Growing up on a farm in Swansea, South Carolina, Addison Livingston knows what it means to work hard.
“Life on a farm is all I knew growing up and that means working all day, every day. You do what needs to be done,” he says.
Farm life also taught him another valuable life lesson: no fear, a message he shared with the Class of 2023 as he addressed them at their hooding ceremony.
“On a farm, you constantly battle uncontrollable circumstances. Sometimes it’s too much rain, sometimes it’s too little rain. Sometimes, it’s frost, wind, hail or insects, but there is always a risk. But no matter the risk, my father would plant again every year with no fear. I have carried that mindset with me throughout my career.”
Livingston has had a most successful career. His interest in pharmacy sparked from conversations with his local pharmacists and shared discussions about animal medicine.
Livingston says when he first entered USC, it was overwhelming to move from a class of 99 students to a large university.
“I wasn’t an academic overachiever as an undergrad, but Dean Fincher and the College of Pharmacy took a chance on me,” he recalls. “When I got to pharmacy school, it was like going home again. It was a family atmosphere where I made friendships that have lasted a lifetime.”
A change to his rotation schedule resulted in a long-lasting impact on his career. Livingston landed with one of the owners of Hawthorne Pharmacy in Columbia.
“During my rotation, the owner asked if I would be interested in a part-time position because I already had my B.S. degree and was a licensed pharmacist,” he says. “This rotation started a string of opportunities and failures that have molded my career.”
Twenty-six years later, Livingston is co-owner and president/CEO of Hawthorne Pharmacy and Medical Equipment with several locations in South Carolina.
Livingston has made it a priority to be active in policy development for the profession through his involvement in numerous pharmacy organizations. He also served as chair for the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy.
In being named an outstanding alumnus, Livingston says that he has been fortunate to serve both the college and his profession.
“It seems that I have gotten more out of it than what I have given. I would encourage all alumni to give back – your time, your experience. Giving back is extremely rewarding.”