion for serving their community through an independent pharmacy. Their journey began as co-workers at Argenta Drug in North Little Rock, which also served as the setting for their engagement. The Achors recognize the College of Pharmacy for its pivotal role in encouraging their entrepreneurial, clinical and professional spirits and a strong commitment to community pharmacy. Now co-owners of Achor Family Pharmacy in Maumelle, the couple created this scholarship to further the college’s mission and bolster excitement and interest in community pharmacy.

The scholarship will be awarded each year to a College of Pharmacy student who is an active member of the National Community Pharmacists Association, and who demonstrates good academic standing and financial need.

  • The Groves Family Scholarship — Billy M. Groves was a 1962 College of Pharmacy graduate and an independent pharmacist. He owned several retail pharmacies and was active at both state and national levels to advance pharmacy practice and the importance of independent pharmacies. He gave back to his community to ensure medications were obtainable and affordable for all. He also inspired his children to do the same. His son, Alvin G. Groves, was a 1988 College of Pharmacy graduate who worked for USA Drug, first as a pharmacist and then as district manager for more than 23 years. He was an advocate for his staff, patients and community. His daughter, Anita Groves McAllister, Pharm.D., (COP ’86, ’02) continued in her father’s footsteps of giving back to the community by serving on the UAMS Board of Advisors. She created this scholarship to honor his legacy.

The scholarship will be awarded each year to a College of Pharmacy student active at state or national levels who advocates for financially underserved patients. Preference will be given to third- and fourth-year students who intend to practice in Arkansas.

  • Don Kenneth Hall Class of 1962 Endowed Scholarship — Don Kenneth Hall devoted 59 years of his life to pharmacy and assisting people in Benton, Arkansas, and Saline County. A self-described “drugstore cowboy,” Hall’s second love was cattle farming. For several years, his pharmacy, Smith-Caldwell Drug Store, sold veterinary supplies, and Hall often provided medicines and guidance for patients’ animals. He was active in his community and church, and delivered medications to customers after hours or during holidays when other pharmacies were closed. He represented what true patient service was all about and inspired the next generation of his family, Greg Hall (COP ’85), to pursue a career in pharmacy. Don Hall’s wife, JoAnn, joined their son Greg in creating this scholarship.

The scholarship will be awarded each year to a College of Pharmacy student who demonstrates good academic standing and financial need. Preference will be given to students from rural areas, as well as those who will continue Hall’s legacy of helping both humans and animals in those communities.

The UAMS College of Pharmacy educates pharmacists to be medication experts and community leaders — from discovery, development and translation to regulation, patient care and outcomes. Scholarships are critically important for these students. Investing in a scholarship makes a degree in pharmacy more affordable and accessible, recognizes deserving students for their hard work and helps keep highly qualified students in Arkansas and at UAMS.