Skills laboratory critical to students’ training included in plans
The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy is launching an $8 million capital campaign to support renovations in one of its main buildings, preparing the facility to meet the needs of pharmacy students for years to come.
The Faser Capital Campaign will attract funds to refurbish Faser Hall, home to faculty offices, research laboratories and a skills lab for students. The first and second floors of the building remain much as they appeared when first constructed in 1969.
“Our pharmacy students deserve a state-of-the-art facility so that we can take our skills training to a higher level,” said David D. Allen, the school’s dean. “We have an exciting opportunity to provide them with just that through the renovation of Faser Hall and through support from the Faser Capital Campaign.”
On a recent site visit from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the first and second floors of Faser were described as being in “desperate need” of an upgrade.
“Though the school was fully reaccredited, it is time for us to address this substandard building space,” Allen said. “We have developed plans that will completely revamp our skills laboratory, as well as other key areas of the building.”
Founded in 1908, the UM School of Pharmacy has evolved into one of the most productive and highest-ranked pharmacy schools in the country. It has produced both practicing pharmacists and renowned researchers.
The 78,600-square-foot Faser Hall was opened and named for Henry Minor Faser, the pharmacy school’s founding dean. In 2002, a 10,000-square-foot addition was constructed at the back of the building, and an extensive renovation of the third and fourth floors is nearing completion.
Many pharmacy students agree that the space can be improved.
“Skills training is so important to pharmacy education today, and it is an area that I truly enjoy learning more about,” said Lacey Gilmore, a Sebastopol native in her second professional year of pharmacy school. “It is easy to see that our current labs are outdated. An upgraded lab would be extremely beneficial to future students and would help them further strengthen their hands-on skills.”
Attracting private funds for the renovation project is a top priority for school and university leadership. Among them is Raina McClure, director of development for the pharmacy school, who is working with a committee composed of faculty, staff, alumni and friends to help raise the $8 million. McClure is also visiting with individual donors to create a campaign structure that will help raise the needed funds.
“Support is critical to provide a better environment for current and future pharmacy students because the pharmacy school increased its class size from 95 to 115 in fall 2012,” McClure said. “The renovation must be completed by August 2014 to meet the school’s growing enrollment. Gifts to the Faser Capital Campaign will ensure that we meet this timeline and can adequately provide for our students.” — Erin Garrett, Ole Miss News Desk