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College of Pharmacy receives $5.25 million gift from Utah’s ALSAM Foundation

April 20, 2007

Idaho State University’s College of Pharmacy has received a $5 million gift from The ALSAM Foundation to acquire more teaching and research space in the Treasure Valley and an additional $250,000 in pharmacy scholarships for minority students, ISU and ALSAM officials announced today.Skaggs

“With tremendous pride, I accept these gifts on behalf of Idaho State University and the College of Pharmacy,” said ISU President Arthur C. Vailas, PhD. “These generous donations from The ALSAM Foundation will serve as a catalyst in our efforts to provide quality education and fulfill our commitment to expand health-care education programs in the Treasure Valley.”

The ALSAM Foundation, a charitable organization based in Salt Lake City, is named in honor of L.S. “Sam” Skaggs and wife, Aline, who both have deep roots in Idaho. The foundation supports a variety of causes and organizations, and is committed to improving the lives of people around the world.

“The ALSAM Foundation and the Skaggs family look forward to embarking on a partnership and association with Idaho State University and the College of Pharmacy,” said Ronny L. Cutshall, foundation president. “We are confident that with these gifts the College of Pharmacy will improve the lives of many people through education and research.”

The $5 million gift is the largest single donation in the 89-year history of the College of Pharmacy, which is nationally recognized for training outstanding pharmacists who consistently place in the top 10 percent of pharmacy students taking their licensure exam.

“We are Idaho’s pharmacy college and we take this responsibility very seriously – striving to provide opportunities in pharmacy education to the entire state,” said Joseph F. Steiner, PharmD, College of Pharmacy dean.  “With the severe shortage of pharmacists

today, it is important that we have sufficient numbers to meet Idaho’s demands for this important health-care provider. We currently offer the last two years of our four-year curriculum in Boise and have about a third of our faculty located here. The $5 million gift from The ALSAM Foundation will make it possible for us to offer our entire curriculum in the Treasure Valley.”

The $250,000 slated for pharmacy scholarships for minority students will be distributed in $50,000 increments annually, beginning in the fall of 2007.

ISU will apply the $5 million gift toward the purchase of approximately 102,000 square feet of the former Jabil Circuit building, owned by the Meridian School District and the home of the district’s new administrative offices.  ISU intends to renovate its portion of the building and move its Treasure Valley-based health-science programs to the site, beginning in fall 2008. The section, which will house pharmacy, will be named in honor of L.S. “Sam” Skaggs, according to university officials.

On April 19, the Idaho State Board of Education granted ISU permission to proceed with the purchase of the building.

ISU currently spends approximately $1 million a year on leases covering 55,000 square feet of classroom, office and instructional space in the Treasure Valley – including about 50,000 square feet at the main ISU-Boise complex at 12301 W. Explorer Drive.     

Consolidating programs under one roof will allow ISU to apply the leasing fees toward the purchase and renovation of the former Jabil building, said Kenneth Prolo, ISU vice president for financial services.


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