Alumnus Burnett to receive Alumni Achievement Award
Charles Burnett, who earned his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy at the UA COP in 1959, has been named the 2012 recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Arizona Alumni Association. This is the highest recognition presented by the association.
Burnett is senior vice president of pharmacy operations for Costco Wholesale Corporation. Costco is the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States. As of July 2011 it was the sixth largest retailer in the U.S. and the seventh largest in the world.
In 2007, Burnett was selected for the Harold W. Pratt Award, the highest honor given by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. In 2010, NACDS again tapped Burnett, this time to receive the Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award, considered the highest honor given by the chain drug industry. This marked the only time in NACDS history that one individual received both awards.
Burnett responds modestly to the honors he’s received. “You never win an award by yourself,” he says. “You hire people who make you look good and then you get the award. I wish I could chop it up in little pieces and give a part to everyone on my team.”
Burnett served on the College of Pharmacy’s National Advisory Board, advising the dean and promoting the college’s programs, from 1996 to 2003. Moreover, he has made generous gifts to the college to support the Roy P. Drachman Hall capital campaign and the college’s discretionary fund.
In 2004, not long after Burnett’s daughter was diagnosed with autism, Burnett and his wife, Barbara, created Tessera (www.tessera.org), a foundation to help people with autism. Since then, Tessera has served more than 300 people annually with a variety of recreational, social and educational family-friendly activities.
Burnett will be the only UA alumnus to receive the Alumni Achievement Award this spring. It will be presented to him during the UA Graduate Commencement May 11. The College of Pharmacy will recognize Burnett at a celebratory dinner May 10. He will take part in the college’s Convocation ceremony the morning of May 11.