Above and Beyond for Rho Chi

Alum and Professor Emeritus Wayne Pittman honored for his dedication to advancing the profession of pharmacy

Story by Ryan McDaniel | Published March 21, 2023

Headshot of Wayne Pittman

For over forty years, Wayne Pittman served to advance the Rho Chi Society, the national pharmacy honors society. This week, the Society acknowledged his many contributions to both the local UNC chapter and the national organization by naming him to the 2023 Alumni Honor Roll.

Wayne’s journey with Rho Chi began in 1971 when he was inducted into the UNC School of Pharmacy’s Xi Chapter, where he served as Chapter President for 1971-72. He was working on his BS in Pharmacy at the time, after having attained his BA in Chemistry, also from UNC. He graduated in 1972 and joined the faculty of the School that same year, in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics (DPET). In 1977, Wayne became the Faculty Advisor for Xi Chapter, a role he served until 2006. He and wife, Jan, have established an endowment at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Foundation that supports the School and Xi Chapter each year when new members of Xi Chapter are inducted into the Rho Chi Society.

His contributions to Rho Chi extend beyond his service at UNC. He played an important role in the Society’s national leadership, serving as a Regional Counselor, National Treasurer, and then as the first Executive Vice President and Treasurer from 1998 to 2015. He was instrumental in establishing a formal national office for the Society, stabilizing operations, and overseeing communication through development and progression of the Society’s website. The National Office was headquartered at UNC until 2020, when it transferred to the University of Michigan.

Gail Moriarty, who was Wayne’s administrative colleague in the National Office, reflects, “Wayne’s leadership and guidance inspired countless students, faculty colleagues and support staff not only at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, but through his leadership role in the Rho Chi National Pharmacy Honor Society. We all benefitted from his example to pursue excellence in all of our endeavors.”

Indeed, during his time on faculty at the School of Pharmacy, Wayne made significant contributions to the educational and administrative functions of the School. He served as the School’s first Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (Academic Program Development) and guided the School’s professional curriculum from the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy to its entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program. Together with Angela Kashuba and faculty from DPET and from Practice Advancement and Clinical Education (PACE), the School’s first problem-based learning course (“Problems in Pharmacotherapy”) was developed for the then-new PharmD curriculum. Wayne also played a major role in planning, design, and construction oversight for Kerr Hall, and later would serve that same role for the Genetic Medicine Research Building, Marsico Hall, and major renovations of Beard Hall as the School’s Associate Dean for Facilities Planning and Resource Analysis. His unwavering commitment to the School earned him the respect and admiration of both students and colleagues.

“Professor Pittman made a positive and sustained impact on the School and our Division as a teacher, mentor, scholar, and leader,” says Craig Lee, Chair of DPET. “His vision, careful attention to detail, and commitment to the pharmacy profession inspired countless young professionals to pursue excellence and advance the pharmacy profession.”

Robert Dupuis, Vice Chair of DPET, and current advisor to the School’s Rho Chi chapter says, “Professor Pittman has provided significant institutional memory, wisdom, and support, which he continues to do so for our students and chapter. We can’t thank him enough for all he’s done.”

This recent honor from Rho Chi stands as a testament to the impressive work Wayne has done and continues to do for the profession of pharmacy. Join us in thanking and congratulating Professor Pittman.