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December 8, 2008

Former ULM Dean of Pharmacy retiring after 34 years of service

Dr. William Bourn, long-time dean of ULM’s College of Health Sciences and current director of development for the College of Pharmacy, will retire at the end of the year following more than three decades of service.

Dr. Bourn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of New Mexico and completed his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona in 1974. Almost immediately, he realized his dream of teaching and research in the field he enjoyed so much.

“There just weren't a whole lot of jobs around like that at the time, but there was one here and I’ve been at ULM ever since,” said Dr. Bourn.

One of his greatest personal pleasures as a former dean was the opportunity to hand out degrees to his three daughters, all who entered health-related fields with degrees from ULM, and one who even earned a degree in pharmacy. In addition, his wife Marsha was also a ULM staff member for 22 years and retired in 2006.

"Marsha has been a great partner all these years, and we've enjoyed a good life in Monroe and with ULM,” said Dr. Bourn. “That was a pleasant time for us, that we were all at the same institution at the same time. It made for a real family-like atmosphere.”

On a professional note, Dr. Bourn guided the development and implementation of ULM’s Doctor of Pharmacy program, overseeing the enrollment of its first students in fall 1998. Recently, the college received a full six-year accreditation extension through June 30, 2014, from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education

Dr. Bourn served as president of the Louisiana Pharmacists Association and has been a member of the governor’s Health Works Commission since 2002. For his work, he was honored with the Louisiana Pharmacists Association “Pharmacist of the Year” award in 2005.

Though his employment status might change, Dr. Bourn’s willingness to take on new challenges won’t.

In addition to visiting his two grandchildren and becoming more involved in his church, Dr. Bourn is intensely interested in Cowboy Action Shooting – perhaps a remnant of Dr. Bourn’s childhood in New Mexico. The sport offers contestants the opportunity to compete with firearms typical of those used in taming the Old West.

Still, Dr. Bourn concedes he will miss the opportunity to teach. “I think the interaction with students is what I’ll miss most,” he said. “... Just being around them was a pleasure.”

Asked if there was anything he would change about his 34 years at the university, Bourn replied, “I can’t think of anything … this is a great place to work. It's been a great ride.”

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