Ole Miss Pharmacy Becomes Tradition for Yielding Family

UM alumnus inspired his daughter and niece to pursue the profession

Lauren Yielding Black (left) and cousin Audrey Yielding, both first-year student pharmacists, attend the 2018 White Coat Ceremony with Frank Yielding, a 1992 graduate of the School of Pharmacy, who is Lauren’s father and Audrey’s uncle. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – First-year student pharmacists and cousins Lauren Yielding Black and Audrey Yielding looked no further than their own dinner table when they were searching for their career paths.

The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy students found inspiration from 1992 Ole Miss pharmacy alumnus Frank Yielding, who is Lauren’s dad and Audrey’s uncle.

“I think Lauren and Audrey grew up listening to family and friends ask me for suggestions and advice concerning their health care,” said Frank Yielding, of Fulton. “Both felt a desire to help others as I have been fortunate to do for so many years. They are both very caring people and will be great assets to the pharmacy profession.”

Frank is the perfect candidate for the duo to learn from. His fascination with the profession began early when he was drawn to the atmosphere of his local pharmacy, Fulton Drug. After gaining experience behind the counter with pharmacist Dan McElroy, Frank followed in his mother’s footsteps and attended Ole Miss.

He has spent the last 24 years as pharmacy manager at his local Walmart and is the one passing knowledge to younger generations.

“As a child, I never understood exactly what he did,” said Audrey, a native of Tremont. “I knew that he was highly respected in the community and that he was the person we went to when we had questions about medications.

“When I was in high school, I did a research project on careers, and he answered all of my questions. I fell in love with the idea of being a pharmacist.”

For Lauren, the decision came about more gradually.                                                 

“I could not think of a single major event throughout my childhood that my dad missed, and that made a major impact on my decision to pursue a career in pharmacy,” Lauren said. “I want to be able to balance my work and personal life with my future family like my dad does.”

David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy, said the Yieldings’ story is representative of the pharmacy school’s emphasis on the importance of family.

“We welcome them from their family into our Ole Miss pharmacy ‘phamily,”’ Allen said.

When it came time to choose a school, Lauren and Audrey didn’t have to look far; UM was their top choice. As the Yielding family tradition continues, Frank is eager to watch the pair contribute to the profession in their own ways.

“It is an honor for me to watch as my daughter and niece follow down the same career path as I did many years ago,” he said. “It’s exciting to see all the changes that have taken place in the program, and I look forward to continuing this family legacy and remaining a part of the Ole Miss School of Pharmacy.”