About Warren Weaver and Richard Penna

Established and presented by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties

The Warren Weaver/Richard Penna Award is conferred annually by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties upon an individual or organization who has made outstanding voluntary contributions to the advancement of BPS board certification of pharmacists.

Warren Weaver

Warren E. Weaver was a graduate of the University of Maryland, earning a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry. Following graduation, he worked as a master chemist for the U.S. Navy during World War II.

In 1950, Weaver was hired as associate professor in the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) School of Pharmacy and 6 years later he became the fifth dean of the school. While at MCV and later Virginia Commonwealth University, Weaver implemented one of the first pharmacy experiential education programs in the country. He also initiated the post-baccalaureate PharmD program, which led to the transition from bachelor’s to doctoral degrees for graduating pharmacists.

Weaver was a founding trustee of the Virginia Pharmacists Association Foundation and, on the national level, he served as 1968-69 president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

In 1973, Weaver was appointed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to the Taskforce on Specialties in Pharmacy, which led to the establishment of the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties—now the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). Weaver went on to serve BPS from 1975 to 1981 and was elected the first chairman, serving in that role from 1976 to 1979.  Weaver passed away in July 2014 at the age of 93.

Richard (Dick) P. Penna received his BS and PharmD degrees from the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy.

Richard Penna

During his tenure at the APhA, Penna advocated for pharmacist patient counseling. Penna was a co-developer of APhA’s Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs and he encouraged pharmacist involvement with patients. Penna served as the APhA staff member assigned to the Taskforce on Specialties in Pharmacy in 1973, and he went on to assume responsibility as the first secretary/executive director of BPS in 1975.

In 1985, Penna joined the AACP as associate executive director and was named executive vice president and chief executive officer in 1995. For more than two decades, Penna’s vision had been evident in reshaping pharmacy education. In 2002, Penna received the prestigious APhA Remington Honor Medal, recognizing his distinguished service to the profession of pharmacy. Penna passed away in August 2011 at the age of 75.

William Ellis, BPS Executive Director commented, “The establishment of the Warren Weaver / Richard Penna Award honors the visionary work accomplished by the first BPS Chairman, Warren Weaver and the organization’s first staff member, Richard Penna. The award will also recognize the current efforts of individuals and organizations to improve patient care by promoting the recognition and value of specialized training, knowledge, and skills in pharmacy and specialty board certification of pharmacists.”