Jones College presents Legacy Award to Gardner during Oct. 28 homecoming fesrivities

Published 11:35 am Sunday, November 5, 2023

Jones College’s Alumni Association and Foundation’s expanded Alumni recognition program during homecoming celebrations on Oct. 28 in Ellisville honored Dr. Dewey Garner of Oxford with the school’s 2023 Legacy Award.

The Legacy Award spotlights an alumnus of Jones College who has illustrated over the years continued support and has made consistent contributions to honor the college, like Garner.

The retired pharmacist and pharmacy professor at the University of Mississippi and the University of Houston, graduated from JCJC in 1960, taking 18 hours every quarter. At the end of his freshman year, he said he was still undecided on a major until he won the Chemistry Award.

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“I’ve figured all this is general and it will transfer…and I said well, I got this chemistry award so I must have some talent here,” Garner said. “But I don’t want to be working with test tubes and beakers for the rest of my life.

“I read pharmacy was a very people-oriented profession, but I’ve never been in a pharmacy in my life other than to sit at the fountain before the movie in Raleigh. I wound up coming to Ole Miss because it’s the oldest pharmacy school in the state. I had only been on this campus one time in my life – to see a football game.”

Upon graduation from Ole Miss, Garner, a native of Raleigh, practiced pharmacy for 2 1/2 years in New Albany, when the dean of the pharmacy school convinced him to return for graduate school in 1966.

He joined the faculty at the University of Houston after graduation in 1970 for a year, before joining the faculty at the University of Mississippi.

Garner retired in 2009 as professor emeritus of pharmacy administration and research professor emeritus in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences after serving 38 years on the faculty with 14 of those years as the chair of the department of pharmacy administration.

He served the Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, the oldest and largest professional pharmacy fraternity in the world, in nearly every national office and as a member of almost every national committee. He wrote a book in 1993 on the fraternity’s history. The fraternity recognized him for his extraordinary service to the pharmacy profession with the A. Richard Bliss Grand Council Citation of Appreciation in 2009.

Garner served as faculty adviser to the Beta Rho Chapter of Kappa Psi at Ole Miss and the student chapter of the National Association of Community Pharmacists.

The School of Pharmacy selected him as “Alumnus of the Year for 2009-2010, and the Mississippi Pharmacists Association inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2009.

He served on the Mississippi Medicaid Commission’s Drug Advisory Committee from 1971 to 1985 and was one of three pharmacists appointed to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s State’s Pharmaceutical Transition Commission.

Of all his awards and honors over his lifetime, Garner shared, the Legacy Award from Jones College is the most treasured.

“Those lifetime awards are for different constituencies, but this one is a little overwhelming because when it says Legacy from Jones College, it goes back further than any of those others. I mean, it was 64 years ago that I entered JCJC as a freshman,” said Garner, who met his wife Barbara of 60 years during his sophomore year at JCJC, thanks to his cousin. The couple has two children, two grandchildren, and one, great-grandchild.

All the honored alumni were recognized with a medallion during half-time of the football game before recognizing the Homecoming Court.