Four Pharmacy Students Graduate With 4.0 GPAs

Mercer Seal

ATLANTA – Four students at Southern School of Pharmacy of Mercer University graduated May 7 with perfect 4.0 grade point averages, not an easy feat in such an academically rigorous environment. In recognition of their achievement, the School awarded each of them with the prestigious R.C. Hood Award, the highest scholastic award offered by the Southern School of Pharmacy.

The students honored were: Jason Bradley Atwood of Ennice, N.C.; Jessica RuthAnne Kilgore of Oaktown, Tenn.; Joshua Allen Rains of Cumming, Ga.; and Heather Kay Vonier of Thomasville, Ga.

“The Southern School of Pharmacy is pleased to be able to honor four students this year for their outstanding academic achievements,” said H.W. “Ted” Matthews, dean of the School of Pharmacy and vice president for the Health Sciences. “I know that each of these students will be successful in their careers and contribute much to the pharmacy profession.”

Atwood will be pursuing a career in nuclear pharmacy; Kilgore will be in the comparative and experimental medicine Ph.D. program at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine; Rains will begin a one-year pharmacy residency at DeKalb Medical Center; Vonier will begin her career as a pharmacist at Walgreens.

The award honors the memory of Dr. Reuben C. Hood, long-time dean of the School. The name of the recipient each year is placed on a bronze plaque on display at the School, and the recipient also receives a plaque at commencement to commemorate the honor. The recipients must have attended the School for all four professional years and must have the highest academic average at the end of the spring semester of the fourth professional year.

About Mercer University and the Southern School of Pharmacy:

Mercer University’s Southern School of Pharmacy has a century-long tradition of excellence and a national reputation for producing outstanding leaders in the profession of pharmacy. In September 1981, Southern School of Pharmacy became the first pharmacy school in the Southeast and fifth in the nation to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) as its sole professional degree. The School also offers the Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences. Pharmacists from Mercer are currently practicing in 43 states and in several foreign countries.  

Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 15 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.