Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Norgaard-Berry family

Back row, left to right: Wendy Olinyk (Alicia's mother), Sue Berry (Alyssa's mother), Matt Berry (Alyssa's father); Zach Berry (Alyssa's brother), and Alicia Berry.
Middle row: Riley Svec (Alyssa's fiancé), Alyssa Berry, Steve Ihrcke (Alyssa's uncle); Nancy Toth (Alicia's and Alyssa's grandmother), and Rev. John Toth (Alicia's and Alyssa's grandfather).
Front row: Jerre Ihrcke (Alyssa's grandmother) and Ray Ihrcke (Alyssa's grandfather).


The Norgaard-Berry family has a long history in pharmacy, one that dates back to 1904 when their patriarch, Jorgen Jensen Norgaard, started his pharmacy career. Since then, seven members of the family have followed in his footsteps and all of them have graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy.

The most recent Norgaard-Berry family member to graduate is Alyssa Berry, the great-great-granddaughter of Jorgen Jensen Norgaard, who received her PharmD in May. Alyssa’s cousin, Alicia Berry, graduated in 2016, also with a PharmD.

 

 
Nancy Toth

The UI is our family school for pharmacy.

Prior to them, Alyssa’s father, Matthew Berry, received a BSPh in 1988; and her grandfather, Kenneth (Mike) Berry, received a BSPh in 1963. Her great aunt, Jacqueline Norgaard Devine, received a BSPh in 1958; her great-great uncle, Elmer Norgaard, received a BSPh in 1935; and her great grandfather, Harvey Norgaard, received a BSPh in 1931.

“The UI is our family school for pharmacy,” said Nancy Toth, the daughter of Harvey Norgaard, former wife of Kenneth Berry, mother of Matthew Berry, and grandmother of Alyssa and Alicia Berry.

As a way to thank the institution for its important role in their lives, the Norgaard-Berry family recently made a gift to the college that will be used to create an endowed scholarship to help defray the costs of attending the college for out-of-state P3 and P4 students.

“Our family has a great appreciation for the education provided by the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy,” says Toth, who with her husband, John Toth, and other family members combined financial contributions to create the gift, which they made in June, not long after watching Alyssa Berry receive her doctor’s hood with the assistance of Jacqueline Norgaard Devine, Matthew Berry, and Alicia Berry.

Dean Donald E. Letendre said he is grateful for the family’s loyalty to the college as well as for their generosity. “It’s rare to have four generations of family members graduate from the same college for their pharmacy education,” said Letendre. “I wish to sincerely thank the Norgaard-Berry family for their generous gift and for their continued support of the college, future pharmacists, and the profession.”

At the May graduation ceremony for Alyssa Berry, Letendre introduced the family members who had graduated from the college. Toth said the special acknowledgment from the dean had “everyone in tears.” There were even more tears of happiness when Alyssa Berry got engaged an hour after her hooding ceremony!

“It was a wonderful day for our family,” said Toth.

Members of the Norgaard-Berry family who have graduated from the college have worked in various pharmacy fields. Some have owned their own pharmacies in Iowa and Colorado, while others have worked in the pharmaceutical industry. Alicia Berry works at a CVS pharmacy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Alyssa Berry is looking for work in Illinois, where her fiancé is attending graduate school.

Toth said: “As a family, we truly appreciate the University of Iowa and the College of Pharmacy.”