|$30M for new Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center
University of South Carolina (USC) alumni with a desire to transform
pharmacy education and practice are making a $30 million gift to the
university’s South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP), the
second-largest in the university’s history.
Announced Sept. 17 by USC President Harris Pastides, Ph.D., the gift is
from USC alumni William and Lou Kennedy of Orlando, Fla., and will
establish the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center.
The center will serve as a home for collaborative research and
education that will bring together the nation’s top minds in
entrepreneurship, health sciences, communications and other disciplines
with leading pharmacy practice faculty.
Pastides said the Kennedys’ gift will assure that their alma mater will
set the new benchmarks for pharmacy science and practice in the 21st
“Philanthropy is essential to the success of our university, and we are
deeply appreciative of every gift to Carolina,” he said. “However, some
gifts have the potential to fundamentally alter research and the way we
prepare students. This is one of those gifts. The Kennedys’ enormous
generosity will establish SCCP as a leader in pharmacy science and
As longtime supporters of USC and the College of Pharmacy, the Kennedys
said the extraordinary donation – the largest ever to the SCCP and the
second largest to a pharmacy school in the country, was a natural
decision for them.
“I’ve been in the industry long enough to see many significant
advances,” Bill Kennedy said. “I like to think I’ve even contributed to
some of them. In any case, I’ve been fortunate enough to stay on top of
both the science and the business and I’m determined to help the next
generation of pharmacists develop the skills they’ll need to excel in
The Kennedy center will combine principles of pharmacy, business and
management to provide resources for students, faculty and researchers
throughout the university. It will emphasize innovation in pharmacy
practice and education, creating an interdisciplinary environment that
prepares pharmacy students to become leaders in the profession.
“The goal is to guide future pharmacists toward new approaches and new
ways of thinking,” said Joseph DiPiro, Pharm.D., SCCP executive dean.
“We’re preparing them to not only meet the challenges of a changing
health care landscape, but to conquer those challenges through
innovation and creating new levels of success in science and in
The center will emphasize entrepreneurship through a direct link to the
top-ranked Darla Moore School of Business that will enable pharmacy
students to develop entrepreneurial and business skills essential for
the changing health care environment.
“Today’s pharmacist must be an astute business entrepreneur as well as
a trusted health care provider,” DiPiro said. “Rapid and fundamental
changes to the health care system will emphasize this need. Teaching
innovation in pharmacy practice means preparing students to have the
ability to adapt, anticipate and succeed in an ever-changing
The center will be housed in the Coker Life Sciences and Discovery I
buildings on the USC campus. The location at Discovery I, in USC’s
Innovista research campus, is a natural fit for the Kennedy center,
“The Kennedy center reflects what Innovista is all about,” Pastides
said. “It will be a place for creativity and research and discovery and
tap into the entrepreneurial and intellectual resources of the Moore
School and the scientists associated with the Centers of Economic
The center’s programs will be open to all SCCP students, including
those based at MUSC and at Greenville Hospital System University
Medical Center via the college’s distance education program.
Specific details of the center will be worked out by an oversight
committee, but plans call for an endowed chair, fellowships for
faculty, a lecture series, student scholarships, specialized training
and additional entrepreneurial courses and certification for students.
A third of the gift will come to USC in cash during 10 years to fund
the operation of the center. The remaining will come as a bequest to
endow the center.
Friday, Oct. 8, 2010