Words cannot begin to describe the impact that C. Boyd Granberg, former CPHS faculty member and dean had on so many students, colleagues, and peers, but the Drake University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (CPHS) tried to do just that in a virtual 100th birthday celebration on April 24, 2021. Granberg turned 100 years old on May 6th, 2021.

“We knew that we could talk to Dr. Granberg when we needed help or had a problem, and he would set us off in the right direction. He went out of his way outside of the classroom, and that’s the kind of individual he was, and I think that’s why we have all loved him for what he has meant to us in our lives.”Carl Jakopec, PH’69 

“He showed up. Every student activity. Every professional meeting. Every faculty gathering. Even every football and basketball game. It was an example that all of us took to heart and not because we were ever told that we should do so, we were just following Boyd’s example. Similarly, with the faculty, there was a Boyd-inspired ethos of the importance of involvement in academic and professional organizations.”  – Rick Morrow, former colleague 

These are just a few of the several comments shared with more than 150 individuals who participated in the live virtual event which kicked off with a welcome and College update from Dean Renae Chesnut. In addition to Dr. Granberg’s former colleague, Dr. Richard Morrow, and former student, Carl Jakopec, PH’69, a special video documentary, moderated by Tim Tesar, JO’06, GR’14, provided an overview of Dr. Granberg’s life along with his impact on the pharmacy profession and the CPHS. 

The celebration also highlighted the student and faculty awards that were created in Dr. Granberg’s honor. Professor of pharmacy practice, Kristin Meyer, PH’00, 2020 C. Boyd Granberg Professional Leadership Award recipient, shared hers and other faculty recipients’ perspectives on the meaning of the award. The award fund for faculty was created in 2008 with lead gifts from former students John R. Ellis, PH’57 and the late Robert Schnarr, PH’57.   

Rising fourth-year student pharmacists Caroline Jones and Isabelle Tharp, 2021 C. Boyd Granberg Student Excellence Award recipients, provided remarks on the impact of the student award. The student excellence award fund was started with a challenge gift by Gregg Brown, PH’78, LW’81 with the goal of the endowment growing to $1 million.   

Following the program, virtual breakout rooms divided by decades were held for alumni to share memories of Dr. Granberg. After the decade breakout rooms, optional breakout rooms were also held for alumni who were involved in the professional fraternities (Kappa Psi, Phi Delta Chi, and Lambda Kappa Sigma). 

Granberg’s national impact was significant as he held several roles in national organizations, including the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (AJPE) editor, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy board member, the Accreditation Council on Pharmaceutical Education Board Member, and the national historian for Kappa Psi, to name a few.  

“What a wonderful celebration for a beloved faculty member and Dean who had so many notable national roles in his career that furthered the pharmacy profession,” said Renae Chesnut. “He not only was a role model for so many others as a national leader but had a tremendous impact on the students he mentored and the life lessons he taught his classes.”  

Dr. Granberg expressed his appreciation in a follow-up email to Dean Renae Chesnut, “My mind is not capable of finding the words to send my gratitude to you and to the members of your faculty, staff, and student body for the excellent program of my life with the Drake University College of Pharmacy for 34 years presented last April 24. But here it is anyway – thank you all! God was in a proper mood when he sent me to Drake University and Des Moines, Iowa in 1950. Thank you from the bottom of my 100-year-old heart for sharing with me.” 

It’s not too late to donate in honor of Dr. Granberg to the C. Boyd Granberg Student Excellence Fund.  Donations may be made in one of two ways: 

1)  Online: https://alumni.drake.edu/giveonline.  One-time gifts or installment pledges may be made by completing the form, selecting ‘Other’ as the Designation and putting ‘C. Boyd Granberg Student Excellence Fund’ in the ‘Other’ box. Select ‘Add to Cart’ and complete the payment information. 

2)  Mail: Drake College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, 2507 University Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50311. Include a note indicating that your gift is for the C. Boyd Granberg Student Excellence Fund.