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$1 million for UH Hilo College of Pharmacy building

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Posted: Aug 3, 2009

"The J.M. Long Foundation is a long time supporter of the University of Hawai‘i. This latest significant gift builds on their legacy of investing in public education and our community."
– Donna Vuchinich, President and CEO, University of Hawai‘i Foundation

HILO - The College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is on track to move forward with the building of additional teaching and research facilities thanks to a $1 million gift from the J.M. Long Foundation. This gift will support the construction of the initial phase of a health sciences complex. In recognition of this generous contribution from the J.M. Long Foundation, the Board of Regents has approved naming Building B the Joseph M. Long Pavilion.

Pharmacy Dean John M. Pezzuto announced the gift saying the donation is essential to help build the college's eminence in pharmaceutical education.

"This gift embodies the mutual investment that the J.M. Long Foundation and the College of Pharmacy have made in the State of Hawai‘i," Pezzuto continued. "Let me say from the bottom of my heart, thank you to the J.M. Long Foundation for helping us fulfill our pledge to offer our students quality education while addressing the critical shortage of qualified pharmacists in Hawai‘i and across the nation."

The College of Pharmacy's teaching, research, study, administrative and faculty office spaces are currently distributed across the UH Hilo campus and the city of Hilo. The site of the new health sciences complex is situated on 10 acres located adjacent to UH Hilo's astronomy and science museum, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center.

The complex is made up of four modular buildings (A, B, C and D) being built in three phases (1A, 1B, 1C). Phase 1A consists of the construction of Buildings A, B and D that include a lecture hall, four class rooms, three research labs, student services and IT services. Phase 1C is for the construction of Building C. Other funders include the State of Hawai‘i, which appropriated $6 million for construction. The College of Pharmacy expects to relocate to the new complex in fall 2009.

The J.M. Long Foundation gift will fund phase 1B of the project, which will add 2,880 square feet to Building B with the addition of a lecture hall, student center and adjoining lanais. The lecture hall will be used daily and will be equipped with networking and distance learning equipment and can be used for nights and weekends for conferencing. The student center will fulfill unmet needs at the college as a site for student advisement and counseling, student group meetings, materials storage and activity planning, and hosting of community related projects. The lanai will be an area for presentations and speeches, receptions, short presentations and speeches, and other informal activities and socialization.

Joseph M. Long, an entrepreneur and co-founder of Longs Drug Stores, created his foundation, The J.M. Long Foundation, in 1966 as a way of giving back to others from whom he received during his lifetime.

He first visited Hawai‘i in 1948, sailing across the Pacific on the SS Lurline for vacation. He was very impressed with what he saw, so much so that in 1953 he negotiated a lease for property at the corner of Hotel and Bishop Streets, and built what became the first Longs Drugs store in Hawai‘i opening in 1954. He was personally involved in working with Walter Dillingham on the opening of Longs in the Ala Moana Shopping Center in 1959, the second Longs in the islands. During the next 20 years, whenever a Longs store site came up for consideration, he remained an advocate for continued support of the community in Hawai‘i.

As chairman of the board of Longs Drug Stores, he noted: "In everything we have done I have never forgotten my mother's admonitions about caring for people; caring for those who work with us, caring for those we work for, caring for our fellowman. We go through this life but once. If there is anything we can do, or help that we can give, let us do it now, because we may not pass this way again."

Facts about the College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo since its founding in 2006:

  • Recognizing the diversity of populations served by pharmacists in Hawai‘i, the College of Pharmacy developed its curriculum based on a philosophical foundation that integrates the Institute of Medicine Core Competencies (fundamental tenets of patient care) and cultural competency to ensure quality in patient care.
  • In 2007, 90 students (44 from Hawai‘i) entered the College of Pharmacy as the inaugural class of 2011. In 2008, 88 of these students advanced to a second year of studies, and 90 additional students (48 from Hawai‘i) entered in the class of 2012.
  • By the time its inaugural class graduates, the College of Pharmacy will stimulate more than $50.2 million per year in economic activity in the State of Hawai‘i, according to a recent study. The college will support an additional $15 million in earnings by that time.
  • The College of Pharmacy collaborates with many other schools and departments within the University of Hawai‘i, including nursing, chemistry, biology and geology. It further extends its reach throughout the Pacific region including programs at the University of Guam and the University of Samoa, as well as links to Saipan and Palau.

The J.M. Long Foundation is a non-profit, public benefit corporation. It is an independent private family foundation which makes donations and grants to solely private, non-profit, federal tax exempt organizations and qualifying public entities. The foundation's purpose is to benefit organizations involved with healthcare, education and conservation in the communities of Northern California and Hawai‘i.

College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo mission: To educate pharmacy practitioners and leaders, to serve as a catalyst for innovations and discoveries in pharmaceutical science and practice for the promotion of health and wellbeing, and to deliver quality patient care.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is a comprehensive university with 36 bachelors degree programs, six masters programs and two doctoral programs. UH Hilo strives to integrate culture and science, offer hands-on learning opportunities to its students and use the Island of Hawai‘i as a natural learning laboratory. Enrollment has doubled since 1980 to nearly 3,800 students coming from all 50 states and 40 countries.

The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a non-profit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. Our mission is to unite our donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i's aspirations to benefit the people of Hawai‘i and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships.