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College Honors Fry, Hopson

Alumni Ben Fry, Chuck Hopson Earn Top UHCOP Awards for Commitment to Advancing College, Profession and Health for All Texans

Two exceptional leaders and role models in the profession – UH College of Pharmacy alumni The Honorable Charles L. "Chuck" Hopson and W. Benjamin Fry, R.Ph., FIACPFACA – recently were awarded the college's highest honors.

At the 2015 Mading Society Induction & Dinner at the Bell Tower on 34th Street in Houston Oct. 16, Fry was recognized with the UHCOP 2015 Meritorious Achievement Award and Hopson received the 2015 Distinguished Pharmacist Alumnus Award. 

Hopson, director of Pharmacy Policy at Superior Health Plan, is a 1965 graduate of UHCOP who served 12 years as Texas State Representative for District 11 in the Texas Legislature. A member of the UHCOP Dean's Advisory Council and the Mading Society of benefactors, Hopson owned and operated the May Drug pharmacy in his native Jacksonville for nearly 40 years. 

Hopson was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2001, and was re-elected for five additional terms. During his time in office, Hopson became known as "The Pharmacist" whose opinion on topics related to pharmacy and health care services was highly regarded by his fellow lawmakers. His tenure included serving as Chairman of the powerful General Investigating and Ethics Committee, as well as serving on the Public Health and the Pensions, Investments and Financial Services committees.

In addition to his service at the state level, Hopson is a past president of the Central East Texas Pharmacy Association and the Texas Society of Hospital Pharmacists (now Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists). He also served his on the city council, school board and chamber of commerce board in Jacksonsville, as well as a local community college, bank and hospital foundation. His community honors include "Citizen of the Year," "Businessman of the Year" and "Best Elected Official."    

Recognized with the UHCOP Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2004 and the Dean's Special Recognition Award in 2012, Hopson served as the the college's Commencement Speaker in 2007 and as the Phi Lambda Sigma James T. McCarty Lecturer in 2014. 

A longtime independent pharmacy owner and operator, Fry continues to work as a pharmacist at his namesake Fry's Prescription Pharmacy in his native San Benito after selling the community pharmacy as well as his pediatric pharmacy, Small Fry's Pharmacy in neighboring Harlingen. 

Fry recently completed 13 years of service on the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, including by President from 2008 to 2009, following consecutive appointments the board by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Fry represented the state at the national and regional level in a variety of capacities during his two terms, including serving as District 6 Chairperson of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as well as a member of NABP task forces on Drug Return and Reuse Programs; Review Recommendations to the Controlled Substances Act; and Continuous Quality Improvement, Peer Review, and Inspecting for Patient Safety.

In addition to being a past president of the Rio Grande Valley Pharmacy Association, his volunteer activities at the local level include serving on both local school board and industrial foundation board in San Benito as well as on the irrigation district board for his home county.

Fry is a charter member of the college's Mading Society and a longtime member of the UHCOP Dean's Advisory Council. He also is a founding member and Fellow of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists and a Fellow of the American College of Apothecaries. His past honors include earning the college's Special Recognition Award in 2008, the year he also served as the college's Commencement Speaker, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2004 as well as being named among the college's 50 Outstanding Alumni during the UHCOP 50th Anniversary celebrations in 1997.