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Pharmacy alumnus among homecoming awardees to be honored for extraordinary service to WVU

Brian Lawson stands behind a podium speaking during commencement ceremonies.

In just 10 years, School of Pharmacy alumnus Dr. Brian Lawson (PharmD, 2008) has already provided what some would consider a lifetime of service to his alma mater. On Oct. 6, Mountaineer Nation will applaud his dedication as he accepts a prestigious award from the WVU Alumni Association during halftime of the WVU/Kansas Homecoming game.

Lawson, a native of Huntington, will receive the Margaret Buchanan Cole Young Alumni award. Presented each year by the WVU Alumni Association, the award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who graduated within the last decade and has provided outstanding service to his/her alma mater.

The School of Pharmacy and its alumni association nominated Lawson for the award. In the nomination letter, Alumni Relations Coordinator & Associate Professor, Dr. Betsy Elswick wrote “It is a rare and special gift for a school to have such a distinguished young alumnus as Dr. Brian Lawson. However, it is even more uncommon to have a graduate who is so deeply committed to a lifetime of service so early on in his career. We truly can think of no one better to receive this prestigious award.”

Lawson is director of professional affairs for the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) in Washington, D.C.  Once a year, he hosts a group of SoP student pharmacists who are enrolled in the Pharmacy Advocacy and Leadership course during their class trip to Washington, D.C., Capitol Hill and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). He provides these students with valuable professional and life advice and has consequently, become a role model for many. Lawson has given back to the School as an adjunct assistant professor, a virtual mentor to students and through his workshops and presentations on timely topics such as preventing the abuse and misuse of prescription medications.

In 2012, Lawson was appointed to the WVU School of Pharmacy Capital Campaign Committee; in 2015 he served as the School’s Commencement speaker and in 2016, he was the president of the SoP Alumni Association. Lawson was inducted as an inaugural member of the WVU School of Pharmacy Hall of Fame and currently serves as an appointed alumni member on the WVU School of Pharmacy’s Leadership Council where he helps provide feedback, service and special insight to Dean William Petros.

“Brian has been an instrumental voice to me in my first year as Dean,” said William Petros. “His incredible international knowledge base concerning our profession coupled with his deep admiration of our School and State provide powerful as well as unique assets which have brought great insights as we construct a new strategic plan.”

Prior to his position at BPS, Lawson was the Associate Director, Governance in the Executive Offices division at APhA where he served as staff liaison to the Board of Trustees, and oversaw the House of Delegates operations, policy development processes, profession-wide awards, and Board elections. In 2008, Lawson was named the recipient of the first Knowlton Center Executive Residency in Association Management and Leadership at the APhA Foundation.

Lawson is one of only seven Homecoming awardees this year. To learn more about the SoP’s Homecoming events visit the School of Pharmacy website.