More Than 2,700 Alumni and Friends Gave $26 Million to Support the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy

February 06, 2017

Today the University of Iowa and the University of Iowa Foundation announced the successful conclusion of For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa. More than 272,000 UI alumni and friends contributed $1.975 billion, surpassing the $1.7 billion goal, to help the UI remain at the forefront of education, research, health care, and athletics.

More than 2,700 donors contributed a total of $26 million to the UI College of Pharmacy, surpassing its $25.5 million goal. Donors gave to support a variety of initiatives, including the new College of Pharmacy building, student scholarships, faculty positions, and programs.   

“I am incredibly grateful to each and every donor for investing in our college. Their scholarship, research, facility, or programmatic support is vital in helping the UI College of Pharmacy sustain its top-tier ranking, and to raise the bar to even greater heights,” says Dean Donald Letendre.   

The campaign has benefited students, faculty, and programs throughout the College of Pharmacy, including Aliasger K. Salem, whose goal is to save lives. The Lyle and Sharon Bighley Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences runs a University of Iowa lab that is conducting groundbreaking research—including work on a melanoma vaccine and bone regeneration—that will help revolutionize health care.

“I am grateful to be the recipient of a named professorship—created through the generosity of donors Lyle and Sharon Bighley—that gives me the resources necessary to work closely with my students in pursuing research. I chose to come to the University of Iowa because of its high-quality students and faculty—and because it fosters an environment in which investigators can collaborate,” says Salem, who is a professor in the UI College of Pharmacy and head of the Division of Pharmaceutics and Translational Therapeutics. 

James A. Otterbeck is a UI alumnus who wants to help patients with chronic pain and at the last stages of their lives. The field of hospice and palliative care is a fast-growing specialty in health care and Otterbeck’s vision is to focus on the education, training, and research arenas. He chose to invest in the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy to “establish the nation’s first teaching position focused on hospice and palliative care and to ultimately create a world-class UI specialty.”

James Ray, who holds the James A. Otterbeck Patient Care Professorship in Hospice and Palliative Care, feels that “all healthcare professionals, especially pharmacists, must be engaged in this important work –to relieve the suffering of our fellow man and to walk with them until the end.” Otterbeck’s gift will help the UI College of Pharmacy take the lead in preparing health-care professionals to provide holistic end-of-life care. As a result, the college has since launched its first-ever certificate program—the Palliative Care Certificate, which aims to address the shortage of clinically-trained pharmacists with basic knowledge in palliative care.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the UI, and its mission is to promote the UI’s commitment to excellence through engagement and philanthropy.

For more information, please read the press release or visit the UI Foundation website.