Note: The following is a speech delivered by University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences student Clare Livingston at the school’s scholarship luncheon on Nov. 1. The luncheon brought together CU Pharmacy’s generous scholarship donors and their recipients.
I would like to start by welcoming everyone to this delicious luncheon to celebrate scholarship donors and recipients at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy. My name is Clare Livingston and I am a P4 student. I am currently the recipient of the James L McDowell Scholarship and a former recipient of the Kent M. Nelson and Erwin-Nelson Scholarships.
Recently, I like many of my classmates have had the experience of revising my CV in anticipation of graduation. When I got to the part where I needed to describe these awards, I found myself struggling because these gifts were so much more than a single line could express. Although the financial component of the scholarships that the School of Pharmacy offers which are generously funded by donors like you are significant, the impact of these awards goes beyond finances alone. Getting a scholarship means getting the gift of time — time to focus on our studies, time to volunteer in our communities, time to pursue professional opportunities — because of the financial relief it provides. I know that I would not be where I am today and would not have been able to pursue research and career path exploration if I had not received these scholarships.
It is also a vote of confidence — a signal that despite the challenges we may face in school that someone somewhere believes in us. That can we persevere to continually improve ourselves and the profession. For me, the time that I most felt this was when I was at the annual dinner for the Kent M Nelson Scholarship last year. As I listened to Kent’s family, friends, and colleagues describe him, the anecdote that stood out was that he was so enthusiastic about pharmacy, so eager to do shape the profession in lasting ways, that he would always take the stairs two at a time. My first thought upon hearing this was, “I don’t know if I can take the steps two at a time — what happens if I fall?” After getting over my initial reaction, I decided to take this award as a challenge. I would go outside of my comfort zone and push myself to be the person who would try to take on such a challenge by taking extra classes to further my knowledge, doing all I could to help my patients, and do better each day.
Beyond my scholarships, CU offers several others. To the donors here today, I would like to say thank you even though that doesn’t feel like nearly enough to express the gratitude that we as students have for your gifts. To my fellow recipients, thank you for all that you have done to honor the legacies of these awards. I hope that we can use the support that we received to continue to serve our patients, serve our communities, and always strive to be the type of people who take the stairs two at a time.