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Alumnus pledges $50 million to UArizona College of Pharmacy

A UArizona alumnus recently pledged millions to the College of Pharmacy.
A UArizona alumnus recently pledged millions to the College of Pharmacy.
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 4:37 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - University of Arizona College of Pharmacy alumnus R. Ken Coit recently pledged $50 million to the school, which now bears his name.

“It is my goal to see the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy take its place among the top three programs in the nation,” Coit was quoted as saying in a news release. “With this gift, the college can recruit the best and brightest students and faculty, who will go on to change the face of health care around the world.”

The $50 million establishes six endowed chairs in drug discovery, neurodegenerative diseases and toxicology. The money will also go towards scholarships for the college’s doctor of pharmacy and doctoral programs.

A portion of the money has already been used to expand a wing of the college’s museum and officials plan to spend some of it on research equipment and facility upgrades.

The UArizona College of Pharmacy was recently ranked No. 7 by the American Associations of the College of Pharmacy’s list of colleges with the most National institutes of Health grant funding.

Coit, a member of the college’s national advisory board, previously founded the R. Ken Coit Endowed Chair with his family and committed $2 million to the Skaggs Challenge in 2016, which helped fund the expansion and renovation of the Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center.

“Ken has been an incredible partner to the University of Arizona, and I am truly appreciative of his transformative generosity,” UArizona President Robert C. Robbins said. “The College of Pharmacy has been at the forefront of drug discovery research and pharmaceutical education since its inception more than 70 years ago. Through Ken’s inspirational gift, the college will have the resources to continue leading the way on these fronts.”

UArizona Foundation head John-Paul Roczniak said Coit’s vision “perfectly encapsulates the Wildcat spirit.”

“His generous support has advanced not only the College of Pharmacy, but the entire University of Arizona in its capacity to serve others both near and far,” Roczniak said.

Coit graduated from the College of Pharmacy with a bachelor’s degree in 1967 and practiced pharmacy for three years before starting a career in investing and financial planning.

He didn’t work in the pharmacy field for long, he said, but he’s grateful to his professors for instilling in him the values that made him successful.

“My professors demonstrated high ethical standards and integrity and taught me how to take care of patients. They really instilled that we were there to take care of others. I kept and transferred that value when I changed to investing,” he said.

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