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Scholarship to honor School of Pharmacy founder

by Luanne Williams

The faculty of Wingate University’s School of Pharmacy is honoring its founding dean, Robert Supernaw, by establishing a scholarship to benefit students with financial need. 

Hired at Wingate in 2002 after four years at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and a 24-year stint at the University of the Pacific, Dr. Supernaw had only about a year to bring his vision of producing “practice-ready” pharmacists to life. 

He created curriculum, hired professors, recruited students and led the program through its early years in the Neu Building and on to the Levine College of Health Sciences, which opened on Wingate’s Main Street in 2011. To give budding pharmacists the best preparation possible, Supernaw’s curriculum put students into a clinical setting starting in their first year, while most programs reserved rotations until the last. His successful model has since been widely adopted by much larger institutions.

Supernaw had planned to retire from the School of Pharmacy at the end of the calendar year, but after becoming the University’s interim provost in June he stepped down as dean earlier this month. Dr. Kurt Wargo, regional dean of Wingate’s Hendersonville campus and a professor of pharmacy, has been appointed interim dean of the School of Pharmacy during the search for Supernaw’s replacement.

To celebrate his legacy at Wingate, faculty members have contributed $30,000 over the past two years to start the Robert B. Supernaw Endowed Scholarship. That principal amount will remain as part of the University’s endowment, with only the income to be distributed in the form of an annual scholarship to a School of Pharmacy student who demonstrates financial need. Recipients will be chosen by the school’s Professionalization Committee.

Additional donations to the scholarship may be made at any time. To contribute, contact Amy Jackson at 704-233-8294 or mail a check to Wingate University Office of Advancement, P.O. Box 159, Wingate, NC 28174. Please indicate on the check that it is for the Supernaw scholarship. To learn more about the School of Pharmacy, visit

Aug. 22, 2019