(ATLANTA) Mercer University awarded the honorary Doctor of Science degree to Larry L. Braden of Powder Springs during the commencement exercises of the Southern School of Pharmacy. Mercer University President R. Kirby Godsey made the presentation after Mr. Braden gave the commencement address to the estimated 2,000 graduates and guests.
The event, held on Mercer's Atlanta campus, was the first of nine commencements the University will hold in May as more than 1,600 students graduate.
A native of Brunswick, Ga., Dr. Braden is president of Lacey Drug Company, which has pharmacies in Acworth and Marietta, Ga. The pharmacies specialize in meeting the unique needs of patients by working with other health care providers, and offer special services, such as compounding specific medications and providing home medical equipment.
From 1978 to 1996, he served as executive vice president of the Georgia Pharmacy Association, one of the oldest professional associations of pharmacists in the nation. During his tenure, the organization was transformed from a staff of two and a budget of $350,000 per year, to a staff of 32 and a budget in excess of $5 million. He also was editor of the Georgia Pharmacy Journal.
Dr. Braden's commitment to his profession is evident in his numerous professional affiliations. A former president of the National Council of State Pharmaceutical Association Executives, he currently serves as chairman of the board of trustees for the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), which ensures quality medicines by establishing standards that pharmaceutical manufacturers must meet.
He has served on various committees for the American Pharmaceutical Association and the National Community Pharmacists Association. He is a member of the American College of Apothecaries and the International Federation of Pharmacists.
In the community, Dr. Braden is a former chairman of the Georgia Partnership for Caring, an organization that provides healthcare to the state's uninsured individuals. A former city council member for Acworth, Ga., he also was chairman of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission from 1972 to 1986.
A 1965 graduate of Mercer's Southern School of Pharmacy, Dr. Braden is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Mercer University. He is a recipient of two of the School's top honors: the V. Carlton Henderson Award for outstanding personal and professional achievement and the Dean's Award for outstanding commitment to the pharmacy profession.
Among the honors he has received are the Georgia Pharmacy Association's Meritorious Achievement Award, which was renamed in his honor in 1997, and the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy.
He and his wife, Gini, have two grown children and four grandchildren.