The WVU Cancer Institute 32nd Annual Spring Gala was an opportunity to honor some very special individuals. During an “An Evening of Hope, Innovation and Partnership” Cancer Institute leadership presented the Crystal Ribbon Award to Pam Bakalarski, Greg Darby, Hannah Hazard Jenkins, MD and William Petros, PharmD. The award was designed by a glass artisan with Glass Dimensions of Tamarack to encompass and inspire the three attributes of hope, innovation and partnership.
William Petros, PharmD, former interim director at the Cancer Institute and associate director for anticancer drug development, praised Pam Bakalarski for her advocacy of clinical trials research. “She’s devoted her professional career to focusing on improving the lives of cancer patients; today tens of millions of people are receiving better treatment through clinical trials.” He added that Pam is also an inspiration because she is a cancer patient and survivor.
Denver Allen, major gifts director for the Cancer Institute, lauded Greg Darby calling him a very powerful force in promoting and supporting the efforts of WVU Basketball Coach Bob Huggins to advance cancer clinical trials. “He gives because he cares,” Allen said.
WVU Cancer Institute Director Richard Goldberg, MD praised Hannah Hazard Jenkins for her commitment to public service. “Her commitment in this area, and especially to the underserved in West Virginia, is in her DNA,” Dr. Goldberg said, noting her grandfather’s public service role and adding that Hannah is a West Virginian by parentage and birth.
The Cancer Institute surprised Dr. Petros with a Crystal Ribbon. “Bill not only maintained stability of the Cancer Institute while serving as interim director, but also moved us forward,” Deputy Director Laura Gibson, PhD said. “The respect that all of his colleagues have for him was always obvious and was reflected in the appreciation that people had for his leadership and advice. He is a truly valued colleague and friend.”
Petros, who also holds the Mylan Chair of Pharmacology, has been named the Gates Wigner Dean of the WVU School of Pharmacy and will assume that role on June 1.