Barry Marcus Ph'65 and Stan Weiss Ph'65
Pharmacy alumni Barry Marcus and Stan Weiss could never have guessed in 1960, when their paths first crossed on the D train, that they would become partners in a business venture during their golden years. They both were heading to orientation at what was then the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy (BCP), now known as LIU Pharmacy. "We struck up a conversation and have been friends ever since," recalled Mr. Weiss.
"I have such wonderful memories of our experiences at the small campus on Lafayette," Mr. Marcus fondly recollected. The College's five-story classroom and laboratory building at 600 Lafayette Avenue was located just a quarter of a mile away from the school's current home on LIU's Brooklyn campus. He remembered, too, that their's was the first class required to complete five instead of four years of study to earn a bachelor of pharmacy degree. "It was tough, but our professors were wonderful," he recounted.
Graduating in 1965, he and Mr. Weiss remained friends while each went on to careers at different pharmacies. It was not until 2001, when Mr. Marcus retired after 36 years at the helm of the Dutch Broadway Pharmacy in Elmont, N.Y., that he persuaded Mr. Weiss to join him as the fourth owner of a landmark pharmacy in Sag Harbor, N.Y. The pair now operates Sag Harbor Pharmacy. Established 150 years ago, it is one of the oldest community pharmacies in the country.
Both pharmacists revel in the historic and friendly environment where they now work and take great pride in showcasing some of the Pharmacy's curios that include prescriptions dating back to the 19th century. The town of Sag Harbor, a former whaling village, is just two-miles square. "It is old Americana, a Norman Rockwell-type town, and it's wonderful," exclaimed Mr. Marcus, whose sentiments were echoed by Mr. Weiss. "We love the town, and we love the people here. We know every customer by name," said Mr. Weiss. They are protective of their adopted village, taking a strong stance against overdevelopment and resisting big-chain buyout offers. "We want to make sure that family- and locally owned businesses can continue to thrive here," asserted Mr. Marcus.
Their appreciation for tradition doesn't mean that the veteran pharmacists don't keep up with the times. "It's different today," noted Mr. Marcus, ticking off the changes: "It's busier, there are more prescriptions to fill. You have to know more, people ask more questions about medications. You need a computer to keep up with information to counsel patients."
"All the same," said Mr. Weiss, "old-time values still apply. Everyday we give free advice to our customers. And to this day, we wear a shirt and a tie just as we were told to do at the BCP."
Kenneth Dretchen '68
Kenneth Dretchen, Ph.D., has been named by Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt to the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) for a three-year term. The panel was created as part of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act in 2006, to provide expert guidance to the secretary on technical issues related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies.
Dretchen, who earned a B.S. in pharmacy at LIU in 1968 and went on to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, is the chair of Georgetown University Medical Center's Department of Pharmacology and was part of a team that developed a portable chemical antidote injection that every member of the U.S. military now carries.
"I am honored by this opportunity - this committee will be making important recommendations to the federal government," said Dretchen. In his role as a member of the NBSB, his expertise has been sought on diverse issues ranging from the government's plans relating to surveillance, counter-medications and emergency response training for potential bioterrorism events, to the best ways to address the 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 virus.