Weaver Penna Award

The Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award

The Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award is conferred annually by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. This award is for individual persons recognized for having made outstanding voluntary contributions to the advancement of BPS board certification of pharmacists.

From 2017-2019, the award was given to one recipient who could be an individual or an organization. From 2019-2022, the award was expanded to recognize one organization recipient and one individual recipient. In 2023, to continue the development and recognition of organizations and individuals making outstanding voluntary contributions to the advancement of BPS Board Certification, the BPS Beacon Award was established to recognize organizations, which allowed the BPS Weaver/Penna Award to be solely dedicated to recognizing outstanding individuals supporting pharmacist certification.

BPS Weaver/Penna Award
Applications are open!

Award nominations deadline: Friday, September 15, 2023.
The nomination form can be found here.

Applications are currently closed.

Stay tuned for announcements on the next call for applications in summer 2024.

Award Timeline
July 15 – Nominations Open
September 16 – Nominations Close
November 25 – Awards Decision
January 2025 – Award Recipients Announced

The nominee must be an individual who has advanced health quality and/or patient care by promoting the recognition and value of specialized training, knowledge, and skills in pharmacy and the BPS board certification of pharmacists. Professional membership associations are not eligible for this award. 

Self-nominations are not accepted. In addition to the nomination, at least one letter of recommendation is required and up to two letters of recommendation are permitted for individual nominations. Any person may nominate an individual for the Weaver/Penna Award. The nominator is responsible for submitting an award nomination packet. The nomination packet is to include the following items:

  • Nomination on official form available from BPS
  • A letter from the nominator describing the most important achievements of the nominee and explaining why the nominee meets the criteria for the award
  • Letters of recommendation as described above
  • A detailed resumé for individuals should be included


BPS will issue a call for nominations for the Weaver/Penna Award annually by August 1, with a deadline for submission in mid to late September. The BPS Board of Directors will make a decision on Award recipient(s) by late Fall of each year so that the Award(s) can be presented during the following year.

If a nominee is not chosen as the recipient for the Award in the year the nomination is submitted, the application may be resubmitted for consideration the following year, with updates as appropriate. If not chosen in the following year, a new application will need to be submitted for future consideration.

The selection is made by the BPS Board of Directors based upon careful review of complete nominations.

The award will be conferred at a meeting or venue deemed appropriate by the BPS Board of Directors based upon the affiliation of the award recipient. The award will include the images of Warren E. Weaver and Richard P. Penna and the BPS logo inscribed with the recipient’s name and date of presentation. Travel expenses will be covered based upon current BPS travel policies as deemed appropriate by the BPS Board of Directors based upon the nature of the presentation. In addition, the BPS offices will display a perpetual plaque recognizing previous award recipients.

About Richard P. Penna and Warren E. Weaver

The Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award is conferred annually by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. Individual recipients are recognized for having made outstanding voluntary contributions to the advancement of BPS board certification of pharmacists.

Warren E. Weaver was a graduate of the University of Maryland, earning a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry. Following graduation, he worked as a master chemist for the U.S. Navy during World War II.

In 1950, Weaver was hired as associate professor in the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) School of Pharmacy and 6 years later he became the fifth dean of the school. While at MCV and later Virginia Commonwealth University, Weaver implemented one of the first pharmacy experiential education programs in the country. He also initiated the post-baccalaureate PharmD program, which led to the transition from bachelor’s to doctoral degrees for graduating pharmacists.

Weaver was a founding trustee of the Virginia Pharmacists Association Foundation and, on the national level, he served as 1968-69 president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

In 1973, Weaver was appointed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to the Taskforce on Specialties in Pharmacy, which led to the establishment of the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties—now the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). Weaver went on to serve BPS from 1975 to 1981 and was elected the first chairman, serving in that role from 1976 to 1979.  Weaver passed away in July 2014 at the age of 93.

Richard (Dick) P. Penna received his BS and PharmD degrees from the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy.

During his tenure at the APhA, Penna advocated for pharmacist patient counseling. Penna was a co-developer of APhA’s Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs and he encouraged pharmacist involvement with patients. Penna served as the APhA staff member assigned to the Taskforce on Specialties in Pharmacy in 1973, and he went on to assume responsibility as the first secretary/executive director of BPS in 1975.

In 1985, Penna joined the AACP as associate executive director and was named executive vice president and chief executive officer in 1995. For more than two decades, Penna’s vision had been evident in reshaping pharmacy education. In 2002, Penna received the prestigious APhA Remington Honor Medal, recognizing his distinguished service to the profession of pharmacy. Penna passed away in August 2011 at the age of 75.

William Ellis, BPS Executive Director commented, “The establishment of the Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award honors the visionary work accomplished by the first BPS Chairman, Warren Weaver and the organization’s first staff member, Richard Penna. The award will also recognize the current efforts of individuals to improve patient care by promoting the recognition and value of specialized training, knowledge, and skills in pharmacy and specialty board certification of pharmacists.”

Past Weaver Penna Award Recipients