Jerome (BSP ’49, DDS ’59) and Mitzie Holen Schwartz (AB Pharmacy ’49) worked as pharmacists for a number of years.

After serving in the army during the Korean Conflict as a pharmacy technician, Jerome Schwartz worked on weekends and evenings as a pharmacist while attending the University of Maryland Dental School. After graduating in 1959, he established a dental practice in Glen Burnie. He retired in 1994. Mitzie is a resident in an assisted living facility for Alzheimer’s patients.

Back in the 1960s, my mother-in-law had all the symptoms of dementia. Now my wife has all the symptoms of dementia, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Over the course of that 40 years, it seems like nothing has been accomplished – no means of diagnosis, treatment, or identifying a cure.

Approximately four million people are diagnosed annually with the symptoms of dementia. By 2040, that number is projected to skyrocket to between 15 million and 20 million people. One of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s is dementia, which itself is a symptoms of more than 40 different diseases.

I established the Dr. Jerome and Mitzie Holen Schwartz Graduate Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences to spur research related to understanding Alzheimer’s and related cognitive diseases. It is our hope that this fellowship will help to advance the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s.

When I met my wife during my first year of pharmacy school, she was the most academically and artistically talented person I knew. This fellowship allows me to honor my wife of 55 years and let people know who she is.

After enjoying a full life and career, it’s important to say thanks and give someone else an opportunity. Although I made the decision to create this fellowship, if Mitzie were well, she would say it’s the right thing to do.