Charles F. Cooper ’65 Challenge – A Message From His Daughter

Christy Cooper Whitlock, daughter of Charles F. Cooper, is one of many who are working hard to support the MUSC Pharmacy Building the Future Campaign. Ultimately, Christy, her husband and her siblings have fostered the Cooper Challenge to help raise funds for the new building.

Hear her intruiging story:

As Charles F. Cooper’s daughter, I could sense his voice whispering in my ear to help, but I had no idea how to make his wish a reality given the economic climate. Where was the money going to come from? Then, I had two amazing encounters with people who revealed to me what I could do to help see this dream become a reality:

First, I met a student who was about to graduate from pharmacy school in Charleston. He was at the start of his career with his entire future ahead of him. Disregarding the fact that he had school loans to pay off from his priceless education at the College of Pharmacy, he took out a $100,000 life insurance policy on himself and gifted it to the Building Campaign! This is something I could have seen my father doing at his age. This began to show me what was possible.

Then, I had a second amazing encounter when I met Lou and Bill Kennedy at a breakfast reception at the University of South Carolina. After Ray Tanner, USC’s baseball coach, spoke at the reception, the Kennedy’s addressed the group about their incredible gift to the USC campus. I was again floored by their astounding $30 million gift to establish the Kennedy Center for Pharmacy Innovation at USC. When I heard about the gift and how they made it a reality, I knew I could do something similar, but maybe with a few less zeros!

After these two experiences, I spoke to my husband, called on my siblings, spoke to Megan and prayed. We came up with a plan that would fit our present financial situation to ultimately make a gift to the beloved College that my family is so happy to support. We made my father’s wish a reality. I gave not expecting anything in return, but have found that so much has been coming back to us! My husband and I have always been supporters of mission work, other charities, etc. But this was a totally different kind of giving for us. Throughout this journey, I have realized that the act of giving is the same no matter what you are giving, as long as your heart is in it.

I encourage each of you to see what “fits” into your life today. Please remember, any gift – of any size – makes a difference.

Are you up to the Challenge?


A note from the Class of 2012 President to Classmates

Hi everyone,

For those of you who were not able to attend the brief meeting with Megan Draper after Grand Rounds last Wednesday, I wanted to emphasize a few of the things that were discussed.

First, the goal this year is to maximize participation.  Last year’s graduating class donated a significant amount of money; good for them. I applaud their willingness to help provide for better facilities for the future students. I think it’s fantastic. This isn’t a competition with their class; this is our chance to make our mark, on our terms. We can do that. I don’t look at this as “giving back”- I paid for the education I got from MUSC, and I’m gonna be paying back the money I paid for quite a few years. I see this as our way to keep MUSC as one of the destinations of choice for exceptional students.  We’re protecting our legacy, the name on our diploma, by giving MUSC the resources to attract and educate the best and brightest. Our expectation, in turn, should be that MUSC continue to turn out graduates like ourselves. And we have a chance to help make sure that can happen. This is more important than ever, now that pharmacy schools are springing up like weeds after a rainstorm. Other places may not offer the education that we received, but they can offer shiny, pretty buildings and fancy lecture halls, and those things matter too. I had the opportunity to visit South University in Savannah while on rotation in January- they had huge lecture suites, no cramped seating, no broken chairs. I can’t speak to the education the students were getting, but I can say that they were doing it with a level of comfort that only about 8 of us got to experience on a daily basis.

Second, it isn’t really about how much money we pledge to give. Every dime will be appreciated, I’m sure, and put to good use.  But what’s more important is momentum. Sometimes people need to see that the charity that they want to give money to is worthwhile. What better way to show somebody that the future of Pharmacy at MUSC is worthwhile than by showing them how important it is to us? If a donor sees that we care enough about where we are now to chip in a little cash towards making things better for those who come after us, that might encourage them to pull the trigger.  It might turn $1000 into $10,000; it might turn $1M into $1.5M.  It happened last year. A donor was so impressed with the commitment shown by the class last year that they made a huge donation. Now imagine Megan telling a donor that our class thought this was so important that ALL of us threw in some cash. It doesn’t have to be much, it doesn’t have to hurt a bit. No party involved thinks that we’ll be instant millionaires upon graduation; most of us have obligations that have to be met. Houses, cars, all the things you’ve been dreaming about to get you through the drudgery of studying for another test, or one more journal club.  Nobody wants to take that away from you. Just give what you can, be it $10 or $10,000. I plan to, and I hope that you do as well.

