Largest gift commitment in school's history


UMKC School of Pharmacy receives largest gift commitment in school's history

Local donor expresses desire to help pharmacy students and promote education

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Pharmacy has announced the receipt of an estate gift commitment from Robert Sperry, a local resident whose family has longtime ties to the pharmacy industry. Sperry has requested that the gift be used to fund the creation of an endowed chair in geriatric pharmacotherapy and to support School of Pharmacy students through the UMKC Pharmacy Foundation.

"The University is deeply grateful to Mr. Sperry and his family for this generous gift," said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. "For a member of the community to step forward with such thoughtfulness and generosity, it is not only a testament to the great work being done at our School of Pharmacy, but a reflection of the community-based mission of our entire University."

Sperry is the son of Merle Sperry, who served as president of Kansas City-based McPike Wholesale Drug Company, the largest wholesale drug distribution center in the world. The company was sold in the 1980s and Merle Sperry passed away in 2005, but Robert Sperry says his admiration for the pharmacy profession endures, as does his admiration for the work the UMKC School of Pharmacy conducts to advance the profession and the health of citizens in the local community and beyond.

Sperry has directed that a portion of the gift go to the UMKC Pharmacy Foundation Student Emergency Fund, which provides short-term loans to students who need assistance in meeting an urgent personal financial need. The remainder of the gift will be used to create the UMKC School of Pharmacy Endowed Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy. The goal in creating the endowed professorship is to encourage and support research and education about medication-related problems specific to elderly patients.

"The Sperry Gift is the largest in the School's history and will provide a strong support base for our students through grants-in-aid to those students most in need," said Robert W. Piepho, Ph.D., dean of the UMKC School of Pharmacy. "The other component of the gift, an Endowed Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, will bring a leader in the field of medication use in seniors to our research faculty and will position the UMKC School of Pharmacy as a cutting edge institution in this burgeoning field of study."

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