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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 http://www.buildingthefutureofpharmacy.org/
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.