Rodney Carter readily admits he’s an idealist.

“Maybe even an optimist to a fault,” he said.

But Carter, who is the dean of Regis’ School of Pharmacy, said that outlook is part of the reason he’s been so successful at each stop.

Carter, who joined Regis in 2012, was recently awarded the 2016 Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal of Honor, the highest honor given by Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Iowa, his alma mater.

“I was dumbfounded to tell the truth,” Carter said of learning he’d been selected for the prestigious award. “I was very honored. Anytime you’re recognized by peers at large it’s a gratifying feeling. You feel like you’re making a difference.”

Lawrence Weaver was dean and dean emeritus of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and a vice president of professional relations with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association. He and Carter first met at the University of Minnesota where Carter earned his doctorate..

“He was such a big part of my career,” Carter said. “He was a mentor and I have tried to follow his vision.”

Carter began his career as a faculty member at Purdue University in 1978. In 1996 he became the inaugural chair of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and professor at the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University in Virginia.

He returned to the University of Minnesota in 2001 as professor and associate dean. He helped expand the School of Pharmacy to the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus.

In receiving the honor, Carter also delivered the honor lecture, which focused on opportunity and optimism, something he said would have delighted Weaver. He also touched on a quote Weaver often used: “Too much blue sky? Perhaps. But shouldn’t we try?”

The quote, Carter said, has stuck with him and shaped him as he’s moved forward in his career.

“I think that’s so on target,” Carter said. “It basically says dream big and work toward it. If you dream big you may only get halfway there. But so be it. If you dream only halfway, you may only get a quarter of the way.”

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