Brookshire Grocery Co. a lead donor for UT Tyler pharmacy school

Published on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 22:51 - Written by EMILY GUEVARA

The Brookshire Grocery Co. has made a lead gift to construct the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy at The University of Texas at Tyler.

The company’s board of directors approved the gift to be used toward the construction of the $22.5 million facility, according to a university news release.

The college will name the facility the W.T. Brookshire Pharmacy Building in recognition of the donation. 

Brookshire’s President and CEO Rick Rayford said the company made this investment to honor its founder, enhance Tyler’s educational opportunities and positively impact the city’s economy and community.

“Members of BGC’s Board of Directors are pleased to make this donation, which will undoubtedly have a positive impact for years to come,” he said, according to the news release.

The pharmacy school is almost 10 years in the making but has cleared significant milestones in the past year to make it a reality.

This includes the Texas Legislature passing a bill to authorize its creation, Gov. Rick Perry signing the bill, and the UT System Board of Regents officially establishing the college. In addition, UT Tyler hired Dr. Lane J. Brunner as the founding dean for the school.

UT Tyler President Dr. Rod Mabry said in an email that the university plans to break ground on the building in the spring.

The expected completion date is May 2015. The school is planning to accept the first class of students in fall 2015.

Private donations such as the one from Brookshire’s and the UT System’s Revenue Financing System will initially fund the construction. Pharmacy student tuition will cover whatever debt remains over a 25- to 30-year period.

Mabry said the Brookshire gift gives the university the “added financial capability to design, construct and equip the best building possible to successfully fulfill the pharmacy college’s mission.”

That mission is to produce highly capable retail, clinical and research pharmacists and to conduct research that leads to new pharmaceuticals and better knowledge of how to use them, Mabry said.