Past Honorary Alumni Award Recipients

2013 Honorary Alumni Recipient
Leman Olson

Leman Olson graduated from the College of Pharmacy at South Dakota State University. Upon graduation he started practice in hospital pharmacy at St. Luke’s hospital. He moved to Mason City where he works in community and long term care pharmacy practices. He has owned and managed two pharmacies, and he has managed a number of outpatient pharmacies for Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa. He retired in January 2011. Olson has served as the speaker of the house and as president of the Iowa Pharmacy Association. He has also served on the board of trustees at APhA and on the Iowa Board of Pharmacy. In 2008, Olson received the Bowl of Hygeia.  In 2010, he was awarded the Gibbs Distinguished Pharmacist Award from IPA.

2013 Honorary Alumni Recipient
William J. Wimmer

​William J. Wimmer is a founding shareholder in the law firm of Wasker, Dorr, Wimmer & Marcouiller, P.C. and is a multi-client lobbyist for local, state, and national government. Mr. Wimmer has worked tirelessly for over 20 years lobbying for Iowa pharmacists, working closely with the Iowa Pharmacy Association.  Recently he has helped to connect legislators with the College of Pharmacy in the pursuit of a new facility.  Wimmer earned his AA from Southwestern Community College and his BS from Northwest Missouri State University. He attended a Master’s program in speech communications at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, and received his JD degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1976. After graduation, he moved to Iowa. He has been recognized by AV Peer Review Rating by Martindale/Hubbell and The Best Lawyers in America 2011. He received the Iowa Association for Justice Distinguished Service Award in 2002 and the Iowa Supreme Court Exceptional Service Award in 2006. He currently resides in Des Moines.

2012 Honorary Alumni Recipient
Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD

Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, is currently the Executive Vice President/CEO-Designate for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Prior to joining ASHP, Dr. Abramowitz had worked in hospitals and health-systems for 34 years, most recently as Associate Hospital Director for Professional Services and Chief Pharmacy Officer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He also served as Professor and Assistant Dean at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. He was previously the Director of Pharmacy and a faculty member at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics.

Dr. Abramowitz has actively combined practice, teaching, and research throughout his career. He has lectured and published extensively focusing on the effect that quality pharmaceutical care can have on improving outcomes of care and reducing costs, reduction of adverse drug events, developing new care models, and redesign of pharmacy services.

In addition to serving as Treasurer of ASHP from 2007-10 and as ASHP President in 1993-94, Paul also chaired the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, the Board of Directors of the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center and the UIHC Pharmacy Council.

Paul Abramowitz was a recipient of the John W. Webb Lecture Award in 2000 and the Harvey A.K. Whitney Lecture Award in 2009, health-system pharmacy’s highest honor. In 2010 he received the Alumni Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.

Dr. Abramowitz received his Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Toledo, his PharmD from the University of Michigan, and completed his residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

2012 Honorary Alumni Recipient
Jordan Cohen, PhD

Jordan L. Cohen, PhD, is the former Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of Iowa, a position he assumed after serving eight years as dean of the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Prior to coming to Iowa, Cohen served as Dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Kentucky from January 1988 to March 1999.

A native of Milwaukee, Wis., Cohen received his BS in pharmacy and PhD in pharmaceutics and analytical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He served on the faculty at the University of Southern California for almost 18 years and in 1985-86, Dr. Cohen was selected as an American Council on Education Fellow, serving his Fellowship year as Assistant to the Chancellor at the University of California at Irvine. 

Dr. Cohen’s NIH funded research has been in the areas of clinical pharmacology of anticancer and anti-AIDS agents, and disposition of drugs in the elderly. Currently, he has interests in leadership issues in the health professions and the effects of the changes in health care delivery on pharmaceutical education.

Cohen served as President of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and as Director and Chair of the Board of Directors the United States Pharmacopeia.  He currently serves on the Governor’s STEM advisory Council and the Boards of the Iowa City Area Development Group, the Iowa Innovation Council and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, and is a Deputy of the Iowa Business Council representing the University of Iowa.

2011 Honorary Alumni Recipient
Richard Hartig

Richard J. Hartig is the owner, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Hartig Drug Stores, a regional pharmacy chain headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa. His affiliated companies include MedOne Healthcare Systems, Finley-Hartig Homecare and Hartig Pharmacy Services.

He currently serves on The University of Iowa’s Executive Leadership Board for the College of Pharmacy and is a director of The Iowa College Foundation, The American Trust and Savings Bank, The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, is a member of the Board of Trustees at Drake in addition to a number of not for profit organizations. He is the recipient Drake’s College of Pharmacy Alumni Achievement Award (1998), The Weaver Medal of Honor (2006) and the National Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award (2009).

In 2001, Dick and Brenda established the Hartig Scholarship Fund in support of pharmacy student scholarships at the University of Iowa. Dick and Brenda are members of Iowa’s President’s Club, the Dean’s Club, The1885 Society, and their company is a Corporate Sponsor of the College of Pharmacy. Dick is a frequent contributor to The Dean’s Forum and he and Brenda are Iowa Football season ticket holders who rarely miss a game.