Skip to main
Skip to main
University-wide Navigation

On a sunny spring day in the halls of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP), two PharmD students, William Burkhart and Abigail Carver, descended the staircase together after a challenging lab exam. Their journey, destined to intertwine, began with a simple question from Abigail about William’s thoughts on the exam. As luck would have it, they were headed in the same direction, allowing their initial conversation to blossom into the start of a beautiful journey together.

William, a passionate aspiring pharmacist, had dreamt of attending the UK College of Pharmacy since high school. A preview day visit had left him in awe of the institution’s esteemed faculty and innovative programs, particularly the allure of a dual PharmD/MBA degree option. This visit solidified his ambition to pursue a career in pharmacy.

On the other hand, Abigail was inspired by her high school chemistry teacher to explore a future in pharmacy, driven by her love for science and an earnest desire to serve in healthcare. Her undergraduate years saw her working at Rite Aid Pharmacy, where she discovered her calling. The direct impact she could have on her community’s well-being through pharmacy solidified her decision. With a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a minor in BioPhysics from Western Kentucky University under her belt, she, too, chose to further her education at one of the country’s most prestigious pharmacy schools, the UK College of Pharmacy.

Navigating the demanding world of pharmacy school, William and Abigail found comfort in each other’s company. Sharing the same grueling schedule allowed them to spend countless hours studying together, transforming challenges into cherished memories. Their bond grew stronger with each passing day, supported by their shared commitment to excellence. Most recently, William and Abigail teamed up with classmate Brian Sato to win first prize in the UK Gatton College of Business & Economics CEO Challenge. Their team won the grand prize of $10,000 for producing an innovative strategy to grow profitability at a simulated pharmaceutical company.

A favorite memory for both Abigail and William was the opportunity to study abroad in England for seven weeks during their advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) rotations. This adventure was their first time traveling to Europe, offering them a unique perspective on healthcare systems quite different from what they knew back home. The experience not only broadened their professional horizons but also played host to a personal milestone – their dreamy engagement in Paris, a moment forever etched in their hearts as a highlight of their pharmacy school years.

As they stand on the cusp of graduation in May 2024, William and Abigail look to the future with bright eyes and hopeful hearts. Their shared dream of working in the community pharmacy setting, fueled by years of experience and a deep understanding of the demands and rewards of the role, remains unwavering. Now married, the Burkharts plan to extend their journey in Lexington, aspiring to join the UK HealthCare Retail Pharmacies team and continue making a difference in the lives of their patients.

The story of William and Abigail is a testament to the power of shared dreams, mutual support, and enduring love—a narrative that embodies the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Their transition from pharmacy school classmates to life partners exemplifies the beauty of finding love, growing together, and crafting a future side-by-side.

This Valentine’s Day, we celebrate William and Abigail, along with the countless couples whose love stories began within the walls of UKCOP. Their tale serves as a reminder that the most profound discoveries often lie not within the confines of a lab but within the depths of the heart—embracing the wildly possible in the most surprising of places.

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.