And so I don’t get fussed at for not including a youtube video (who knew that was what you guys looked forward to?)-

Thanks for reading that wall of text, too. 😉

Chip Mathis

Pharm.D Candidate, 2012

President, Class of 2012


2011 in Review

South Carolina College of Pharmacy

The vision for the South Carolina College of Pharmacy is to be a top quality program similar to the Top 10 colleges of pharmacy in the country.  Below is an illustrative look at some areas of success in 2011, followed by an assessment of how we measure up against the Top 10 in the areas we feel are most indicative of quality.


  • Opened the Clyburn Research Center on the MUSC campus, in which pharmacy has several offices and labs along with classroom space and the magnificent new CVS  Caremark Pharmacy Practice Laboratory
  • Made major renovations on the USC campus pharmacy building including outfitting a classroom with outlets and internet access as well as push-to-talk microphones and a high resolution monitor
  • Opened a new site at the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS) campus
  • Recruited two more Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEE) SmartState endowed chairs to give us a total of five, on par with some of the country’s top pharmacy programs
  • Established the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center (KPIC) Lecture Series and named Barney’s Pharmacy in Augusta, Ga., as the first KPIC  Practice Partner; the College and Barney’s also established a community pharmacy residency


  • Increased funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to more than $10 million, placing us among the top 15 in the country, and the percent of PhD faculty with NIH funding is third best in the nation
  • Implemented a new curriculum with a more integrated course approach 

National Honors for Students

  • Liz O’Hara ’12 from the MUSC campus was named recently as a Walmart/Pharmacy Times RESPy award winner. The RESPy  (respect, excellence, and service in pharmacy) is a national award given to only 10 students each year
  • The USC campus Student National Pharmacy Association Chapter winning the 2011 Chauncey I. Cooper Chapter Excellence Award as the country’s top chapter; Nikko Ware also was presented with “Rite Aid Community Leader of the Year” and a $7,500 scholarship

National Honors for Alumni

  • Col. (Ret) Mike Heath MUSC ’74, chairman of the campaign to build a new pharmacy building for MUSC, has been named interim head of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Federal Pharmacy Program
  • Alumnus Col. Everett McAllister USC ‘84  winning the American Pharmacists Association’s (APhA) 2011 Distinguished Federal Pharmacist Award

National Honors for Faculty

  • Professor Rick Schnellmann is the co-principal investigator on a $10.5 million grant to launch the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Oxidants, Redox Balance and Stress Signaling
  • Assistant professor Brandon Bookstaver winning the 2011 New Educator Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacy


Building the Future of Pharmacy Campaign,  MUSC campus

  • The Charles F. Cooper ’65 Challenge was launched by a generous $1.5 million gift from the Cooper family, thanks to Christy Cooper Whitlock ’90, with husband David, and Gary Cooper, with wife Kelly, and Gina Cooper
  • James Hodges ’71 responded to the Cooper Challenge with a $10,000 gift given through the fall phonathon.
  • Recent year-end gifts moving us forward included a $50,000 commitment from North Carolina Mutual Wholesale Drug Company to name a Student Study Room in the new building.

Carolina’s Promise Campaign,  USC campus

  • USC launched its largest ever capital campaign with the $1 billion Carolina’s Promise
  • The campaign supports USC’s strategic plan, Focus Carolina, which has articulated a clear path to cement the University’s place among the elite through sustained academic quality
  • The College’s responsibility is to raise $40 million, of which $32 has been raised thanks to Carolina Promise Pharmacy Co-Chairs Bill and Lou Kennedy and the $30 million they gave to establish the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center
  • Special thanks to our generous corporate sponsors who supported pharmacy student activities in 2011 on the MUSC campus
    • CVS/CAREMARK: sponsor of the ASP Back to School Party, PLS Etiquette Dinner, Orientation Lunch and White Coat Ceremony and Reception
    • FRED’S : sponsor of the MUSC campus Awards and Hooding Ceremony
    • NORTH CAROLINA MUTUAL: sponsors of the Book Bags for the P-3 class
    • RITE AID: sponsor of MUSC Spring Banquet, SCCP Spring Social, and PLS Initiation and Awards Ceremony
    • TARGET: sponsor of Rho Chi CV Workshop and SGA Health Fair
    • WALGREENS: sponsor of CPFI Haiti Compounding and Shoeboxes, SNPhA National Pharmacy Week Celebration, Kappa Psi Shrimpin’ for Charity, and AHA Heart Walk. Walgreens also committed $10,000/campus for Diversity Committee activities and scholarships.
    • WALMART: sponsor of the College’s Cooper River Bridge Run packet pick-up and reception, Student Government Leadership Meeting, and Kappa Psi Turkey Fry


