A 1975 alumnus of Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy plans words of encouragement and experience for that program’s latest graduates before receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry. Phil Hagerman will accept this honor at the 7 p.m. Friday, May 6 commencement ceremony for College of Pharmacy and Doctorate of Community College Leadership graduates.
The Chief Operating Officer of Skypoint Ventures and Forum Health Enterprises, Inc., Hagerman will also talk to the College of Pharmacy’s Class of 2022 at a 3 p.m. hooding ceremony in Williams Auditorium.
“I plan to frame my remarks in relation to lifelong learning,” he said. “I felt ready to tackle the world when I graduated from Ferris. It became clear right away there was more to be studied and understood, but what I had gained from my learning at Ferris allowed me to accomplish significant goals.”
Hagerman joined his father, Dale, also a Ferris Pharmacy alumnus, and spent 27 years in leadership roles with Diplomat Pharmacy, which grew to be a national leader in specialty pharmacy and infusion services. He now leads Skypoint Ventures, a venture capital and development firm, along with Forum Health, where the corporate goal is to be a national leader in integrative functional medicine.
“We seek to support research and the development of services that can address and impact the root causes of illness,” Hagerman said. “In these roles, I can continue following my passion, working every day and finding great excitement in this new chapter of my career.”
Hagerman’s philanthropic support of his college and the university are unparalleled. The Pharmacy Forward campaign received a $5 million lead gift from the Hagerman Foundation. That gift, announced in early 2015, served as an impetus for the Now and Always Campaign, Ferris’ first comprehensive appeal for scholarship support and donor investment in university facilities and academic programs. Hagerman continued his transformational support for Ferris by providing a $5 million planned gift in late 2021 to spur that campaign past its $115 million goal to a $117.2 million total.
“I have always believed in the importance of education and making the most of any opportunity to give back,” Hagerman said. “Ferris means so much to our family. We have great pride that, along with my father and sister, Deborah Ward (P,’ 74), earning our degrees from the college. My daughter, Jennifer, used her Pharmacy degree to serve as a professor in the program, which served her well in her advance to a leadership role as vice president of strategic programs with Optum.”
He added, “My Ferris education was germane to my success, which allowed me to explore these opportunities to make a difference through giving. Our original gift to the Hagerman College of Pharmacy is a commitment to the program and its students that we were proud to make. I am glad that Now and Always was wildly successful, with the original $80 million goal increased to $115 million, and it was very exciting to cap the campaign.”
Two other Ferris alumni will receive honorary doctorates in ceremonies on Saturday, May 7. Alumna Dana King, a sculptor and former network news host, and Dick Shaw, a distinguished teacher and a distinguished alumnus, will be honored at commencement for their respective colleges.
Approximately 2,100 students are expected to graduate this spring, with about 1,600 expected to participate in commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday, May 6-7. These commencement ceremonies will be the last with President David Eisler presiding as he prepares for retirement at the end of June.