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$10 million gift makes it a 'landmark day' for USF's pharmacy college

Members of the Taneja family, pictured here at an October gala honoring their philanthropy, have given $10 million through their foundation to the University of South Florida's pharmacy college. They are, from left: Jugal, Manju, Supriya, Rhianna and Mihir. [Times (2018)]
Members of the Taneja family, pictured here at an October gala honoring their philanthropy, have given $10 million through their foundation to the University of South Florida's pharmacy college. They are, from left: Jugal, Manju, Supriya, Rhianna and Mihir. [Times (2018)]
Published Aug. 16, 2019

The University of South Florida's College of Pharmacy has received the largest donation ever made to a pharmacy school in Florida, USF officials announced Friday.

The $10 million gift came from the Taneja Family Foundation, according to a news release, and will result in a name change. The school will be known as the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy.

The money will allow the college to move into in the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute facility, currently under construction in downtown Tampa. The building is scheduled to open later this year with pharmacy students expected to start classes there in fall 2021.

RELATED STORY: USF medical school reckons with $1.7 million cut in state spending

"This is a landmark day for the University of South Florida and our College of Pharmacy," the new USF president Steve Currall said in a statement. "The Tanejas are investing in our vision to build a world-class health care system that will benefit generations to come. We are incredibly grateful for their passion for education, their generosity and for the transformative impact they will make on the lives of so many in the future."

The university's pharmacy college began in 2009 and was established by the Florida Board of Governors. It welcomed its first class in August 2011.

Today, the college enrolls 100 new students every year for its PharmD program, which leads to a pharmacy doctorate in seven years, and has expanded to include master's degrees.

RELATED STORY: The VA wants to take better care of its female patients, with help from USF center

Philanthropists Jugal and Manju Taneja live in and operate their own pharmaceutical business in Largo. They have been the benefactors of several health-related expansions in Tampa Bay, including part of the Taneja Center for Innovative Surgery, a $256 million expansion of a patient tower at the AdventHealth Tampa hospital last year.

"Jugal and Manju support philanthropic efforts across this region and are keenly aware that their gift supports more than brick and mortar, but also innovative approaches to pharmacy education, research and clinical care," said Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

Lockwood's statement continued: "We are honored they chose us for their gift. We are also thrilled that the Taneja College of Pharmacy will move into our new facility in downtown Tampa, sharing intellectual and innovative space with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, our heart institute, and our close partner Tampa General Hospital. Imagine the possibilities with these programs under one roof."

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

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