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ISU receives $14 million to renovate, rename the College of Pharmacy

POCATELLO - April 20, 2022
 
Idaho State University has received a multi-million dollar gift to renovate the College of Pharmacy’s 80-year-old Leonard Hall. The ALSAM Foundation’s $14 million gift is the largest ever one-time donation received by Idaho State, and it will fund the majority of the construction project.

The building name will remain unchanged, honoring the founding dean of the college, Eugeene O Leonard. The renovation will focus on replacing research labs with new, state-of-the-art technology, add student learning spaces, and support a growing graduate program in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences. The project received approval from the Idaho State Board of Education in April 2022. 

“This gift allows our College of Pharmacy to continue its 100-year tradition of providing a high-quality education,” President Kevin Satterlee said. “As the state’s designated health science university, we will continue to meet an ever-growing demand for a highly trained and skilled workforce. This will build on and foster our statewide leadership in health science education.” 

The latest gift brings The ALSAM Foundation’s combined total giving to more than $26 million, making The ALSAM Foundation the University’s largest donor. To recognize their history of support for Idaho State, the college will be renamed to the L. S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy. Idaho State’s L.S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy places the program among an elite and distinguished list of schools of pharmacy that bear the Skaggs Family name, including University of Utah, University of Montana, University of Colorado, University of Arizona, and University of California, San Diego.

“The ALSAM Foundation is pleased to partner with Idaho State University in the renovation of Leonard Hall,” said Ronny Cutshall of The ALSAM Foundation. “The renovation will elevate the ability of the college to educate future pharmacists and to carry out medical research.”

Idaho State’s pharmacy program began with three students in 1920. The program was originally housed in the basement of Swanson Hall, the University’s first building, and eventually moved to Leonard Hall in 1943. 

In 2000, the College of Pharmacy expanded its classrooms and labs to the Treasure Valley to meet a growing statewide need for trained pharmacists. In the Treasure Valley, the College of Pharmacy is housed in the Sam and Aline Skaggs Health Science Center. In 2016, Idaho State partnered with the University of Alaska, Anchorage to expand the College of Pharmacy to Alaska. 

“Prospective students consider many factors when choosing a college of pharmacy, including the physical facilities,” said ISU College of Pharmacy Dean Walter Fitzgerald. “State-of-the-art labs attract future students and provide space for research that betters our communities. The new space will house faculty from both pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice departments, and it sets the stage for continuing a program where discoveries in the lab translate into better health care for our communities. We are truly grateful to The ALSAM Foundation for this gift as we embark on the next 100 years in the College of Pharmacy.” 

Student success has been a primary focus of The ALSAM Foundation, which includes providing state-of-the-art facilities that allows students to participate in cutting edge research. The ALSAM Foundation is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was established by L.S. “Sam” and Aline Skaggs. Along with its educational support mission, The ALSAM Foundation supports medical research, human services, habitat conservation, and Catholic organizations and charities. 

“The generous support of The ALSAM Foundation was critical to moving forward with this important project,” said Satterlee. “Modernizing our College of Pharmacy will positively impact current and future students, provide the right teaching and research spaces for our faculty, and it will better the lives of all Idahoans.”

The nearly $21 million construction project is expected to begin in spring 2023, with a scheduled completion in 2025.

Kasiska Division of Health Sciences - Learn more about the Kasiska family legacy and impact