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PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Robert B. Wegman has donated $5 million to be used for the creation of the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher College.
It is the largest such gift in the college's history. The pharmacy school, expected to open in fall 2006 with an inaugural class of up to 50 students, will be the first of its kind in New York's Monroe County and the fifth in New York State.
For the past two years, Fisher College has been exploring the viability of establishing a pharmacy school to help alleviate the projected shortfall of qualified pharmacists for the communities and hospitals in Central and Western New York. The college says Wegman's gift will allow the college to move forward with the plan.
"Like so many categories of health care professionals, there are simply not enough pharmacists," Wegman, chairman of Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., said in a statement. "This will help to address that issue, while investing in a local institution with a reputation for excellence. I was especially pleased to learn that St. John Fisher College students often stay in the Rochester area after graduating, and that certainly benefits our community."
Initially, Fisher will accept students for the doctor of pharmacy degree. The college is also considering adding a B.S. degree in pharmaceutical technology to its roster of program study.
"St. John Fisher College has always had a strong curriculum in the sciences and health professions," said Dr. Donald E. Bain, interim president. "The new Wegmans School of Pharmacy will position the college as a major resource in the growing biomedical/health services sector of the Rochester community."