East Hawaii News

Pharmacy College Pioneer to Keynote UH Hilo Spring Graduation

May 8, 2015, 4:24 PM HST
* Updated May 8, 4:25 PM
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Dr. John Pezzuto, the founding dean of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, will be the keynote speaker for UH Hilo’s spring graduation ceremony.  The commencement will be held on Saturday, May 16, at 9 a.m. at Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium in Hilo.

Pezzuto, who arrived at UH Hilo in 2006, was tasked with building a college from the ground up that would serve Hawai‘i and the surrounding Pacific region.  The pharmacy college is the vision of the late Hawai‘i U.S. Senator after which it is named.

Lacking offices, staff and students, Pezzuto created a team of well-qualified faculty launching the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy with an inaugural class of 90 students in 2007.  The first degrees were awarded four years later in 2011.

Today the college is fully accredited and will be moving into a newly built, modern facility as its permanent home.

Pezzuto believes the buliding of the College from dream to reality shows what can be accomplished through inspiration, focus, and hard work.


“Many people predicted the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy would fail. But it will not fail,” Pezzuto said. “And I hope our graduates can view this as an example of how they, too, can be part of something that improves society while at the same time generating pride and self-contentment.”


Pezzuto’s speech at the Spring commencement will mark his final attendance of a graduation ceremony at UH Hilo.  He will leave in August to assume a new position as professor and dean of the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Long Island University (LIU) in Brooklyn, New York.


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