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LEXINGTON, Ky. — This National Lover's Day, the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) celebrates the recent union of two current students, Rachel Rister and Trey Carter, who were married on April 13, 2024, at The Club at UK's Spindletop Hall. Their wedding not only marked the beginning of their future together but also highlighted the significant influence of UKCOP's community and legacy.

Rachel Rister, of Maysville, Kentucky, began her pharmacy journey in high school at Kroger Pharmacy. Her early exposure to patient care solidified her passion for the field, particularly in ambulatory care settings. Rister accelerated her path into pharmacy by joining UKCOP after just one year of undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky.

Trey Carter, of Barbourville, Kentucky, started his pharmacy career shortly after high school at his hometown pharmacy, Bowling Family Pharmacy. After two years at Union Commonwealth University, where he honed his academic skills, Carter was inspired by the impactful roles pharmacists played in his community, propelling him towards a future in patient care.

Rister and Carter met during their first year at the College, bonding over their mutual interest in tennis and shared pharmacy goals. The relationship developed alongside professional aspirations, with a significant mentorship from Gloria Doughty, a distinguished alumna and one of the first women to graduate from UKCOP. Doughty's stories of overcoming gender barriers in the 1950s provided Carter and Rister with a historical perspective on their chosen profession and the importance of perseverance.

Their wedding venue, Spindletop Hall, was especially meaningful as Doughty had once dreamed of marrying there herself. The couple's choice reflects their deep connection to the University of Kentucky, its history, and their respect for those who paved the way in pharmacy education.

Looking ahead to graduation in less than two weeks, Rister, who is completing the PharmD/MBA dual degree, is set to begin pharmacy residency at PrimaryPlus, a federally qualified health center recently added as a practice site for UKCOP's community-based residency program. Carter will also pursue advanced training through a residency at Baptist Health Lexington, focusing on clinical pharmacy in an inpatient setting. Their rescue dogs, Claire Belle and Rosie Jean, will graduate with honorary PharmDog degrees

The marriage highlights the blend of personal and professional growth that typifies the UKCOP experience. Their story is a testament to the strong community bonds and leadership that the College fosters throughout its more than 150-year history.

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.