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Dr. Rafik and Mrs. Patricia Bishara

Learn, Earn, and Return

Dr. Rafik and Mrs. Patricia Bishara

For those who have met Rafik Bishara and his wife, Patricia, you may be familiar with the statement, “Learn, earn, and return.” This is a lifelong lesson that College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS) students who have benefitted from the Bishara’s generosity have been able to learn first-hand at an early age.

Every spring, Rafik and Pat invite the students who have benefitted from their endowed fund to an intimate dinner at their home in Carmel, Indiana.

“It is vital for Pat and me to meet the students we have financially helped.” said Rafik. “In addition, I want to help them in any way that I can. My 50-plus years of experience in pharmacy taught me many things, but if I learned anything, it’s about helping to connect and pave the way for others who may need help to do so. I feel grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn, earn, and now it is my chance to return anything I can give to others.”

Rafik and Pat endowed the Patricia M. and Rafik H. Bishara Fund which helps support travel as well as sponsoring organizations for students in COPHS. Through their endowment, over 25 students have received financial support since the fund was started in 2012. This support has helped aid many experiential trips. A few events included the Student Pharmacist Compounding Competition, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Clinical Skills Competition and the Society of Student-Run Free Clinics Conference.

“Without the Bishara’s help, we would not have been able to attend, present our findings, and gain knowledge on how to better serve our patients, all while representing Butler University,” said Eric Gregory ’16, an attendee of the Society of Student-Run Free Clinics Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Butler Pharmacy students were also provided the opportunity to attend a program at the University of Utah School on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies. This program brought Pharmacy students and working professionals from around the country together to discuss drug and alcohol abuse; a very relevant topic due to the increase in prescription drug abuse.

Rafik, who is retired from Eli Lilly and Company after 35 years, is a 1970 Butler University graduate with a master’s degree from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He and his wife both volunteer at the Trinity Free Clinic and Pat also volunteers at The Merciful HELP Center in Carmel. After his retirement from Lilly, Rafik continues to be active as a Global Technical Advisor: chairing, presenting, moderating, publishing, and teaching at industry and trade organization conferences.

The Bishara’s generosity impacts not only the students, but the entire COPHS community.

“Dr. Bishara meets with the students who have benefited from his endowed gift and then learns about them as individuals. He has been able to facilitate making important connections and providing professional advice. He is a role model for giving back to one’s profession and alma mater,” said Mary Graham, past Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

The heart that goes into helping Butler University students is the Bishara’s mission. Butler, the College of Pharmacy, and the entire community is ever grateful for this.

“It is our hope that the Butler University Alumni challenge themselves to think of how they can help Butler meet the educational mission, how to attract and retain the best faculty, and educate and graduate the most equipped students for the job market,” shared the Bisharas.