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White Coat Ceremony Class of 2020
COVID-19 pandemic fast tracks pharmacy graduation at Manchester University

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Manchester University is allowing its pharmacy students to graduate early in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pharmacists work behind the scenes in hospitals with managing drug supplies and collaborating with physicians on medication options for patients. Pharmacies are also seeing more demand these days as people stock up on medication and seek health care advice.

In response to the great need, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb recently expanded an executive order (EO) that allows temporary licensure to graduate pharmacists.

“The expanded EO allows new graduates in Indiana to jump right in and begin to immediately care for patients and provide relief for those pharmacists who have been on the front lines,” said W. Thomas Smith, Dean of Pharmacy Programs at Manchester.

The University will confer degrees to all 65 of its fourth-year students on Friday, May 1. Diplomas will be mailed to students.

This paves the way for them to work with a temporary license while completing the required North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination and Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination for permanent licensure.

The University has moved its Commencement celebrations to the fall. *

Manchester worked with the Indiana Pharmacists Association as well as the Purdue and Butler pharmacy programs to advocate for the early degrees.

For the media
W. Thomas Smith, Pharm.D., J.D. or 260-470-2668

Office of the President: or 260-982-5050

*Fall Commencement information

Cutline information: The Class of 2020 began its four-year doctoral journey with the White Coat Ceremony.

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Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., provides vibrant and transformative student experiences. Learn more at

April 2020