Pharma exec donates $100M to UNC pharmacy school

Posted December 3, 2014

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Wednesday received its largest individual donation ever, a $100 million commitment to its Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

The pledge from Fred Eshelman, a 1972 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate who founded both Pharmaceutical Product Development and Furiex Pharmaceuticals, will help create the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, providing faculty with new resources to engage in research and teaching, with the goal of spurring economic development.

"Collaborative public-private investments like this new institute will drive the future of innovation at Carolina," Chancellor Carol Folt said in a statement. "Thanks to Dr. Eshelman’s vision and generosity, we can pursue three critical components of the university’s overarching mission: to continue to attract the very best faculty and students from around the world who have a passion to innovate, to fuel economic development arising from their discoveries in an exciting learning environment and to educate the next generation of leaders to be innovative and competitive.”

The gift also is the largest donation ever to a U.S. pharmacy school, according to UNC-Chapel Hill.

"The Eshelman Institute for Innovation provides us with the ability to pursue high-risk, high-reward ideas with partners on campus and to push those ideas out into the world as advancements in education, pharmacy practice and health care,” pharmacy school Dean Robert Blouin said in a statement.

Eshelman previously donated $38 million to the pharmacy school, which was renamed for him in 2008. His other gifts have supported drug discovery efforts, cancer research, scholarships, faculty positions and pharmacy education, practice and research programs.

"I am inspired by the work being done by students, faculty and staff in the School of Pharmacy," he said in a statement. "Their success demonstrates the power and the future of drug discovery in academia, and it’s a future that I am eager and proud to support.”

The Eshelman School of Pharmacy ranks second nationwide among pharmacy schools in terms of federal research funding, including grants from the National Institutes of Health. The school also has spun off 19 technology companies.


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  • runsracks2 Dec 4, 2014

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    If that is your contention, I wonder why you haven't gone to chem school or med school and started a company that pays what you think is fair and offers developed drugs for what you think is fair. If you can do better, you can put every rx company in the country out of business. However, you won't commit the work and risk your time and treasure to make big things happen, so your opinion on what other people EARN for their hard work is really, like you most likely, irrelevant. If you are scraping for pennies you need to work harder and make better decisions, not worry about how much the "rich" make. They are the ones who give almost ALL of the significant money to ALL charities. If they are wrong, you can put them out of business, if you are willing to EARN that...

  • HeelFan4Life4 Dec 3, 2014

    Seems UNC is handling things quite well. I'm sure that is upsetting to some!

  • USMC Vet Dec 3, 2014

    THIS is why our prescriptions in the US are so expensive - paying an exec so much money the amass a fortune they can donate this much to anyone or anything while the rest of us count coins for our NEEDED prescriptions is disgusting!!!

  • sportznutv2.11 Dec 3, 2014

    [url][/url]Dr. Fred Eshleman is donor

  • moomoo Dec 3, 2014

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    As we know, many times a donor wishes to remain anonymous. This may be the case here, but, hey, does it really matter who the donor is since its private funding and not tax payer(s) funds? Maybe to some it does matter. To each his/her own.

  • Eq Videri Dec 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Correction: Their largest gift ever could be forthcoming from the NCAA.

  • j9us Dec 3, 2014

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    If the shoe fits, wear it. Unfortunately the entire school is tainted by the egregious academic fraud committed in AFAM for the benefit of illiterate athletes...

  • Marley Higgins Dec 3, 2014
    user avatar

    "I'm sick of people bringing up the scandal." - h_unc

    well then, seems to be 2 options. 1, invent a time machine, go back in time and prevent unc chumps from making those INCREDIBLY bad decisions. 2, stop reading articles about chapel hole.

    it's never going to stop, and it shouldn't. unc people hold up the university as a shining beacon, and it turns out it's rotten at the core, spitting in the face of it's own educational values. tear it down and rebuild from the ground up, I say...

  • bogeys Dec 3, 2014

    They should also get a gift from Jim Martin this year. After all, he received a sizable payout from the university for doing nothing (other than possibly attempting to put the stamp of approval on more than a decade of fraud).

  • H_UNC Dec 3, 2014

    I'm sick of people bringing up the scandal. Read the article! This is for the pharmacy school! A top-ranked school with really no ties to athletics.