The Corcoran Journal will publish a series of articles which will visit past Colonel James G. Boswell Scholarship winners and update local residents on where they are now. This week The Journal will feature Boswell Scholar Gonzalo Avila.
Avila, 75, currently resides in Milpitas, Ca. He graduated from Corcoran High School in 1962. While a Panther, Avila was very involved serving as student body president his senior year. He also participated in different clubs and was on the track team. And he was chosen to represent Corcoran High as the representative for Boys’ State.
After graduation, Gonzalo attended University of The Pacific (UOP) in Stockton and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in 1967. He was a member of the honor students and pharmacy clubs while at UOP.
Avila is currently retired but he began his Pharmacy career by working for Kaiser Hospital Pharmacy as an intern during his last year in college. He passed the pharmacy board exams in July 1967 and was promoted to pharmacist. In 1976 Gonzalo was promoted to assistant chief pharmacist followed by chief pharmacist at a small clinic within several months. The following year, Gonzalo was named chief pharmacist of the Santa Teresa Medical Center’s outpatient pharmacy which was the largest outpatient pharmacy in the Northern California Kaiser Region. After his tenure at Santa Teresa, Gonzalo was named chief pharmacist at the Milpitas Medical Clinic pharmacies. In 1979 Gonzalo said he was chosen to participate in the Pharmacy Improvement Program. The program was to help Northern pharmacies to improve service to Kaiser members and staff. After completing the program in 1980, he advanced in his career by being chosen as the Pharmacy Outpatient Practice Coordinator for Northern California Pharmacy Operations. The position resulted in having oversight of over 100 pharmacies that serviced approximately 3 million Kaiser members, Avila added.
His personal life was just as full, Gonzalo said that he got married in the fall of 1967 and had four children–three of which are graduates of San Jose State University and the other is a graduate of UCLA.
Gonzalo has had much success and credits winning the J.G. Boswell Scholarship for getting him started on his career path.
“Without, the J.G. Boswell scholarship monies I would not have been able to attend the University of the Pacific nor any other pharmacy school. It was the opportunity of a life time,” Avila said. “My advice to all future awardees is to always do your best in classes, sports, and in your treatment of all people regardless of race, sex or class.”
The annual scholarships are provided to Corcoran High School seniors by The James G. Boswell Foundation.