Purdue pharmacy students create scholarship in memory of friend

May 11, 2015  

Philip C. Slater

Philip C. Slater

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University pharmacy students are raising funds to create a scholarship in memory of their classmate.

The College of Pharmacy class of 2015 chose to create as their class gift the Philip C. Slater Scholarship in honor of their peer and friend who passed away in 2012, said Craig Svensson, dean of the College of Pharmacy.

“When I learned of the class of 2015’s decision, I was filled with pride in our students, who not only exhibit outstanding academic quality, but also have extraordinary quality of character,” Svensson said. “Phil’s kindness and compassion touched many lives, and through this scholarship he will continue to touch many more.”

Slater was known for his inclusive, thoughtful and humorous nature and his involvement in many student organizations and causes including Purdue University Dance Marathon, the Society of Nuclear Pharmacy and Phi Delta Chi, said Ricky Rivelli, a senior in the College of Pharmacy and member of the class of 2015 class gift committee.

“Phil was the kind of guy that would give you his jacket if you were cold - literally the clothes off his back - and he was very interested in service and giving back to the community,” Rivelli said. “We see this class gift as a way to immortalize his name in a way synonymous with giving back.”

Stephanie Jaward helped organize a candlelight vigil in Slater’s honor that more than 300 students attended.

“This scholarship will honor the way Philip lived and allow him to continue to touch lives, help others and bring a smile to someone’s face,” said Jaward, who also is a senior in the College of Pharmacy and a member of the class gift committee. “He loved Purdue and now he will forever be a part of the university, helping future generations of pharmacy students.”

The class has raised approximately $20,000 in its goal to raise $25,000 to endow the scholarship. Donations may be made at http://purdue.edu/PharmacyClassGift2015

Purdue College of Pharmacy alumnus Rick Rondinelli and his wife DeAnna, of Valparaiso, Indiana, volunteered to match the funds raised for the scholarship by the class of 2015, up to $5,000. Rick is the founder and president of In Touch Pharmaceuticals. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1980. Rondinelli is a distinguished alumnus of the College of Pharmacy and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.

The class gift has formally existed since 2007, and each graduating class has developed a gift to commemorate its time at Purdue and give back to the university and the students that will follow them. Past class gifts have included renovations to the student lounge, electronic message boards, an interactive kiosk for the lobby of the Heine Pharmacy Building, a framed “The Oath of a Pharmacist,” a graphic timeline outlining the major events that have shaped the college and scholarships for student travel. A complete list of past class gifts and history of the class gift challenge is available at http://www-old.pharmacy.purdue.edu/students/classgift_history.php.

A full biography of Rick Rondinelli is available at http://www-old.pharmacy.purdue.edu/advancement/honors/distinguished/2012_rondinelli.php

Writer: Elizabeth K. Gardner, 765-494-2081, ekgardner@purdue.edu  

Sources: Craig Svensson, 765-494-1368, svensson@purdue.edu

Ricky Rivelli, rjrivelli@gmail.com 

Stephanie Jaward, sjaward@purdue.edu

Dana Neary, manager of alumni relations and special events, 765-494-2632, nearyd@purdue.edu 

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