Press Releases


May 13, 2023

Today, more than 260 undergraduate, graduate and PharmD students crossed the stage at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ 143rd Commencement. The ceremony was hosted at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY.

There were 69 undergraduate grads, five BS/MS dual degree grads, 35 Master’s grads, and 154 PharmD grads participating in the ceremony. Graduates hail from 22 states, two US territories (Puerto Rico and Guam) and 15 countries including:

  • Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Korea, Nepal, Oman, Panama, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan and the United States

Females make up 60 percent of graduates in 2023, while males encompass 40 percent. The graduating class’ youngest student is age 20, and the oldest is 53.

A class procession punctuated by music from Schenectady Pipe Band and an inspiring rendition of the National Anthem by ACPHS alumna, Alicia Bautista ’21, PharmD, kicked off the festivities.  Board of Trustees Chair, Marion Morton ’84, who began her board service to the College in 2011 and became chair of the board of trustees in 2017, opened the ceremony.

“You are joining an extraordinary group of leaders and innovators educated at ACPHS since 1881. You have seen in your time here that challenges do not prevent innovation but indeed fuel it,” Morton said. “As much of a test as the pandemic was, it also afforded opportunities to assist in the delivery of health care amid a real-life moving agent. And you witnessed how the College kept adapting and advancing during this time of constant change.”

It was the first Commencement ceremony for Professor, Toyin Tofade, who joined the College as the 10th president in July 2022.

“Class of 2023, it has been a joy to get to know you during my first year at ACPHS and to learn from you what it is to be a Panther – to be smart, hardworking, supportive to your fellow students, and aiming toward a life of helping people,” President Tofade remarked as she addressed the graduates. “You are a breed apart from other students in those traits that you share.”

In addition to academic excellence, the graduating class remained very involved in student government, professional clubs and athletics. Nearly 20 of the graduate-athletes were granted an additional year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, encompassing sports such as cross country, track & field, men’s soccer and women’s basketball, as well as the women’s soccer team who were named the 2022 USCAA women's soccer champions, a first in ACPHS history.

Commencement Speakers

Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D. R.PH., served as the 2023 Commencement speaker. A 45 plus-year veteran of the pharmacy profession, Dr. Maine retired as executive vice president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, an organization committed to education and scholarship for improving drug therapy in June 2022.

She told the graduates that in order to be an effective leader, one first must believe in themselves and their ability to succeed.

“Believing in yourself is essential to your ability to bring your authentic self to your workplace. You have been prepared with exceptional knowledge, skills, and abilities ... science is progressing so rapidly that you must commit to never stop learning or you will find yourself falling behind and risk becoming obsolete too soon,” Maine shared. “Remember to actively engage in your profession and your community through leadership and service to others. And nurture long, supportive relationships with colleagues with whom you can make a difference in your chosen field.”

The 2023 Commencement also included the last graduating class from ACPHS’ Colchester, Vermont campus which the College closed in June 2021. Ten students from Vermont earned a PharmD following an accelerated three-year program.

Jason Fine, a member of the Vermont class, served as one of the student speakers. Following graduation, he will be a pharmacy resident at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center St. Margaret Hospital.

The second student speaker, Soo Kang, successfully completed not only her PharmD degree but also took advantage of a healthcare management MBA at Clarkson University this year through ACPHS. Post graduation, she will pursue residency at South Shore University Hospital in Bayshore, NY.

Honorary Degree Recipients

ACPHS recognized two honorary degree recipients at Commencement: Marion Morton ’84 R.Ph., MBA and Dan Ben-Amoz ’81.

Ms. Morton currently serves as chairperson on the Board of Trustees at ACPHS. She began her board service to the College in 2011 and became chair of the board of trustees in 2017. She was one of the lead donors in the Library renovation in 2012 and the Library Services Center bears her name. In addition, she established the Marion T. Morton ’84 scholarship fund in 2019.

Mr. Ben-Amoz founded Pharmacy Development Services to help thousands of independent pharmacies to thrive and prosper. He holds a patent for the transdermal application of steroids with ultrasound for a procedure known as phonophoresis which is widely used in orthopedics and sports medicine.

Each ACPHS graduate has a unique story to share about their journey and why they chose ACPHS. From academic excellence, internships, residencies and fellowships, to community service, research, leadership and study abroad, learn more about some of their experiences.