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ALUMNI Spotlight

Pharmacy alumnus sponsors white coats for incoming class

Aug. 15, 2013
By Allyson Bird
Office of Development and Alumni Affairs

Frank Brunson used a simple motivation to build his life as a pharmacist, business owner and three-term mayor: 

"I’m a firm believer in giving back to your community, church and profession,” he said. “And profession includes your college.”

Frank Brunson

Brunson graduated from pharmacy school at MUSC in 1976. He recently purchased all 80 white coats that the College of Pharmacy’s incoming class will receive on Aug. 21.

“There’s a need for people to give back to their college,” he said. “It’s more than just going to football games.”

College of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Philip Hall called Brunson’s gift a model for how students can incorporate philanthropy into their careers. 

“Part of being a pharmacist is service to the community and to the profession, which includes helping those who come after you,” Hall said. “By sponsoring white coats, Frank sets a wonderful example for every student on their very first day. We want our students to understand that when they come here, they become part of the MUSC pharmacy family, and it is a lifelong relationship.”

Brunson, a married father with two adult daughters and two grandchildren, grew up in Columbia. He returned home for his residency at Richland Memorial Hospital and stayed on as a hospital employee for three years before running a retail pharmacy from 1979 to 1997.

In 1997 Brunson launched Infusion Care of South Carolina, which provides intravenous drugs for patients to infuse at home. He also serves as mayor of Forest Acres, a city near Columbia with 11,000 residents, where Brunson previously sat on city council.

“Day-to-day issues are things like safe streets and zoning,” he said. “People call it politics, but I beg to differ. I think of it as community service and, if it becomes politics, I may very well move away.”

Brunson’s father, a radiologist and MUSC graduate, served on Forest Acres’ planning commission for years and set an example for his son.

“I saw that it was pretty important to the community and to him to serve on the commission,” Brunson said. “Now I have the opportunity to do the same thing.”

Brunson began purchasing white coats for the College of Pharmacy several years ago, first 10 coats and then 20. In 2012 he purchased half of the coats needed, plus one for his niece, who started pharmacy school at the University of South Carolina.  

“That’s just a very important thing in my life,” he said. “To give.”

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