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Gifts, grants for new pharmacy building top $10M

JACKSON — Gifts to the “Promises to Keep” campaign and two federal grants have provided the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy with more than $10 million to construct a building at the university’s Medical Center and endow scholarships and faculty support.

The campaign’s lead gift was a pledge of more than $350,000 from Medical Marketing Economics, LLC, of Oxford. Several MME partners earned their pharmacy degrees from UM.

The campaign’s first significant corporate gift, $50,000, came from Walgreens. It was for pharmacy practice’s new building going up on the Jackson campus, where two problem-based learning classrooms will be named for the pharmacy chain.

Other corporate gifts followed, such as those from Cardinal Health and the Rite Aid Corp. Both boosted the school’s scholarship endowments.

Two pharmacy school graduates, Jim Ainsworth of Hernando and Keith Shelly of Goodlettsville, Tenn., both committed $50,000 to the campaign and let the school decide how to best use their gifts. Both contributions were applied to the Jackson building’s construction.

Alumni contributing to the new building include:
John and Wendy McKinney of Moss Point, whose gift honors associate dean emeritus H. Joseph Byrd and assistant dean emeritus Jack P. Adams; Lt. Col. Rob Wall of Prattville, Ala.; Leigh Ann Ross, associate dean for clinical affairs and chair of pharmacy practice, and her husband, Brendan Ross.

The building in Jackson is expected to be completed this fall. Foundational to its construction were two grants from the Health Resources and Service Administration.

Several alumni donated to create pharmacy scholarship endowments, including:
Cecilia Caldwell of Portland, Maine; Bettye Caldwell of Ambler, Pa., and other relatives and friends of the late Henry Cecil Caldwell of Ambler, Pa.; retired pharmacy professor Dewey Garner and his wife, Barbara, of Oxford; Allen Linton and her mother, Sara LeMaster Linton, of Tupelo; and, members of the Pharmacy Alumni Chapter.

Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford and North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo is each funding half of a full-time faculty member for six years. By matching the gifts, the school hired two pharmacy practice professors.

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