|"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." --John Wesley, Author
This is the message inscribed on the handcrafted plate presented to Ellen H. Yankellow, PharmD '96, BSP '73, president and chief executive officer of Correct Rx Pharmacy Services, Inc., during a reception to celebrate the naming of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy Ellen H. Yankellow Grand Atrium on Oct. 16.
The reception recognized Yankellow's recent gift of $1.1 million to the School - the largest gift ever from a female graduate. And, as Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School, noted when the atrium's new signage was unveiled, there are no words more appropriate to describe this remarkable alumna.
"Tonight, we recognize and show our extreme gratitude to Ellen for her generosity to the School of Pharmacy," said Eddington. "We will unveil a visible reminder to all who enter this space of what it means to be a philanthropist and of what it means to give back to an institution that is so proud of you. This ceremony reflects not only your years of hard work to build Correct Rx Pharmacy Services, Inc., from the ground up with your amazing team, but also speaks to your dedication to your alma mater. It serves as an inspiration to our students, faculty, and staff that no dream is too big."
Yankellow's donation, which was received as part of the School's Capital Campaign, will support a first-of-its-kind fellowship at the School designed to capture health outcomes and economic data about the value of clinical pharmacy services. A portion of the money will also benefit an unrestricted-giving fund at the School to support its areas of greatest need.
"Discretionary funds such as this are vital to the continued success of the School of Pharmacy, as they allow the School to capitalize on innovative research and practice opportunities as they arise," said Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. "By contributing such funds to the School, Dr. Yankellow is demonstrating a great deal of confidence in Dr. Eddington. She and I both recognize Dr. Eddington's superb leadership skills and her ability to direct financial resources to areas within the School where they will have the greatest impact."
Yankellow's gift was also celebrated by her colleagues, Jill R. Molofsky, BSP '81, vice president of operations at Correct Rx Pharmacy Services, Inc., and James P. Tristani, BSP '73, vice president of purchasing at Correct Rx Pharmacy Services, Inc., who spoke not only about their relationships as business partners, but also as lifelong friends.
Molofsky, who met Yankellow while completing rotations as a fifth-year student pharmacist, credited her for helping to shape her entire career. "The only reason that any of this was possible was because Ellen believed in me. I've done my best to learn from her mentorship and pay it forward to our employees and managers, and I know that we are a better company because of it," she said.
"Ellen took the chance of a lifetime and offered the client something that they did not ask for, and certainly something that they didnýt know they needed. Ten years later, the foundation that she built has become a strong base for us to continue to make her dream the standard of care for the profession," said Tristani.
Surrounded by her family, friends, and colleagues, and by members of the School of Pharmacy community, Yankellow spoke about the importance of philanthropy and reflected on the people in her life that inspired her to become who she is today.
"As I thought about my remarks tonight, I wanted to convey an attitude of gratitude," said Yankellow. "Gratitude is a wonderful thing, and I live in a constant state of gratitude for my family, my faith, my business associates, and for the School of Pharmacy for the education that I received here and its commitment to excellence."
She added, "However, as wonderful as tonight's celebration is, I am saddened that my parents, Mary and George Hersberger, are not alive to enjoy this day. My parents made enormous sacrifices to send me to college, and they instilled in me and my siblings the value of always doing the right thing, instead of the easiest. It is because of their kindness and generosity to me and many others that I am here tonight. I know that they would have been so proud of the choice that I made to support my alma mater and to move my profession forward."