Leigh Briscoe-Dwyer '87

Leigh Briscoe-Dwyer ‘87, an alumna and board member spoke at our recent scholarship dinner to honor scholarship recipients and donors.

Good Evening. Thank you to Vicki and her staff for allowing me to say a few words tonight. 

I think it’s important to sit back every once in a while, and reflect about your life/career path and ask and acknowledge “how did I get here?” 

For me, it started 39 years ago when I first stepped foot on the campus of (then) Albany College of Pharmacy. I was a little girl from Laurens, NY. There were 28 people in my graduating class and I was the first person in my family to go to college. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  

I believe that fate, opportunity and serendipity collided to put me on that path, and I discovered early on that I was meant to be at ACP and there is no question that I was born to be a pharmacist.  

Because I went to ACPHS I get to get up every day and do work that is important, meaningful, and that I love. Like all of you, the last 18 months have been the most challenging and exhausting of my career. But I have never been more proud to be a pharmacist and an alumni of ACPHS.    

Many of the people I met here so many years ago still figure prominently in my life. I have a group text of 9 classmates and whenever I’m having a rough day, I can open it up and it never fails to make me laugh.  

Because I went to ACPHS I have been able to travel across the country to meet incredible people and talk about pharmacy. I have walked the halls of the capital buildings both in Albany and in Washington DC to demand changes to make the profession and healthcare delivery system better. You have to repeat yourself over and over and over again, but when they eventually hear you, there is little that is more gratifying.  

Because I went to ACPHS this little girl from Laurens, NY got on a plane headed for Hong Kong to teach a course in Infectious Disease and HIV.  I have had the privilege of being a part of people’s lives – both the triumphs when we danced and the tragedies when we cried.  

Because I went to ACPHS, I have a husband who, to this day, says he fell in love with my brain. 

That is why I give. Because everyone should have these kinds of opportunities and they shouldn’t be denied them because of financial issues.    

This room is full of stories like mine. Tonight is about recognizing and celebrating all of our stories that like threads come together to weave the tapestry that comprises the 140 year history of ACPHS. 

I can’t imagine what our campus or the profession of pharmacy will look like 140 years into the future, but I hope that when the class of 2161 gathers for their scholarship dinner, they will say our names out loud and take a moment to appreciate the history, stories and love that they represent.    

For those that give – thank you. For those recipients – congratulations.  All we ask is someday, when you can, that you pay it forward.

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