The father's legacy lives on through a pharmacy scholarship

The father’s legacy lives on through a pharmacy scholarship

OXFORD, Miss – Students often turn to parents for guidance and inspiration when deciding their career path. For Val Soldevila it was no different, as his father, Frank Soldevila, provided many steps to follow.

“I’ve heard his story numerous times, of how he came to the United States from Panama without speaking English,” said Val Soldevila.

Frank Soldevila

Frank Soldevila emigrated to the United States in 1944 to train in pharmacy. He began his studies at Loyola University in New Orleans for two years before finding his eventual academic home at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. Soldevila graduated with honors and pursued a successful career in pharmacy.

He was a registered pharmacist for more than 50 years at the time of his death in 2015.

It was this story that inspired Val Soldevila to set up a scholarship in the father’s name that will impact future pharmacists. The Francisco “Frank” Soldevila Pharmacy Scholarship will help students forge their own path in the profession.

“Since I sold my pharmacy in 2020, I thought it was only fair to be able to honor my father in this way,” said Val Soldevila. “I’m sure he would make him proud that he will help deserving students in their pharmacy careers.”

Following his father’s example, Soldevila embarked on her career in pharmacy. He also dated Ole Miss, where he embraced educational opportunities and the strong relationships established.

“My best memories should be the lifelong friendships I made from pharmacy school that I still enjoy today,” she said.

After graduating in 1977, Soldevila began her career at Economy Drugs in Clarksdale. Eight years later, he bought half the Henderson Drugs property in Clarksdale and became his father’s partner.

The opportunity to work alongside her father provided even more valuable lessons, Soldevila said.

Val Soldevila

“My father has given so much of himself to the pharmacy and to me too over the years,” said the son. “He taught me a lot about pharmacy and business management”.

Soldevila has also been heavily involved in the Mississippi pharmacy community during his career, having been a member of the Mississippi Pharmacists Association and the Mississippi Independent Pharmacy Association. Previously, he served as district president and MPhA president from 2013 to 2014.

His work with MPhA earned him the JD Slater District Achievement Award in 2013 and the Executive Directors MVP Award in 2014. Earlier this year, he was named Best Pharmacist of the Year by Clarksdale.

Donna Strum, interim dean of the School of Pharmacy, praised the scholarship’s establishment.

“Frank Soldevila’s story should serve as an inspiration to any student,” Strum said. “I am so happy that Val is helping her father’s legacy live on for years to come through this scholarship.”

To make a gift to the Francisco “Frank” Soldevila Pharmacy Scholarship, send a check, with the name of the endowment noted in the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; or gift online at https://give.olemiss.edu.

For more information on School of Pharmacy support, contact Sally Rychlak, Associate Director of Development, at sallyr@olemiss.edu or 662-915-3084.

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