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Pharmacy Runs Deep in the Stalas Family

Joining his classmates at the annual USF College of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony in September, Theodore "Ted” P. Stalas received his own white coat. Like his fellow students, Ted reached into his coat pocket and found a note. Thanks to the generous support of donors, each student in the class receives a coat and within the coat pocket is a personal note from a donor.

The note Ted found in his pocket was even more personal. Ted’s note was worded as if written by his late grandfather and Ted’s namesake.  Actually written by Ted’s father (Philip Stalas), the note told Ted that the gift of becoming a pharmacist came from his grandfather, Theodore "Ted” G. Stalas and that, even though he could not be there on this momentous occasion, his grandfather would have been proud to see his grandson receive his white coat as he entered the pharmacy profession.

Pharmacy runs deep in the Stalas family. Ted’s grandfather was a pharmacist, his father Philip is a pharmacist, and now he is becoming a pharmacist.

Ted’s grandfather entered pharmacy school in the 1940’s and was drafted into the U.S. Navy during World War II. He served as a pharmacist in the Navy and after returning from war opened his own pharmacy in Indianapolis, IN, called Bosart Drugs. Through his integrity, honesty and knowing his profession well, he quickly gained the respect of the community. The pharmacy was where people would first go and ask the ‘Doc’ for advice. He made it a point to always be accessible and to always do what he said he would. The store became a daily meeting place where these same people would go for a coffee or spend time at the soda fountain.

Philip Stalas grew up in his dad’s pharmacy and saw firsthand the widespread impact his father had in the community.

"I saw the respect he had of the community, not only in our store, but in our church and in other places and it made me think being a pharmacist was a good profession to be in,” Philip said.

Rethinking his decision to become an oceanographer while attending Butler University in Indianapolis, Philip applied to pharmacy school and now knows he "made one of the best decisions of my life.”

"He never pushed me to be a pharmacist and I never pushed my son,” Philip said.

Philip said pharmacy has given him many different opportunities to use his skills and make a difference across multiple disciplines. And he was very proud when his son Ted told him he was going to pursue pharmacy as well.

"Knowing he has the mental aptitude to do anything he wanted, I encouraged him to explore other careers, but he chose pharmacy,” Philip said.

Ted was a leader in high school and excelled in his communication skills, something his father feels is essential for being a good pharmacist. The four pillars on which the USF College of Pharmacy stands spoke strongly to Ted’s interests – leadership, technology, pharmacogenomics (personalized medicine) and geriatrics – and were the deciding factors for accepting USF as his top choice for pharmacy school.

On the night of the white coat ceremony, Ted was moved upon discovering his grandfather’s memorable note in his white coat pocket.

"It was a very fulfilling experience to know that this was the same path my grandfather and father had traveled,” Ted said. "And, although I have a long way to go before I measure up to them, I am pleased to be setting out on the same journey.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theodore P. Stalas with his father Philip Stalas during the

 2013 College of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony.

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