Edwards ’68 leaves a mighty legacy in MUSC pharmacy

Roby Hill
July 19, 2021
philip hall and peter edwards posing with shovels at pharmacy groundbreaking
Dean Philip Hall posing with Peter Edwards '68 in April, at the groundbreaking for a new pharmacy facility

The MUSC pharmacy family suffered an unexpected blow July 17 when Peter Edwards, one of its most well-known and beloved alumni, passed away.

Just about every student to come through the MUSC College of Pharmacy for two decades got to know Peter Edwards. He was their Alpha Omega, a quick-witted quipster with the booming baritone. He interviewed them as prospective students. He admitted them as first-year student pharmacists. He sent them out on their introductory rotations after their first year, then on all the advanced ones during their final year. He helped prepare them for their jurisprudence boards so they could be fully-licensed pharmacists.

Then they graduated, turned around and there he was again. President of the South Carolina Pharmacy Association (SCPhA). President of the MUSC Pharmacy Alumni Association. Chairman of the SCPhA board of directors. Chairman of the House of Delegates. Winner of any number of professional awards as one of the most prominent and visible pharmacists in the State of South Carolina.

“Peter made such a difference in the lives of so many of us,” said Philip D. Hall, dean of the MUSC College of Pharmacy. “He had tremendous presence and a personality that just warmed up the room. We will miss him.”

After graduating the MUSC College of Pharmacy in 1968, he began his professional career working in the chain drug industry. He worked as a pharmacist/store manager with several chains in four states during the first 20 years of his career. Additionally, he worked part-time for several independently-owned pharmacies, the VA Hospital, the VA Consolidated Mail Order Pharmacy and had his own consulting business. He began a lifelong relationship with students, frequently serving as a preceptor.

In 1989, he began working as an instructor in the MUSC Family Medicine Pharmacy and in 2004 became an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy and Clinical Sciences. Armed with a master of health service administration degree from the MUSC College of Health Professions, he was able to serve the college in many capacities: director of experiential education, chair of the Admissions Committee, and course director for Pharmacy Law and Ethics, Pharmacy Care, and Pharmacy Management. He retired in 2009 as the college’s MUSC campus director of external affairs.

Edwards was active in a number of professional organizations on a local, state, and national level. Prior to becoming president of the SCPhA, he served in almost every office. He also served as president of the Ninth District Pharmacy Association and was a member of the South Carolina Society of Health-system Pharmacists, American Pharmacy Association, and American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. He served as president of the MUSC Joint Alumni Board, was inducted in Rho Chi as a faculty member, and also inducted into the Phi Lamba Sigma Leadership Society. In 2000 he was named Alumni of the Year by Alpha Kappa Chapter of Phi Delta Chi.