This open letter, to all Pharmacy Associations in Florida, is a sincere plea for  help in creating the best and most powerful scholarship program for financially burdened students who have a strong desire to become pharmacists…some day in the future, these students may be your members. I recognize one of the most important purposes of pharmacy’s professional associations is to advance professionalism while at the same time advancing knowledge in the field of pharmacy and healthcare.  Being associated with the pharmacy profession for over 65 years, I share those same ideals.

Allow me to introduce myself: I’m a Massachusetts native and resident, and an alumnus of one of the greatest colleges in the nation…the University of Florida College of Pharmacy.  I received my Ph.D. from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in 1956.  Following my graduation, I returned to my home state to practice pharmacy; first as a professor of pharmacy at Northeastern University, and later as an entrepreneur in the Pharma industry.  I never, never lost sight of the fact that my graduate education at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy was, without doubt, a major contributor to my career successes. Even more importantly, I never lost sight of the fact that if it was not for the scholarship aid I received during my four years of study, I might not have been able to subsidize my graduate education.

Let me explain my reason for writing this open letter to all the Pharmacy Associations in the State of Florida. It’s a fact that young men and women are being attracted to the profession of pharmacy because of its prestigious ranking among the total spectrum of health care providers. Forbes magazine ranked pharmacist as the top health care job in 2015.  This reputation along with the high academic ranking of our College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida (9th in the nation) is attracting exceptionally well-educated students, from all over the USA, to seek admission to the UFCOP for their Pharm.D. degrees.

All the above is wonderful for both the State of Florida and for the College of Pharmacy, but not so great for many of those students seeking admission to the UFCOP. Numerous students simply cannot afford the cost attached to their education. Many pharmacy graduates are saddled with crushing student loan debt when they graduate. Knowing these facts, and being confronted with that same situation myself more than 65 years ago, I vowed to create  a scholarship program with the objective of easing the financial burden of these students. That program would become known as the Crisafi Challenge.  The rest is history and can be attested to by simply clicking on this link.

Since its inception in 2015, the Crisafi Challenge scholarship program has been extremely successful in accomplishing its purpose.  Even better, the Crisafi Challenge scholarship program is destined to become the most ambitious and successful scholarship program on campus.  To achieve that goal, it needs help from those who love the profession of pharmacy…who love the University of Florida College of Pharmacy…and who love and want to help financially burdened students who desire to study at our great College of Pharmacy.  The Crisafi Challenge scholarship program has already, in two short years, exhibited it can generate the necessary funds for scholarships to be awarded to the best-of-the-best students who have chosen UFCOP as their first choice for their Pharm.D. studies.

I’m hoping and humbly requesting that each of the various Pharmacy Associations in the State of Florida becomes a donor to the Crisafi Challenge scholarship program. This can be easily achieved by making a modest donation to the Crisafi Challenge in 2017.  By this action, Florida’s professional pharmacy associations will be joining hundreds of pharmacists from across the State of Florida who have already recognized the excellent accomplishments derived from the Crisafi Challenge scholarship program.  On behalf of your association, you will be eligible to write a testimonial, that will be published in a separate section on this website.  Let your association show its present and future membership that the Crisafi Challenge scholarship program is a trustworthy cause that should be supported by all Florida pharmacists.

A donation from your association will also demonstrate solidarity among pharmacy associations throughout the State of Florida.  Please join UF’s President Fuchs, Dean Julie Johnson and hundreds of alumni who have already recognized the benefits of this excellent scholarship program.

If you have any questions or concerns or if you want more information about the Crisafi Challenge scholarship program, I urge you to contact, Elizabeth Zipper, Director of Development & Alumni Affairs, UF College of Pharmacy, at 353-273-6605 or

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Bob

   The 2015 Inaugural Scholarship Recipients
Open Letter to all Pharmacy Associations in Florida – from Dr. Bob

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