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Lexington, KY, April 15, 2024 – The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) is honored to announce that Donald E. Letendre, dean of the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and a distinguished alumnus, will deliver the annual Dr. Thomas S. Foster Leadership Lecture. The lecture, titled "Leadership & Mentoring: Anecdotes, Adages, and Reflections from an Accidental Dean," is scheduled for noon on Thursday, April 18.

The Foster Leadership Lecture celebrates the legacy of Thomas “Tom” S. Foster, a revered faculty member and alumnus whose nearly four-decade tenure at UKCOP was marked by exemplary leadership, teaching, and research. Foster's contribution to enhancing the College's standards and his diverse roles across the University of Kentucky's academic landscape left a lasting mark on the institution. His legacy continues to inspire excellence in academic and research endeavors at UKCOP.

Donald E. Letendre's career is a testament to transformative leadership in healthcare and pharmacy education. With a foundational education from the University of Kentucky, where he earned his Doctorate in Pharmacy, Letendre has significantly influenced healthcare practices, education, and policy across North America and beyond. His roles have spanned from clinical practice and education to significant contributions to pharmaceutical standards development and implementation.

Currently leading the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and serving as the chairman of the board at the University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals, Letendre’s diverse experience also includes previous positions at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy. His leadership has been instrumental in shaping pharmacy residency and technician training programs globally.

A native of Acushnet, Massachusetts, Letendre's personal journey from a first-generation college student to a nationally recognized leader in pharmacy reflects his dedication to education, healthcare innovation, and community service. His accolades include the prestigious Paul F. Parker Lecture Award from the University of Kentucky, the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, and induction into the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy invites the community to join in celebrating Donald E. Letendre’s contributions to pharmacy and healthcare at the Dr. Thomas S. Foster Leadership Lecture. 

Foster Leadership Lecture 2024

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.