DATE: March 19, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Stephanie Balzer, 520-621-5581
Pharmacy Alumnus R. Ken Coit Supports Endowed Faculty Chair
TUCSON, ARIZ.– University of Arizona alumnus R. Ken Coit has pledged $1 million toward the establishment of an endowed faculty chair in the UA's College of Pharmacy. The chair is the second of its kind in the College, which is one of the top-ranked pharmacy programs in the nation and routinely ranked nationally in the top 10 pharmacy colleges for landing research dollars.
Mr. Coit, who earned his bachelor's degree in pharmacy from the UA in 1967, said his degree signified more than just the completion of professional training. It also taught him the skills relevant to many aspects of his life.
"I may not be a pharmacist now, but I learned a lot in pharmacy school that's still important to me, including having high ethical standards and integrity," said Mr. Coit, who has spent the majority of his career in real estate investing. "My professors instilled in me the value of taking care of others, and I have retained that value throughout my career."
Theodore Tong, professor and associate dean of student affairs in the College, is the inaugural chair holder. He plans to use the annual funds he receives as chair to boost outreach efforts—helping to build interest in the program among southern Arizona's youth—and also to build leadership and technical skills among current students to increase their chances for success.
"I am so appreciative of this meaningful gift," said Dr. Tong, who has served the College in faculty and administrative positions for the past 30 years. "Students are the most important ingredient in the College of Pharmacy because they're our future practitioners. We have tremendous capabilities here already, and this funding will help to take our program—and our students—to the next level."
The UA's College of Pharmacy is one of only two pharmacy programs in Arizona, and the only one at an Arizona public university. Training approximately 450 students seeking master's and doctoral degrees annually, the College is also home to one of the first pharmacoeconomics programs in the nation, and to the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center.
"The new endowed chair that Ken has established is a boon to the College," stated College of Pharmacy Dean J. Lyle Bootman. "This gift will help us continue to pursue our mission of providing outstanding education and services to our students. To that end, Ted Tong is the perfect choice to be the first chair holder."
In addition to establishing the R. Ken Coit Endowed Chair, Mr. Coit has supported Drachman Hall, which houses the R. Ken Coit Student Services Center of the College of Pharmacy.
The UA College of Pharmacy is one of the premier pharmacy schools in the nation, ranked 10th among pharmacy programs in America's Best Graduate Schools by the U.S. News and World Report. Its mission is to improve health through education, research and practice by providing society with innovative professionals and scientists. Learn more about the College at pharmacy.arizona.edu.
The University of Arizona Foundation is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing the University of Arizona. Managing an existing asset base of more than $600 million, the UA Foundation has helped generate more than $2 billion in private funding to support the University. Learn more about the Foundation at uafoundation.org.