Jonathan Gray to Lead HSOP into 2017 Commencement

Jonathan Gray outside the Walker Building Jonathan Gray, 2017 Graduation Marshal.

May 8, 2017

By Abigail Little

AUBURN, Alabama – When the Harrison School of Pharmacy Class of 2017 enters Auburn Arena on May 9 for its Commencement Ceremony, it will be Jonathan Gray leading the way with the school banner.

>> RELATED: 2017 Graduation Central

A native of Gardendale, Alabama, Gray attended Auburn University for his undergraduate education and decided to continue his studies on The Plains at HSOP.

“Auburn’s pharmacy programs really stood out to me,” sad Gray. “Auburn prepares each student with their classes, rotations and patient interactions with the PPE (Pharmacy Practice Experience) program. Auburn also has a great track record, which helped me with my decision.”

Gray can proudly recall his favorite movements during his time as an Auburn student, from attending football games to spending time with his classmates and friends.

“One of the most meaningful thing to me about Auburn is the friends I’ve made and the community of people here,” said Gray.

After graduation, Gray will move back home to Birmingham for a residency position at Princeton Baptist Medical Center. He hopes the residency will help narrow down his specific interest and increase his experience.

“I’m interested in specializing in either critical care, internal medicine or ambulatory care,” said Gray. “Princeton Baptist Medical Center has a good balance of everything I like. If I decided to go into one area, I can switch my rotation around and get more focus in that area.”

Gray has previously done two rotations at Princeton Baptist Medical Center. He learned a lot from the preceptors there and said it is an environment where he can really grow and learn.

“I wanted to do something more clinical after graduation, which is what drove me to do a residency,” said Gray. “All the faculty and my preceptors have done residency and I wanted to get to where they are now.”

During his time as a student-pharmacist, Gray had two mentors, Dr. Gordon Sacks and Dr. Heather Whitely, that helped him make the decisions to do a residency after graduation.

“Both of my mentors Dr. Sacks and Dr. Whitley, have been positive influences in my pharmacy career,” said Gray. “I met with Dr. Sacks every semester, he talked to me a lot about residencies and where I should apply. I shadowed and did research projects with Dr. Whitely. She was the one who got me interested in ambulatory care.”

Gray has wanted to be a pharmacist since high school. He started shadowing pharmacist at University of Alabama at Birmingham, which led him to the decision to study pharmacy.

“What I really like about pharmacists are they work behind the scenes,” said Gray. “I don’t like to be the face of everything, I like being creative behind the scenes.”

As for being selected as the Graduation Marshal, Gray is looking forward to the opportunity to represent his class in this crowning moment.

“I’m honored to be this year’s Graduation Marshal,” said Gray. “I was extremely excited when I found out. It’s one of my greatest achievements.”


About the Harrison School of Pharmacy
Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit

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Last Updated: July 1, 2017