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High honors for two Drake pharmacy fraternities

September 9, 2015
Members of Drake's Kappa Psi chapter pose with a national award presented to them at the at the 2015 Grand Council Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Members of Drake's Kappa Psi chapter pose with a national award presented to them at the at the 2015 Grand Council Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Two of Drake’s professional pharmacy fraternity chapters have been named among the best in the nation by their national organizations. Drake’s Phi Delta Chi and Kappa Psi chapters both earned third-place chapter awards—a reflection of members’ commitment to service, philanthropy and scholarship.

Phi Delta Chi consists of 84 chapters nationwide. Drake’s chapter, comprised of about 80 active members, has been among the top 5 nationally for the organization's top chapter award, the Emory W. Thurston Grand President’s Award for 14 of the past 15 years and has won the award 7 times during that time period. The chapter earned top distinction this year for scholarship among its participants.

Phi Delta Chi’s signature philanthropy event is St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn. The annual all-night team challenge, open to all students on campus, raises money for the patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Last year the fundraiser generated over $31,000. They hope to raise $40,000 during this year’s event, set for November 6-7. Throughout the year they also serve food to the homeless, work with non-native English speakers, and serve as mentors to children of low-income families in central Iowa.

"Joining Phi Delta Chi has been the best decision I’ve made since I started at Drake three years ago,” said chapter president Robert Cobert, a 2018 PharmD candidate. "The opportunities that Phi Delta Chi has provided for me, both personally and professionally, have been incredible."

Kappa Psi is the oldest professional pharmaceutical fraternity in the world, with more than 6,000 collegiate members and 87,000 alumni members across 90 collegiate chapters and 65 graduate (alumni) chapters.

Drake’s chapter, which has 90 active members, received the national organization’s W. Bruce Philip Certification of Commendation for recognition as the 3rd best collegiate chapter, the highest ranking that Drake’s chapter has received. The chapter has been in the top 10 ranked chapters for three of the last four years, earning 5th place honors in 2013 and 9th place in 2012. The Drake chapter’s many service and philanthropy projects include cooking meals at the Ronald McDonald House, helping to host bingo games at nursing homes, and adopting a family during the holidays. Members raise awareness about proper medication usage and seek to foster a better pharmacist-patient relationship during their activities, which also include hosting health screenings at local health fairs and participating in a Girls in Science Initiative at the Science Center of Iowa.

“These national awards recognize the positive impact that our students have made not only locally, but nationally as well”, said Renae Chesnut, interim dean of the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. “Their work is helping us to achieve our college’s vision to be a diverse community of learners leading the way to a healthy world.”