Latiolais Suite serves as an important resource and reminder for graduate students

August 1, 2023
Russel Allinson

In April 2022, the Clifton J. Latiolais Library and Allinson Family Classroom officially opened – a two-room suite that gives the Master of Science in Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership (MS/HSPAL) program a permanent place in Parks Hall to honor the impact of the program and the legacy of Clifton J. Latiolais, ScD, the first pharmacy director of the Ohio State University Hospitals and founder of the MS/HSPAL program and residency at the College of Pharmacy.

Before its opening, the suite started as an idea that took over a decade of dedication from many committed alumni, faculty and staff members to make a reality.

From an idea...

When Robert J. Weber, PharmD, MS, BCPS, as director of the MS/HSPAL program, first stepped foot in the College of Pharmacy in 2010, he noticed there was no physical presence of the program or an area that honored his former professor and hospital pharmacy trailblazer, Dr. Latiolais. In 2013, Dr. Weber advocated for a space that graduate students could use while also finding a way to memorialize Dr. Latiolais and have a reminder of the impact of the MS/ HSPAL program. Henry J. Mann, PharmD, FCCP, FCCM, FASHP, dean and professor at the college, and college leadership agreed about the importance of the request and approved the project to move forward. 

“It’s important for our graduate program to have a space because of its long history and legacy. The program has produced hundreds of influential pharmacy leaders who have changed the practice of health-system and ambulatory care pharmacy. It is crucial to recognize them through this room and for our graduate students to have a space they can call their own.”

Robert Weber, RPh, PharmD, MS, BCPS, FASHP
Director, MS/HSPAL a project set in motion...

Since renovating Parks Hall was on Dean Mann’s list of priorities, he thought this was a great idea. Along with Dr. Weber and former chief administrative officer Maggie Merry, Dean Mann worked to identify a space in Parks Hall. Ultimately, the team picked an old classroom and a closet space that held IT equipment on the second floor of the Parks Hall annex in late 2013.

The trio enlisted help from a student at the Ohio State Knowlton School of Architecture to create some initial designs for the suite that featured windows to introduce more natural light.

Since fundraising began in 2020, the college was able to raise over $500,000 – with a large portion coming from Russel R. Allinson, MS ’78, whom the classroom is named after. Four others stepped forward to generously contribute leadership gifts to the college’s new project and in all, 35 alumni and friends came together to make the space possible. 

“The College of Pharmacy and particularly the Latiolais Leadership Program have been the foundation of my professional success,” Allinson said. “I wanted to give back in some way to benefit the program and its future students, and I thought the best way to do that would be to provide a new, modern learning environment.”

Construction began and as the project moved along, several more alumni offered support. Chief Administrative Officer Adam Betz, Building Manager Tami Boldman and IT Director Casey Hoerig provided significant logistical support for the project.

“The history of how this came to be is important because there were a lot of people involved in making it happen,” Dr. Weber said. “Over 30 committed alumni donated significantly for this suite to become a reality.”

Allinson, Mann and Weber standing in front of the new "Allinson Suite" sign
Russell Allinson, Dr. Mann and Dr. Weber a sought-out resource and reminder

The suite had its official ribbon cutting ceremony in April 2022. Even though the Allinson Family Classroom is intended for the MS/HSPAL program, the college has used it for multiple events, including the Small Molecule High-Throughput Screening Facility open house.

“I consider this place a crown jewel of the college in terms of a learning space,” Dr. Weber said. “It’s nice to see that every time I walk by, there are people actively learning or engaging with one another. The influence this suite has on enhancing the reputation of the college is really beyond measure.”