By: Kristen Hegel
“Some gifts have the potential to fundamentally alter teaching, research and the way we prepare our students. This is one of those gifts,” Harris Pastides, USC president, stated in response to a $30 million pledge to the USC pharmacy department.
Bill and Lou Kennedy, a Florida couple, are giving $30 million dollars to the school in a span of 10 years in order to implement business skills into the pharmacy program. The Kennedys are fans of USC and the USC College of Pharmacy. In 1996, Bill Kennedy received his Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the USC College of Pharmacy. Lou Kennedy earned her bachelor’s degree from USC College of Journalism in 1984. Bill Kennedy bought Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation in the 1990’s and has brought innovation to health care and pharmaceutical delivery. Today, he is a consultant for NPC, and his wife, Lou, is the president and chief executive. The donation is the second largest pledge to USC in its history. The Kennedy’s donation was a “natural decision” for them.
“I’ve been in the industry long enough to see a great many significant advances. I like to think I’ve even contributed to some of them,” Kennedy said. “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 generations of pharmacists develop the skills they’ll need to excel in both areas, as well.” Pharmacists of today can get a lot of help from education not only in pharmacy, but in business as well. Executive Dean of SCCP, Dr. Joseph DiPiro, commented, “The goal is to guide future pharmacists toward new approaches and new ways of thinking. We’re preparing them to not only meet the challenges of a changing healthcare landscape, but to conquer those challenges through innovations and creating new levels of success in science and business.” The new Kennedy Center will be located in the Coker Life Sciences Discovery buildings. The center will serve as a new tool to inform students about the fast-growing healthcare field and a place to learn about business management skills to really help them excel in their profession.
“The Kennedy Center reflects what innovation is all about. 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 Excellence,” Pastides explained. So far, the details are not set in stone, but plans include an endowed chair, fellowships for faculty, lectures, student scholarships, and training in entrepreneurial classes. Pastides states, “Philanthropy is essential to the success of our university, and we are deeply appreciative of every gift to Carolina.”