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Fourth-generation Creighton pharmacy grad continues family tradition

Claire Creighton WillmanHer connection to Creighton is so strong, it’s her middle name.

Claire Creighton Willman, a 2019 Creighton University graduate, said one of the reasons she chose to pursue her undergraduate and doctor of pharmacy degrees from Creighton was its proximity to her Overland Park home. It’s a good thing her great, great, great grandfather, James Creighton, first cousin of school founders, Edward and John Creighton, had the foresight to accommodate her. According to family tradition, James Creighton convinced his family to open the school in Omaha rather than their native Ohio.

Another family tradition is to pass down “Creighton” as a middle name. Claire’s mother, Liz, conversely from her daughter, is a Rockhurst University graduate from Omaha and has the Creighton middle name. Her sisters, Susan Toohey earned an EdD, and Ginny Curley, earned a master’s degree from Creighton. Both of Claire’s grandparents, Anne Creighton Caldwell and Edmund Russell, Jr., earned their undergraduate degrees there, too.

That would make Claire Willman a fourth-generation Creighton graduate, but she is the first in her family to be accepted into Creighton’s School of Medicine. She is entering “with an open mind,” an interest in internal medicine and confidence that her background in pharmacy will support her in providing clinical care.

“When I entered the six-year program, I remember thinking, it’s going to take so long, but it’s totally flown by. It’s been a really great journey, I’ve met so many great people, and have received an exceptional education,” Claire Willman said. “One of the reasons I’ve decided to continue on at Creighton is knowing that I have support, and the sense of community here that’s not necessarily found everywhere else.”

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