Family donates $1 million for new pharmacy school in Miss.

January 16, 2015

William Carey University in Mississippi recently received a $1 million donation to help fund a new pharmacy school set to open in about three years.

William Carey University (WCU) in Mississippi recently received a $1 million donation to help fund a new pharmacy school set to open in about three years.

According to a report in the Hattiesburg American, the gift from Joe F. Sanderson Jr. and his wife, Kathy, is the largest gift from an individual in the school’s history. Sanderson is the CEO of Sanderson Farms, the third-largest poultry producer in the United States. The couple also donated $100,000 for a physical therapy doctorate program at the university.

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"I cannot overstress the importance of this gift. It will be used for start-up costs, but will also serve as a challenge to others interested in this project [the pharmacy school] to come forward, now that they know it will be a reality," Tommy King, WCU’s president, told the newspaper.

Last year, WCU announced it needed to raise $4 million to start the pharmacy school. Right now, Mississippi has only one pharmacy school (at the University of Mississippi), which accepts only 115 students annually.  

The proposed school also received $125,000 from the Leo W. Seal Family Foundation. In addition to the $4 million for start-up costs, WCU has said that it needs to raise between $12 million and $15 million to construct the pharmacy school.

King expects WCU to add about 25 faculty and staff members specifically for the pharmacy school.