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Arthur Lawrence BSP '70 Retires


Rear Admiral Arthur J. Lawrence, R.Ph, MBA, PhD, Assistant Surgeon General, Director , Office of Security and Strategic Information retired this January. A distinguished member of the MCP Class of 1970, and a frequent speaker to our students, RADM Lawrence served as a career officer in the Commissioned Corps of the United State Public Health Service for 37 years. He began his career at the PHS Hospital in Boston and continued on in the USPS holding many prominent positions including Chief Policy Coordinator for PHS AIDS programs, Acting Deputy Director of the Office of the National AIDS Policy Coordinator, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Operations, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, and Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health for three terms. He was also responsible for directing the National Disaster Medical System and managing federal medial assets and response activities following the September 11th terrorist attacks. In his most recent position as Director, Office of Security and Strategic Information, he was responsible for oversight and policy management of physical security, personnel security, and strategic information for the Department.

Arthur has been awarded three Secretarial Distinguished Service Awards and the PHS Distinguished Service Medal. Alumni Executive Director Dawn Ballou was honored to be invited to attend the retirement ceremony, and represent the College, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Federal Building in Washington, D.C. on January 21st. The ceremony was opened with the Presentation of the Colors by the Surgeon Generals Honor Cadre and the singing of the National Anthem by the PHS Choral and Wind Ensemble. A speaking program including dignitaries from multiple agencies of our national government was truly a tribute to a man who has given so much to his country.

The Mission of the Commissioned Corps of the United State Public Health Service is to protect, promote and advance the health and safety of the Nation.

RADM Lawrence has always taken great pains to assure that everyone knew that he was, first and foremost, a pharmacist whose first love was the profession and its work in psychoneuropharmacology. He attributes much of his success to having the great fortune of good mentors, starting in 1961 with pharmacist Ed Breck. RADM Lawrence soon became a part-time clerk and was assigned the duties of attending to inventory and running the postal sub-station in the pharmacy. He continued to work weekends and summers until he entered MCP. Ed took him under his wing and taught him about compounding and what it meant to be a community pharmacist.

Art had become so proficient at compounding that, by the time he attended pharmacy school, some of his professors became suspicious by quality of product that he produced and how quickly he could complete his compounding labs. He tells the story that one of them placed a tracer chemical into the lab's raw materials to assure that he was in fact doing all his work in the compounding lab.