AHS alumnus Stephen Caton graduates from pharmacy school.

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2019

Andalusia High School alumnus Stephen Caton knew since high school that he wanted to become a pharmacist. A month ago, that dream came true, when he walked across the stage at Auburn University.

“I never changed my major or anything like that,” Caton said. “I knew in high school that I wanted to go into the health care field and I remembered that I loved chemistry throughout high school. So, I put those two loves together and came up with pharmacy. I have loved every step of the way and my exposure to it has been great.”

Caton had to go through eight years of upper level college courses to obtain his PharmD.

“In undergraduate it is a lot of general classes and it was good,” Caton said. “But pharmacy school was a lot more focused. Obviously it was a lot harder, but I enjoyed the material. Though school wasn’t always enjoyable, they still had a lot of hands on experience and the end product was definitely worth the struggle.”

At the end of the day, Caton said that the best part about his educational journey has been learning to care for the patients.

“As a pharmacist, when you see your patient and you realize that you’ve helped save their life or help them get better or help save them a lot of money, it makes it worth it,” Caton said. “Just knowing that you can do all of those things for people all day, everyday is a very comforting thought.”

Through everything, Caton said that his family has been supportive.

“They were all thrilled when I finally graduated,” Caton said. “It’s been a long, long journey. Long and expensive journey, but they are glad for me.”

Since his graduation a month ago, Caton has been preparing for different board tests.

“I have just been hanging out and trying to hit the books as much as I can,” Caton said. “I should have started in April or May so I could be ready, but I needed a break honestly. Once I get those tests taken then I’ll start applying for jobs and looking around.”

Caton said that he is looking to stay in the area once he starts looking for jobs.

“It all depends on the job market and things like that,” Caton said. “And I’ve had previous experience in independent pharmacies, but I am pretty open to whatever.”

The class of 2019 included 147 students receiving the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. One student received a Master of Science (M.S.) degree, and 15 others received Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. The ceremony included a commencement address from Dr. Stephen Davis, a member of the Class of 2008, while the student address was given by Glady’s Tucker Heard. The Oath of a Pharmacist was administered by Class of 1983 member Pamela Boyd Reeve.

The class included representatives from four foreign countries, including Bangladesh, China, Jordan and Saudi Arabia; and 15 states, including Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

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.


Caton is the son of Jackie and Todd Caton.