The University of Houston College of Pharmacy community is mourning the passing of beloved alumnus and former faculty member James T. McCarty, who died at the age of 92 surrounded by family members on May 10 in La Porte, Texas.
A 1952 graduate of the college, McCarty was a highly respected educator, pharmacist and inspirational speaker, whose enthusiastic shouts of “Carpe Diem” and impassioned reading of Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” became cherished memories of the thousands of students he taught over his career.
A longtime preceptor, McCarty joined UHCOP as an instructor in 1982 and was later promoted to director of alumni affairs and clinical assistant professor along with serving on numerous college committees and representing the college in state and national organizations. After retiring in 1993, he continued to lecture as an adjunct faculty member in the Communication & Patient Counseling course within the professional pharmacy curriculum as well as present continuing education courses at the college. In addition to pharmacy education, McCarty’s career included community and hospital pharmacy practice, independent pharmacy ownership and management, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
McCarty was the recipient of numerous professional honors during his career, including the 1997 Harris County Pharmacist of the Year (for which he also served as president in 1970), the 1991 UHCOP Distinguished Alumni Award, the 1992 Texas Pharmacy Association Pharmacist of the Year Award (for which he also served as a board member), and the 1992 Albert Rosica, Jr. Memorial Award by the American College of Apothecaries “for recognition of outstanding contribution to pharmacy education.” He also was named among the college’s “50 Outstanding Alumni” as part of the yearlong UHCOP 50th Anniversary celebration in 1996-97.
He was also a member of the Rho Chi Society, the profession’s national honor society, and Phi Lambda Sigma, the profession’s national leadership organization for which he also served as national president in 1992. In fact, McCarty was the first of five UHCOP alumni to have led PLS as national president, the only college to hold such distinction. As its longtime faculty advisor, the college’s PLS chapter honored him by naming its annual professionalism lecture in his name — the James T. McCarty Leadership Lecture Series — which is supported (along with other PLS activities) by the Leadership Passport Endowment Fund.
In addition, the James T. McCarty Community Pharmacy Internship Award is presented annually by the college to a graduating Pharm.D. student “who demonstrates evidence of excellent disease state management skills and patient care activities during their ambulatory care rotations.” The award was established in recognition of McCarty’s staunch advocacy of treating all patients as equals.
McCarty and his late wife, MaryLou, were longtime residents of Galveston, Texas.
Fellow UHCOP alumna and former faculty member Sandra Webb, R.Ph. (B.S. ’66), M.S. (’71), met McCarty in 1968 when they began working together at Houston’s Kelsey Seybold Clinic.
“I’ve known Jim for over 50 years, and I can’t quite believe that he is gone from this life,” Webb said. “Jim was an exceptionally warm and caring person; you could laugh with Jim and you could cry with Jim. He was both down-to-earth and bigger-than-life: A pragmatist and an idealist.
“In both subtle and overt ways, he used his amazing talent to encourage and assist others to achieve at their highest level. He was a cherished and beloved friend; I will miss his warm hugs and his big grin. And, of course, ‘Carpe Diem!'”
Those who would like to make a gift in McCarty’s memory to the Leadership Passport Endowment Fund may give online at https://giving.uh.edu/pharmacy/, select “Other” in the drop-down menu and type “Leadership Passport Fund – in Memory of Jim” in the Gift Designation field; give by check made out to “UH College of Pharmacy,” with “Leadership Passport Fund” in memo, and mail to UH Gift Processing & Records, P.O. Box 867, Houston, TX 77001-0867; or by phone by calling 281-406-6983. For questions, please contact UHCOP Development Director Beth Borck at firstname.lastname@example.org.