Students Thank Donors at Annual Event

The Health Sciences Campus Quad was the setting for the USC School of Pharmacy 2014 Scholarship Luncheon on March 25. Over 100 donors, faculty and students were on hand for the annual event.

Hosted by School of Pharmacy Dean R. Pete Vanderveen, the program gave students an opportunity to tell donors what support means to them.

“I lost my Dad at 18 and my Mom has been fighting uterine cancer,” said Kevin Henke. “The help you have provided really does make a difference.”

Henke is among 150 students at the School who currently receives scholarship support. This is made possible by scores of donors, including those who have launched 15 new scholarships just this year. The School launched a $100 million initiative last November, part of the $6 billion Campaign for the University of Southern California, which identifies scholarship support and endowment as a primary School priority.

Dean Vanderveen noted that scholarships allow students to really optimize their time in school since they provide funds that not only support their studies and community outreach but also support their attendance at state and national pharmacy meetings. USC students attend and compete at numerous meetings throughout the year.

As student Staci Tagawa said, “One of the biggest benefits of having a scholarship has been the opportunity it provided for me to attend national conferences – expanding my knowledge beyond the classroom.”

Nana Numapau, a student in the Class of 2014, talked about the important role that scholarships have played in his pharmacy education as the first in his extended family to attain graduate education. “Of all my obstacles, the biggest has been financial hardship,” he told the group. “I would not have gotten this far without your extreme generosity over the years.”

Numapau continued, “You don’t just offer us scholarships, you also offer us support, hope and continue to reaffirm in us that our dreams are possible. We can only hope to return and do the same for other students.”

Students Andy Gelejian and Lauren Kawabata also spoke at the event. Dean Vanderveen also remembered Robert Hahn, an ardent supporter of scholarships at the School, who died last December.

“Bob Hahn wasn’t an alum nor was he a pharmacist, but he gave generously to scores of our students over the years,” said Dean Vanderveen. “Bob created his very own mini Trojan Family, making an invaluable connection with his students.” Hahn’s daughter, Nancy Guy, attended the luncheon.

To make a scholarship donation to the USC School of Pharmacy, contact Mary Wackerman at or (323)442-1360.