SOURCE: Florida A&M University / City of Crestview Public Information Office

FAMU’s Crestview Pharmacy School celebrates 10 Year Anniversary, continues to have a high pass rate

SOURCE: Florida A&M University / City of Crestview Public Information Office

There’s a little-known gem in downtown Crestview and it’s Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) College of Pharmacy. This past week, the school celebrated their 10 year anniversary.

The FAMU Peaden Campus is the only college of pharmacy in Florida west of Tallahassee. It is located in a beautiful historical site that was formerly the Alatex Textiles Garment Factory, the only post-World War II industrial manufacturing building in Okaloosa County.

FAMU Durell Peaden Jr. Rural Pharmacy Education Campus in Crestview, Florida (Courtesy of City of Crestview Public Information Office)

“The Peaden Campus provides a high-quality professional education leading to very well-paying jobs,” says State Representative Patt Maney.  “Anyone interested in becoming a pharmacist can do that right here in our own community and continue to live at home without the expense of commuting to another university.”

  • Tuition is low at only $6,000/year.
  • High pass rate – learners achieve more than eight points above the national average on the national pharmacy exams.
  • Small class size results in higher quality education.

“When you start one of those kinds of programs, you want some assurance that you’ll be able to pass the national test and actually practice in the field,” says Maney.  “The starting salary for a new pharmacist is $110K – $125K a year.”

“It’s a hidden jewel in downtown Crestview, located directly across the street from the Crestview City Hall,” he added.

FAMU Durell Peaden Jr. Rural Pharmacy Education Campus in Crestview, Florida (Courtesy of City of Crestview Public Information Office)

Built in the late 1930s, this manufacturing plant building provided the first significant large-scale opportunity for employment in Crestview and assisted the area economy in pulling out of the post-Depression era. 

  • It provided work for many women during World War II to make military clothing.
  • It put money in the community and now it’s still putting money into the community and providing an opportunity for young men and women to get into a high-paying field.
Representative Patt Maney speaking at the 10th Anniversary celebration of the FAMU Durell Peaden Jr. Rural Pharmacy Education Campus in Crestview, Florida (Courtesy of City of Crestview Public Information Office)

Up until 2010, the building was owned by the City of Crestview, which signed the title of the building to FAMU in the Summer of 2010 after the Florida Legislature budgeted for the restoration under a project titled “Rural Diversity Healthcare Center–Crestview.” The College of Pharmacy admitted its first Crestview students on August 27, 2012.

The school allows students with two years of college to apply and was designed to provide opportunities to rural students who would be more likely to stay closer to home.

The center was named the Durell Peaden Jr. Education Center in 2016 in honor of the late Senator Durell Peaden, a Crestview family practice doctor who had a vision for revitalizing downtown by addressing world healthcare needs. 

  • In 2010, he got funding from the state to renovate the building as an adaptive free-use project, and would later be home to FAMU’s College of Pharmacy branch in Crestview.
FAMU Durell Peaden Jr. Rural Pharmacy Education Campus in Crestview, Florida (Courtesy of City of Crestview Public Information Office)

In the summer of 2020, the center was renamed the Durell Peaden Jr. Rural Pharmacy Education Campus to both honor Peaden and also emphasize the educational role of the campus.

The Peaden Campus recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a program featuring speeches made by Representative Patt Maney, the President of FAMU Dr. Larry Robinson, the Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Services Dr. Johnnie Early, and Crestview Mayor J.B. Whitten.

“The economic and holistic value that Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Institute of Public Health and the Durell Peaden Jr. Rural Pharmacy Education Campus fosters for Okaloosa County and Northwest Florida cannot be overstated,” said Founding Campus Dean and Director Margareth Larose-Pierre, Pharm.D, RPh. “Representative Patt Maney understands this all too well and in continuing with the legacy of the late Senator Durell Peaden, Jr. convened a timely roundtable discussion with community leaders as we celebrated the 10th Anniversary to craft the vision forward for his constituents.” 

  • Dean Larose-Pierre continued, “we appreciate Representative Maney’s depth of knowledge of the community, his unwavering support and insight into making Northwest Florida an economic powerhouse for the State and the country.”

The FAMU main campus is in Tallahassee, and its Crestview Campus is located at 153 W. Woodruff Avenue  For more information call 850-689-7871 or click here.

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