Public Release: 

USciences confers honorary degree to GSA CEO James C. Appleby

The Gerontological Society of America

University of the Sciences conferred an honorary doctor of science degree to James C. Appleby P'87, RPh, MPH, at its 194th Commencement Ceremony on May 20, 2015. Appleby is executive director and CEO of The Gerontological Society of America, the nation's leading interdisciplinary professional membership organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging.

Appleby received the recognition for his national leadership in advancing the study of aging through best practices, principles, and policies while disseminating vital information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. In addition, he was acknowledged for his longstanding contributions and dedication to the American Pharmacists Association as well as his alma mater, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences.

In his remarks to graduates, Appleby equated one's life to the game of soccer where the "clock doesn't stop and there are no time outs. Once started, the clock keeps ticking regardless of injuries, scoring, the ball going out of bounds, or television ads. Like life, the game keeps going forward without interruption."

Appleby is best-known as an innovator and entrepreneur who excels at transforming organizational cultures. Since coming to GSA in 2008, he has launched multiple revenue-generating initiatives, including projects related to detecting cognitive impairment, increasing older adults' access to vaccinations, communicating effectively with older adults, and more. Under his leadership, GSA is seen as a preferred partner organization for business and philanthropic groups in the aging arena.

Before coming to GSA, Appleby had a 17-year career with the American Pharmacists Association. There, he was a principal architect of the APhA Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery training program, used by pharmacy chains and schools of pharmacy nationwide to prepare pharmacists to immunize patients. In addition, he spearheaded the APhA Self-Care Institute and the APhA Pain Management Partnership. Appleby also oversaw the establishment of the Association's certificate training program series and the introduction of Pharmacy Today, the Association's news magazine.

Appleby continues to be active in pharmacy, serving as vice-chair of the District of Columbia Board of Pharmacy and a member of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy Board of Visitors. He graduated with a bachelor of science in pharmacy, magna cum laude, from the former Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science (now University of the Sciences) and has a master of public health degree from Temple University. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Sara Martin and son Alexander.


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society -- and its 5,500+ members -- is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA's structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

University of the Sciences has prepared students to be leaders and practitioners in the healthcare and science fields for nearly 200 years. Key to our distinctive education is a tradition of hands-on research and experiential learning that is evident in every graduate who has walked its campus. Since its founding in 1821 as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the first college of pharmacy in North America, USciences has grown to more than 30 degree-granting programs from bachelor's through doctoral degrees in the health sciences, bench sciences, and healthcare business and policy fields. Discover how USciences students are proven everywhere they go at

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