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Longtime Clinical Pharmacy, Family Medicine professor retires

Charles D. Ponte, PharmD, professor in the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy Department of Clinical Pharmacy and School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, retired at the end of October. He has served on the faculty at WVU since 1980.

Headshot of a male in a pink shirt.
Dr. Charles D. Ponte

Dr. Ponte’s career focused on pharmacy education, training medical students and residents and providing pharmaceutical care. He has specialized in diabetes and pain management — both prevalent health concerns in West Virginia. He has served in multiple roles at WVU, including professor, coordinator for medical team clerkships and director of the Doctor of Pharmacy post-baccalaureate program. 

“Dr. Ponte has been a cornerstone of the School of Pharmacy for many years,” said William Petros, PharmD, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “His national reputation is also outstanding, achieving the prestigious ‘fellow’ status in all three major national professional pharmacy organizations.”

To honor his extraordinary career and dedication to the School of Pharmacy, the University and the state of West Virginia, the School’s Alumni Association inducted him as an honorary alumnus this past June.

“[Ponte’s] many years of devotion to teaching and service to the profession on the local, state and national level have garnered him a room full of honors, awards and plaques,” Associate Professor Betsy Elswick, Class of 2001 and coordinator for the School of Pharmacy Alumni Association, shared during her speech. “He has earned more honorific titles and abbreviations than there are letters in the alphabet and served on numerous boards and committees. He has authored enough articles to fill several bound volumes and has been the subject of innumerable hours’ worth of interviews and presentations.”

Included among his many professional awards and honors are the American Pharmacists Association/Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Distinguished Achievement Award in Clinical/Pharmacotherapeutic Practice, the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumnus Award, Distinguished Service Award from the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators and Yale New Haven Hospital Pharmacy Residency Program Distinguished Alumnus.

At WVU, Dr. Ponte has received nine awards for outstanding teaching and numerous other accolades for his exceptional scholarly work and achievements, including the 2019 WVU Health Sciences Vice President’s Master Clinician Award.

In anticipation of his retirement, Dean William Petros asked Dr. Ponte to deliver the School of Pharmacy Commencement keynote address to the Class of 2022. During his remarks, Dr. Ponte said, in part:

“Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘transitions’ as follows: a change or shift from one state, subject, place, etc. to another.’ the late Willie Stargell, [a Hall of Fame baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates] said it best, ‘Life is one big transition.’"

Dr. Ponte says he is looking forward to beginning the next chapter of his journey while staying active in his profession and with various initiatives at WVU Health Sciences.