Don Hill earns KU School of Pharmacy’s top honor

The University of Kansas School of Pharmacy will present its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Don Hill of Emporia on Friday, Nov. 18 at the School of Pharmacy building in Lawrence.

Hill, a 1971 graduate of the School of Pharmacy, is the owner and CEO of Hill’s Apothecary Inc. He was the longtime owner of the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Emporia and is still a member of the pharmacy staff there. He has also served for 14 years in the Kansas Legislature as Representative of the 60th House District.

The University of Kansas School of Pharmacy Distinguished Service Award honors individuals who have demonstrated selfless and sustained service and leadership in advancement of the profession, their communities and the KU School of Pharmacy.  

The school has honored alumni in the past, but began giving the annual Distinguished Service Award three years ago. Past winners, along with key school administrators, serve on the selection committee. Audus said committee members made an excellent choice when they selected Don Hill to receive the school’s highest honor.

In addition to serving as a mentor to many school of pharmacy students and graduates over the years, Hill is among the founders of the school’s Entrepreneurial Opportunities Group (EOG), a program that provides scholarships to inspire and encourage students to work in and own independent community pharmacies.  He has been an active member of the Emporia community, not only through his work as a pharmacist but also by donating his time, expertise and resources to community organizations and projects.

Hill helped gather support from his legislative colleagues for the new, state-of-the-art building that opened on West Campus in 2010 and for the satellite campus in Wichita. The new facilities allowed the school of pharmacy to increase its class size and better address the pharmacist shortage the state was facing at that time.

“I can think of no one more deserving of this award. Don has spent countless hours mentoring our students over the years. He has tirelessly supported the EOG Scholarship efforts and he is a big reason our students study and learn in one of the best facilities in the country,” Audus said. “You add to that all he has done for the state of Kansas and education as a whole, and it’s clear why we chose to honor Don with this award.”