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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Drachman Hall creates place for public health

    Roy P. Drachman Hall, the first newly constructed academic building at the Arizona Health Sciences Center in more than 20 years, was dedicated Friday before a crowd of nearly 300 people.

    President Peter Likins emceed the event and noted that without Drachman’s contributions through ideas, donations and advocacy for health sciences, much of the UA’s success would not be possible.

    “”Some of us will remember Roy Drachman for his ideas. Some of us will remember him for his generosity. All of us will remember him as a friend,”” Likins said. “”We will miss him immensely. But he put so much of himself into our community and into the university that he can never seem too far away.””

    A Navajo blessing to protect the building and to find new cures for health problems was given by Avery Denny, a professor of holistic medicine at DinǸ College, the first tribally owned college in the U.S.

    Drachman Hall is the first permanent home for the College of Public Health, which has been spread over 22 different sites within a five-mile area of central Tucson since its inception six years ago.

    Not only is Drachman Hall a step up for the College of Public Health, it is also a step up for the College of Pharmacy, which taught classes in barracks near Bear Down Gymnasium in the 1950s, said J. Lyle Bootman, dean of the College of Pharmacy.

    “”We remember our ramshackle roots that make this building a tremendous gift,”” Bootman said. “”This building will help us finalize that ‘Lute Olson championship of basketball’ to overtake UC-San Francisco.””

    The UA College of Pharmacy is often ranked second or third nationally and the University of California-San Francisco is ranked first among pharmacy colleges, Bootman said.

    Drachman Hall is also the new home of the Arizona Poison Control and Drug Information Center, which answers more than 250 poison toxicology cases a day, Bootman said.

    “”Roy was generally one of the nicest persons I’ve ever met,”” Bootman said. “”He was always excited to talk about the College of Pharmacy and how proud he was of our accomplishments.””

    Having students and faculty under one roof will foster creativity and collaboration that was previously impossible because of how spread out the college was before, said Lori Vanbuggenum, a graduate student pursuing a master’s in public health.

    “”I feel official now because we have a home,”” Vanbuggenum said.

    Vanbuggenum said she hopes students will learn more about what the College of Public Health does because of the new building.

    “”Public health ensures the health of populations. Motor-vehicle safety, seat belts, obesity, malnutrition, global health concerns; this is what we address as students and as a college,”” Vanbuggenum said.

    The aesthetics of Drachman Hall make students proud to be in the College of Public Health and give students a feeling of legitimization, said Ralyn Strong, a public health senior.

    “”The warmer opposing colors in the classrooms makes you feel important as a student,”” Strong said. “”It really is beautiful.””

    Drachman Hall has video conferencing capabilities, projectors on each wall, surround sound and buildingwide wireless, putting the building technologically on par with the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center, said Bethany Crum, an interdisciplinary studies junior with a public health focus.

    “”This building provides more of an identity to our college, and it gives public health more visibility,”” Crum said.

    Student-guided tours of Drachman Hall were free to those in attendance and Mexican, Italian and Chinese food and music were provided by Mariachi Los Diablitos Sunnyside.

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