After receiving pharmacy degrees from the University of Mississippi and the University of Tennessee, the late Jane MacEachern devoted much of her 39-year professional career to designing and implementing oncology drug trials — research that made a significant impact in the lives of cancer patients.
Now, a scholarship established in her memory is helping UM School of Pharmacy students have opportunities to make similar impacts.
With an initial gift of $300,000 in 2020, Doug MacEachern and his son, Taylor, both of Covington, Louisiana, established the Jane B. MacEachern Memorial Pharmacy Scholarship Endowment as a tribute to their wife and mother. The MacEacherns made additional gifts in 2021 and 2022, increasing the endowment to $900,000.
“The University of Mississippi was the enabler for Jane to reach her first goal of receiving an undergraduate in pharmacy,” her husband said. “Our son, Taylor, and I want other students to have the opportunities afforded her.
“We want this endowment to serve as an enabler to achieve dreams and goals for students, and we want the impact to be now, so current students can benefit from it.”
The MacEacherns’ desire is swiftly becoming a reality: The first four recipients of the MacEachern Memorial Scholarship say the gift is helping them progress toward fulfilling their aspirations of a career in pharmacy.
Emily Harrell of Monette, Arkansas; Amy Ly-Ha of Houston, Texas; Lindsey Miller of Corinth, Mississippi; and Nason Wise of Columbus, Mississippi; all earned bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in pharmacy from UM in 2019 and 2022, respectively.
“Mr. MacEachern’s generous contribution to the university had a profound impact on my progress as a student, as an entering pharmacist and clinician,” Wise said. “Having the MacEachern Scholarship allowed me to focus more on my studies and the work that advanced my knowledge and capacity to care for patients. The scholarship contributed to a smooth transition from professional school to a PGY1 Acute Care Pharmacy Residency at Moses Cone Hospital.
“After completing my first year of residency, I hope to use the momentum to complete a second year of residency, specializing in cardiology pharmacy,” he continued. “After meeting Mr. MacEachern, I was able to appreciate his gift even more and hope to supply the same spirit of generosity to my community.”
Miller said she was equally honored to receive the MacEachern Scholarship.
“Being a pharmacy student is challenging in many ways, so it is always powerful to have barriers alleviated when they can be, especially financial ones,” she said Miller. “I think finding ways to provide stepping stones or assistance to pharmacy students is one of the best ways alumni can give back to their community, as well as the profession, by helping build stronger, more encouraged future pharmacists.”
Miller is completing a community-based PGY1 residency at Moose Pharmacy in North Carolina.
“Mrs. Jane MacEachern embodied dedications to both service and the UM School of Pharmacy, and her story has truly been an inspiration to me with respect to the type of community member I want to be,” she said. “Building community and serving others has always been my passion, both in and outside of pharmacy, and I hope to continue passing forward the generosity and inspiration I have received as I move into my professional career.”
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Taylor MacEachern said his mother was continually focused on service to individuals living with cancer.
“My mom was always willing to get involved, helping to determine a course of action for those who might otherwise be lost in the nightmare of a cancer diagnosis,” he said.
It’s an inspiring legacy that Ly-Ha hopes to emulate.
“The generosity of this award opened many doors, including the ability to pursue my post-graduate pharmacy education at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi,” she said. “I will use these opportunities to develop myself further into a well-rounded pharmacist as I strive to meet the example set forth by Dr. MacEachern.”
At a recent dinner in Jackson, the recipients met their donor and expressed their gratitude in person.
Harrell, who is now a PGY1 resident at Regional One Health in Memphis, Tennessee, shared her cohorts’ sentiments: “I feel very blessed and honored to be a recipient of the Jane B. MacEachern Memorial Scholarship. I’m so appreciative of this monetary gift as it helped me greatly during the last semester of my pharmacy school career. It was a great pleasure to meet Mr. MacEachern and learn about his wife’s story.”
The Jane B. MacEachern Memorial Pharmacy Scholarship Endowment is open to support from businesses and individuals. Gifts can be made to by sending a check, with the fund’s name noted on the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, or by giving online at https://umfoundation.givingfuel.com/nowandever.
For more information about supporting the School of Pharmacy, contact Susan Boyette, executive director of central development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-6625.
By Bill Dabney/UM Foundation