The College measures its key performance measures against the 14 colleges of pharmacy considered as being in the Top 10.[1]

The College exceeds most Top 10 Colleges in:

  • graduating student satisfaction (96 percent)
  • percent of research faculty who are NIH funded (third in the country)
  • private giving ($30 million gift in 2010 second highest in pharmacy education history)

The College is equivalent to most Top 10 Colleges in:

  • number of graduates going on to post-graduate residency programs
  • total NIH funding
  • faculty satisfaction
  • NAPLEX pass rates (the most recent rates indicate they are back up)

The College will improve in:

  • Publications per faculty member
  • Number of PhD students per research faculty member

In general, 2011 was a highly successful year for the College with many areas of growth and achievement. Our strategy for quality improvement appears to be on track in light of our key performance indicators and we will look to continue to excel in 2012.

[1] California-San Francisco, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Minnesota, Texas-Austin, Ohio State, Kentucky, Michigan, Washington, Purdue, Arizona, Florida, Illinois-Chicago, Maryland-Baltimore, Wisconsin-Madison


Dear alumnus…

The last time a student set foot in a new pharmacy building on the MUSC campus, the pharmaceutical industry was trying to figure out how to mass-produce a promising new drug: penicillin.

That’s how much pharmacy has changed since the current building was constructed more than 70 years ago. America had not yet entered World War II. It would be six months before the first patient was treated with U.S.-made penicillin …and that one patient would use up half the country’s total supply.

My father, Charles F. Cooper, was a proud graduate of the MUSC College of Pharmacy Class of 1965. He was committed to pharmacy education and passionate about helping people. He would want MUSC pharmacy students to have first-class facilities to go with the first-class education MUSC offers.

When MUSC announced a $30 million campaign for a new pharmacy building on campus, my siblings and I knew he would have taken a lead role in making it happen. In his memory, we have decided to make a lead gift of $1.5 million as a challenge grant in support of the Building the Future of Pharmacy Campaign.

I am writing today to ask for your support. Gary, Kelly, Gina, David and I are challenging all MUSC pharmacy alumni and friends to also make a gift of personal significance. With your help, we will be able to turn every donation, no matter how large or small, into a state-of-the-art facility sorely needed on our campus.

The new flagship building will be located on the corner of Bee Street and President Street in the heart of the MUSC campus. It will include more than 83,000 square feet of space, two lecture halls, reconfigurable classrooms, seminar rooms, student practice laboratories and research labs.

Over the years, the college has given many of us the ability to participate in a profession that we truly love. In turn, I feel that it is our privilege to give back.

If you want to support the fund, your pledge can be paid in installments over several years. For example, you could pay a $5,000 pledge over five years. Furthermore, any gift of more than $5,000 is associated with a naming opportunity in the new building — donors who make a pledge of $5,000 will have their name on a student lab workstation. For a complete list of naming opportunities, please visit

There are many ways to make your gift; you can set up your pledges to be automatically debited, paid by credit or billed for them, or you might consider a planned gift through your estate as I have. Go to and explore the (often tax-beneficial) ways you can give. Feel free to contact Megan Draper, director of development, at 843-792-4980 for more information.

Thank you for all you do. I hope you and your family are happy and well. Please know contributions of any amount are greatly appreciated. Your support is very important to our school.

With your help, we can turn this dream into a reality and each commitment into a million dollars!


Christy Cooper Whitlock, ’90


Pawley’s Island Family Issues Challenge Grant for South Carolina College of Pharmacy Facility

CHARLESTON ~ Charles F. Cooper had a big vision and a knack for getting things done. A pharmacist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, he had great influence on the pharmacy profession and in helping others through education and mentorship.

Although the Pawley’s Island resident died in 2001, he continues to shape the future of pharmacy in South Carolina.

With the signing of a $1.5 million deferred gift benefitting the new pharmacy building for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) campus of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, three of Charles Cooper’s children, Christy Cooper Whitlock ’90, with husband David, and Gary Cooper, with wife Kelly,  and Gina Cooper have issued the Charles F. Cooper ’65 Challenge for the Building the Future of Pharmacy fundraising campaign.

