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College of Pharmacy renamed after $50 million philanthropic donation

The College of Pharmacy was renamed to the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy after a $50 million donation by alumnus, entrepreneur and philanthropist R. Ken Coit. Courtesy photo by Kyle Mittan.

The University of Arizona has renamed the College of Pharmacy to the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy after a $50 million donation by alumnus, entrepreneur and philanthropist R. Ken Coit. 

The money will fund the establishment of six endowed chairs, four endowed professorships and 42 new scholarships for the college’s pharmacy and Ph.D. programs. A news release from the university said that the money will also “fund strategic investments in the form of research equipment and facility upgrades.”

Money from the donation has already been used to build an addition to the college’s museum, which is now called the Coit Museum of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

The name change for the college, which was ranked No. 7 in the nation by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, was first announced at a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 5 at 9 a.m. at the UA medical campus. Speakers at the ceremony included UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins, UA Foundation President and CEO John-Paul Roczniak, College of Pharmacy Dean Rick G. Schnellmann, Ph.D. and donor Coit.

“Ken has put his heart and soul into this college,” said Roczniak. 

According to the website of the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, “Coit graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1967, but practiced pharmacy for just three years before beginning a career in investing and financial planning.” 

Coit also sits on the college’s national advisory board and has made a number of donations to the university, including a $1 million donation to the College of Pharmacy in 2012. The university news release stated that “Over the past 49 years and including this new gift, Coit has donated and pledged more than $68 million to support pharmacy education at the university.”

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