Linwood Moore: Part of Auburn’s History
September 7, 2018
AUBURN, Alabama – In the early 1970s, times were definitely changing at Auburn. James Owens became Auburn’s first African-American scholarship football player. Thom Gossom, a walk-on football player, became the first African-American football player to earn a degree from Auburn.
Around the same time Owens and Gossom were making their names on campus, Linwood Moore, a graduate of Central High School in nearby Phenix City, made his way to campus in pursuit of a pharmacy degree. In short order, he would be joining them as a trailblazer himself.
Attending Auburn on an ROTC scholarship, Moore sought out ways to get involved at Auburn. He was involved in award-winning ROTC drill teams and he became the first African-American Plainsman, a prestigious group of student ambassadors at Auburn.
He also tried out for the cheerleading squad and twice was first-alternate. But, as fate would have it, a male member of the squad quit at the beginning of the year and a spot opened up. With the cheerleaders having already paired off, the open position was for mic man. Wanting to seize the opportunity, Moore took the spot, but there would be one more road block.
Curiously, practices were scheduled during the same time as one of his pharmacy school labs. Fortunately, the graduate assistant over the lab was more than happy to allow Moore to go to practice and make up the time later.
“I really looked back fondly on my time in pharmacy school when I was a cheerleader. During that time, I didn’t know how I was going to be able to balance being in pharmacy school and a cheerleader,” said Moore. “When the faculty in the pharmacy school found out that I was selected as a cheerleader, they were excited. They were very accommodating with assignments with out-of-town games and things of that nature. And, I am really indebted to the lab professor for allowing me to leave my lab class and go to practice and come back and finish lab work.”
Retired Col. Linwood Moore takes a familiar place in Jordan-Hare Stadium | Photo courtesy Auburn Athletics
Having made his name on the Auburn campus, Moore earned his pharmacy degree in 1977 and left to serve his country as a pharmacist in the United States Army. Having participated in ROTC in high school, Moore had continued the path in college, knowing that was the way to pursue his career.
“It is tremendous pride and a sense of duty. It is always in the back of my mind that I could not have had a college education that I had and the career path that I had without the assistance of the military,” said Moore. “I was able to thrive as a professional because of that. I was able to attend the school of my choice because of that. I am always mindful of how I got to where I find myself in my career.”
Moore served more than 30 years in the Army, in both active duty and reserve roles, attaining the rank of colonel along the way.
He was stationed at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas and was the pharmacy officer at Brooke Army Medical Center. Moore was a pharmacy instructor at the Army Academy of Health Sciences, training enlisted personnel in health-related fields, and eventually the assistant chief of pharmacy at Ft. Dix in New Jersey.
Moore’s career included two overseas assignments as the pharmacy officer at the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity (MEDDAC) in Heidelberg, Germany and chief of pharmacy at the U.S. Army Community Hospital/121st Evacuation Hospital in Seoul, Korea.
As a reservist, Moore also served as troop commander for the 2290th U.S. Army Reserve Hospital in Washington, D.C.
As an army officer he earned numerous awards and decorations for exceptional, meritorious service, including the U.S. Army Achievement Medal, U.S. Army Commendation Medal and the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster).
A board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist, Moore continued to serve his country as he took a position with the Department of Veteran Affairs.
“When you think about the veteran population, it is a diverse population with many different types of experiences and many different types of need, a lot of those have to do with mental health needs,” said Moore. “Being a veteran myself, and seeing the various situations that veterans are in, I can relate to them. I can relate to their history, their stories, their background and the situations that they have been in and some of the reasons they are receiving the care they are receiving.”
Moore served as associate chief and chief of pharmacy with the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C. While there, he was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the pharmacy department for the comprehensive teaching medical center, which provides pharmaceutical care for more than 100,000 veteran patients. Moore was responsible for the supervision of a staff of more than 100 pharmacist and pharmacy technicians while sharing in the management of a more than $60,000,000 annual budget.
With such a distinguished career, Moore looks back on his time at Auburn as transformational.
“More than anything else, Auburn gave me confidence. It gave me confidence in my abilities,” said Moore. “It gave me confidence in interpersonal interaction, especially during that period where coming out of high school, at least up to my senior year, I had not interacted a lot with the majority of people.
“But, then, coming to Auburn, at that time, it was probably 98-99% white, then you have no choice but to work with people from all different backgrounds, some rural, some urban, or from other parts of the country, other than the South. You learn to be comfortable, make yourself comfortable in any environment. Leaving here, any kind of new environment, I could feel comfortable in.”
Coming back to Auburn and being recognized as part of Black Alumni Weekend is both humbling and an honor for Moore. Having loved his time at Auburn, he feels that he and his peers should strive to be advocates for the university.
“I have always felt like those of us who were here, particularly in the 70s, need to be an advocate for Auburn in terms of encouraging other minorities to attend Auburn,” said Moore. ”We know the university has so much to offer. I know it is always easier for someone to gravitate toward their comfort zone, but an environment like this definitely offers a young person the opportunity to grow and develop.”
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 http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.
Last Updated: September 7, 2018