“Charles Cooper was committed to pharmacy, passionate about people, and knew how to make his investments count,” said Philip Hall, MUSC campus dean for the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP). “The Cooper family feels he would have valued investing in the new building and would have wanted to inspire others to support it as well. Their generous challenge grant will make that possible.”

The money raised in response to the Cooper Challenge will be added to the base challenge gift amount to name an area within the building after Charles Cooper.

“Our father could take a small investment and turn it into something great,” said Whitlock. “With the help of alumni and friends of MUSC pharmacy, we’ll be able to turn every donation, no matter how large or small, into a state of the art facility sorely needed to provide the kind of education today’s pharmacy student needs.”

The Whitlocks and Gary Cooper, along with sister Gina Cooper and brother Chuck Cooper, are founders of Winyah Pharmacy Solutions, which continued the tradition began by Charles Cooper when he opened the state’s first long term care pharmacy in 1967. Winyah is currently co-owned by Guardian Pharmacy and the Whitlocks, who have also partnered with Guardian on two other long term care pharmacies in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C. Gary Cooper, Gina Cooper and Chuck Cooper, along with other partners, recently bought back Palmetto Infusion, which they had sold to Infuscience, Inq. in 2007. Palmetto Infusion is an ambulatory infusion center company with eight locations throughout South Carolina.

A native of Kingstree, S.C., Charles Cooper began his career at Reynolds Drug Store as a pharmacy intern. In 1966, he founded the pharmacy at Georgetown Memorial Hospital and subsequently founded several other pharmacies and services throughout the state and the Southeast. He was well-known and respected in the pharmacy profession, winning “Entrepreneur of the Year for Health Care” in 1993 and South Carolina “Pharmacist of the Year” in 1981, and he was active at MUSC, serving on the MUSC College of Pharmacy Advisory Board and the university’s Health Sciences Foundation.

In 1993, he created a scholarship fund at MUSC so that future generations of pharmacy students could obtain opportunities he had come to enjoy through his education there. He and his wife, Carol Cooper, had begun funding the College of Pharmacy’s first endowed chair when he passed away in August 2001, before the chair could become fully endowed. In 2005, the Cooper family decided to mark the 40th anniversary of Charles’s graduation by fully endowing the fund he had begun. The Carol and Charles Cooper Endowed Chair of Pharmacy is Charles Smith, who has formed a drug screening core that contains chemical libraries with 50,000 compounds. Using this screening core, Smith and another colleague identified compounds which inhibit PIM kinases enzymes which are over-expressed in cancer.

“The Coopers are an important part of why the College has gained visibility as one of the nation’s top pharmacy schools,” said Joseph T. DiPiro, executive dean of the SCCP. “Their generosity has helped us get the best students and an outstanding faculty member as endowed chair. With this new challenge grant for the building fund, they are helping us toward having a first-class physical facility as well. The Coopers have quite a respected and well-earned legacy here at the College and we are delighted to name part of the new building after a treasured alumnus.”

To learn more about the Pharmacy Building Campaign and naming opportunities in the new building contact Megan Theiling Draper, director of development on the MUSC campus, at 843-792-4980 or

About “Building the Future of Pharmacy … Together”

“Building the Future of Pharmacy … Together” is a $30 million fundraising campaign to support the creation of a new pharmacy building on the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) campus of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy. The flagship facility will include more than 83,000 square feet of space, two lecture halls, reconfigurable classrooms, seminar rooms, student practice laboratories and research labs. To learn more about the Building the Future of Pharmacy Campaign visit


About the South Carolina College of Pharmacy

The South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP) was formed in 2004 through the integration of the Colleges of Pharmacy at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston (MUSC) and the University of South Carolina in Columbia (USC). The SCCP is a statewide education, research, and service institution that combines the nationally recognized faculty, staff, and resources of MUSC, a major academic medical center, and USC, a large comprehensive university, to create a statewide approach to pharmacy education that is on a par with some of the most highly regarded colleges in the United States.


WOW! What else is there to say? The class of 2011 graduated in May and is already making waves! The Class of 2011 personnally committed nearly $57,000 in support of the building the future of pharmacy campaing. (and by nearly, I am talking within $63!!). It is an extraordinary example of commitment, dedication, and PASSION! There is no doubt you will hear more about this class.  Oh, the Places they will GO!

are you up to the challenge