April 28, 2022
Lynda S. Welage (left) and Peter Labadie (right)
Lynda S. Welage (left) and Peter Labadie (right) at the April 23, 2022, commencement ceremony.

Two College of Pharmacy graduates received Distinguished Alumni Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2022 commencement ceremony. 

Peter Labadie, BSPharm'79, MBA, and Lynda S. Welage, BSPharm'81, PharmD, FCCP, received the awards for their significant career achievements. Both recipients thanked the College for the honor during the April 23rd commencement ceremony.

After graduating from Michigan College of Pharmacy with a BS in pharmacy in 1979, Peter Labadie started his career as a hospital pharmacist at the Carle Clinic in Champaign, Illinois. Upon completion of his MBA at the University of Illinois in 1982, he transitioned to a career in healthcare communications. 

In 1990, Mr. Labadie co-founded the Williams-Labadie (WL) agency with Guy Williams, serving as vice president and creative director. The agency provided clients with a broad range of marketing communications services, including advertising, digital marketing, event planning, medical education, and medical publications.

Mr. Labadie became president of WL in 1994 and supervised the agency acquisition by Leo Burnett in 1997. He assumed the role of president-CEO. WL achieved top-25 healthcare agency status from 2000 to 2012. In 2007, WL was acquired by the Publicis Groupe. WL developed a strong reputation within the healthcare advertising industry as a creative leader, winning numerous industry ‘best-of-show’ awards for print, TV, and digital advertising.  Mr. Labadie retired in September 2012.

During the commencement ceremony, Mr. Labadie acknowledged the former Michigan deans who helped guide his career: Deans Frank Ascione, Jim Richards, and Ara Paul. Mr. Labadie noted that he used his Michigan Pharmacy training every day of his career, in both his clinical and business roles.

Dr. Welage told graduates to stay connected during her acceptance speech at the commencement ceremony, noting that her connections to her alma mater helped throughout her career. “You are headed towards great things you cannot imagine now,” said Dr. Welage. “But they will be great because you are the leaders and best.”

Dr. Welage received her BS in pharmacy from the University of Michigan in 1981 and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Clinical Pharmacokinetics Laboratory, Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo, New York, and then became program director for critical care research at the same institution.

In 1988, she joined the faculty at the University of Michigan. At the U-M College of Pharmacy Dr. Welage served as associate dean for academic affairs from 2004-2011. In 2011, she became dean of the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy. Dr. Welage joined the University of Minnesota as dean in 2017.

While she has published extensively in the area of critical care and evidence-based pharmacotherapy, her recent work focuses on addressing concerns related to the health care workforce, and health disparities while shaping the vision for pharmacists and the profession. Dr. Welage is an active participant in local, state, and national pharmacy and medical organizations, and is a fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

During the ceremony, Dean Bruce Mueller noted the two award winners’ remarkable careers are emblematic of the possibilities with a Michigan Pharmacy degree. “Our alumni excel in many diverse practice areas,” said Dean Mueller. “It is very gratifying to know the breadth of opportunity that awaits our graduates.”