University of South Carolina

Lou and William Kennedy at Friday's announcement.
Lou and William Kennedy at Friday's announcement.

$30 million pharmacy gift will create special center


Two University of South Carolina alumni with a desire to transform pharmacy education and practice are making a $30 million gift to the university's South Carolina College of Pharmacy, the second-largest in the university's history.

Announced September 17 by University President Harris Pastides, the gift is from USC alumni William and Lou Kennedy of Orlando, Fla., and will establish The William P. and Lou W. Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center.

The center will serve as a home for collaborative research and education that will bring together the nation's top minds in entrepreneurship, health sciences, communications and other disciplines with leading pharmacy practice faculty.

Pastides said the Kennedys' gift will assure that their alma mater will set the new benchmarks for pharmacy science and practice in the 21st century.

"Philanthropy is essential to the success of our university, and we are deeply appreciative of every gift to Carolina," he said. "However, some gifts have the potential to fundamentally alter teaching, research and the way we prepare our students. This is one of those gifts. The Kennedys' enormous generosity will establish the South Carolina College of Pharmacy as a leader in pharmacy science and practice."

Specific details of the center will be worked out by an oversight committee, but plans call for an endowed chair, fellowships for faculty, a lecture series, student scholarships, specialized training and additional entrepreneurial courses and certification for students.

A third of the gift will come to the university in cash over 10 years to fund the operation of the center. The remaining two-thirds will come as a bequest to endow the center.

Lou Kennedy, a Lexington native, earned her bachelor's degree from USC's College of Journalism in 1984. William "Bill" Kennedy earned his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the USC College of Pharmacy in 1966. He has achieved a reputation as an innovator in health care and pharmaceutical delivery.

As longtime supporters of USC and the College of Pharmacy, the Kennedys said the extraordinary donation, the largest ever to the SCCP and the second-largest to a pharmacy school in the country, was a natural decision for them.

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