One of Allen Linton’s favorite childhood memories is of visiting her grandfather’s drugstore in Isola, Mississippi, and watching as he stood behind the counter, carefully compounding prescriptions with his mortar and pestle. It’s an image that’s defined the Linton family. Pharmacy school brought together Allen’s mother and father; they met there in 1946 and were married in 1948. Pharmacy is the career many others in the family chose. And it’s the reason Allen and her mother, Sara LeMaster Linton, gave $25,000 to the Pharmacy School at the University of Mississippi to seed the Linton Family Pharmacy Scholarship Endowment.
"We have such pride in our family’s pharmacy background," said Allen, who works as a Cancer Navigator at Baptist Center for Cancer Care in Oxford, and holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing from Ole Miss. "And Ole Miss is very dear to all of us. It’s a big part of our family. We feel a lot of loyalty to the school. Having the gift of an Ole Miss education is a treasure, especially if passed on to future generations. My mother wanted to do this to help enrich the lives of others."
The scholarship honors the notable number of Linton family members who attended UM’s pharmacy school. It will be awarded to full-time students from Mississippi enrolled in the School of Pharmacy, with preference going to students from Humphreys, Lee and Panola counties, where most of the Linton family members call home.
"I am deeply appreciative of this generous gift from the Linton family," said Barbara Wells, Dean of the School of Pharmacy. “The example provided by this wonderful family is an inspiration to pharmacists and pharmacy educators everywhere. Their dedication to help those who follow them into the profession will make a meaningful difference in the personal lives and academic experience of deserving pharmacy students.”
The tradition started with Anderson Maltruverse Linton, Sr., Allen’s grandfather. In 1911, he was the first member of the family to graduate from the pharmacy school. A dedicated student, he served as president of his pharmacy class while at Ole Miss. He always saw his work as more than a job. It was a calling. He kept prices as low as he could in his Isola store. Sometimes, he didn’t charge at all, and routinely waited for payment until the Delta cotton was picked, baled and sold. In some ways, with this gift from his family, that legacy of giving lives on today. The family believes he would be humbled and honored to have a scholarship bear his name.
"He was an extraordinary, humble and gracious man," Allen said. "This is such an appropriate way to honor his legacy. He valued education and was always trying to help people better their lives."
It was a lesson passed on to future generations.
His son, Anderson Maltruverse “A.M.” Linton, Jr., attended Ole Miss on the GI Bill after serving in the Army Air Force flying transport supply missions in the China-Burma-India theater during World War II. He graduated from the pharmacy school in 1948 and devoted his entire 33-year career to pharmaceutical service as a Parke-Davis representative. He passed away in 1988 at the age of 65.
Sara LeMaster Linton, originally from Batesville, graduated from Ole Miss with a pharmacy degree in 1948, when pharmacy was considered a non-traditional career choice for women. She was one of only four women in her class.
After graduation, Sara began working retail at various drugstores in and around Tupelo. In 1967 she was the first pharmacist hired at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo and worked there for 33 years. She retired at age 73.
"I can honestly say that every day I went to work I enjoyed it," Sara said. "This was definitely the right professional career choice for me."
And the family tradition in the profession continues.
Allen’s cousin, Camille Shofner Roberts, UM Pharmacy 1965, originally from Isola, is a pharmacist at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg. Camille’s son, Robert R. “Rob” Roberts III, UM Pharmacy 1994, works for Compound Pharmaceutical Technologies (CPT), a new compounding-only pharmacy in Daphne, AL. Rob’s wife, Julie Giddings Roberts, UM Pharmacy 1995, currently works for Mobile Mental Health as the Director of Pharmacy for BayPointe Hospital in Mobile, AL. She was also instrumental in starting and managing the pharmacy at Mobile Mental Health’s inpatient division. Allen’s cousin, Samuel Cook “Sandy” Sugg, Jr., UM Pharmacy 1976, also originally from Isola, has worked as a staff pharmacist at Delta Medical Center in Memphis for 23 years.
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