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Spring 2023 Commencement a Family Affair for Many

Madison Price received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree Monday, 30 years after her father, Dr. Robbie Price, and 31 years after her mother, Dr. Elizabeth Logan Price, graduated from the UTHSC College of Pharmacy.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s 2023 spring commencement was a family celebration for the Price family.

Madison Price received her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree at Monday’s ceremony at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis, making her a fourth-generation UTHSC graduate.

She is following in the footsteps of multiple family members: her grandfather, Joe Price, RPh, a 1965 College of Pharmacy graduate; her parents, Robbie Price, PharmD, and Elizabeth Logan Price, PharmD, who graduated from the college in 1993 and 1992, respectively; and her great-aunt, Elizabeth Robertson Smith, DPh, a 1967 pharmacy graduate. In addition, her great-grandfather, Bruce Horace Robertson, DDS, is a College of Dentistry alumnus.

“I decided to pursue pharmacy after growing up and seeing the impact that my family has been able to have on our community as pharmacists,” the new Dr. Price said. “I feel a special connection to both the school and my family since we share the bond of graduating from UTHSC. Throughout my time as a student, I have enjoyed comparing the experiences I have had in school in the 2020s to those my family had in the 1960s and 1990s to see how pharmacy has changed over the decades.”

“We’re very proud she chose to continue the family tradition by attending UTHSC,” Dr. Robbie Price said of his daughter. “Having a family legacy of education at one of the top pharmacy schools in the country is something that is very gratifying.”

Dr. Madison Price will start her pharmacy career as a resident at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis this year.

“I have been thankful for the education I received at UTHSC and am thankful that Madison has now been able to receive that same quality of education. I feel like we both received a great foundation to make a difference in patients’ lives, which I have been grateful to do over my career.”

Elizabeth Logan Price, PharmD

Degrees were awarded Monday and Tuesday to more than 700 graduates: 129 from the College of Health Professions, 166 from the College of Medicine, 178 from the College of Pharmacy, 71 from the College of Nursing, 29 from the College of Graduate Health Sciences, and 131 from the College of Dentistry. An additional 156 students from the Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology will receive their degrees later this month, for a total of 860 graduates.

Additionally, family members of more than a dozen College of Medicine graduates had the opportunity to play a more active role in commencement this year. For the first time, the college allowed alumni to hood their relatives at Monday’s ceremony. Seventeen new graduates received legacy hoods from their grandparents, parents, or siblings who stood in their place in years past.

One of those graduates was Lane Brandt, MD, who was hooded by her mother, Dawn Huff, MD, a 1986 graduate of the College of Medicine. A pediatrician in East Tennessee, Dr. Huff said she was honored to hood her daughter as she graduated from her alma mater.

“I’m so proud that you wanted to stay in Memphis for medical school and am excited that you found UTHSC to be the same encouraging and supportive school that I did,” Dr. Huff told her daughter. “We both made lifelong friendships and also feel like we were given a strong academic foundation.”

“I am so thankful that my mom got to be in this huge life moment with me. She has created a wonderful legacy for me to walk into,” Dr. Brandt said. “I know that her patients have always loved her and felt very heard and well-cared for, so I hope to not only walk in her legacy of education but also in her compassion and kindness towards everyone she ever encounters.”

Dr. Lane Brandt receives her hood from her mother, Dr. Dawn Huff, a UTHSC College of Medicine alumna.

In his speech at the College of Medicine’s ceremony, Randy Boyd, president of the University of Tennessee System, encouraged the graduates to show their appreciation for their supporters. “The most important advice that I can give you now is something you can use in the next hour: after this ceremony is over, thank those people that helped you accomplish this great feat,” he told the graduates.

Chancellor Peter Buckley, MD, conferred the degrees at each of this week’s ceremonies. The commencement ceremony for the Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology will be held May 21 at the Thompson Boling Arena in Knoxville.