Health Care and Higher Education

University receives $1.5M gift

May 28, 2015
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University receives $1.5M gift
Annette and Jeff Rowe. Courtesy FSU

A married couple has given a $1.5-million gift to their alma mater to enhance on-campus facilities and provide scholarships for students.

Ferris State University said yesterday that it has received the gift from Jeff and Annette Rowe to fund the renovation of the Hagerman Pharmacy Building and scholarships for students accepted into the doctorate of pharmacy and M.B.A. programs.

"Institutions that help you"

The Rowe’s financial gift allocates roughly $1 million toward the renovation and upgrade of the existing Big Rapids-based College of Pharmacy building, which was re-named the Hagerman Pharmacy Building, and about $500,000 for the Jeff and Annette Rowe Joint Pharm.D./M.B.A. Annual Scholarship.

The $1.5 million donated by the Rowes is the second major financial gift FSU has received this year designated for the College of Pharmacy.

The university previously received $5 million from Phil and Jocelyn Hagerman through the Hagerman Foundation, which is the largest-ever direct financial contribution to the university. Phil Hagerman is the president and CEO of Flint-based Diplomat Pharmacy.

Jeff Rowe, EVP of operations at Diplomat Pharmacy and chair of the school’s Pharmacy Forward initiative, said the education he and a lot of pharmacists received from Ferris has allowed them to practice the profession and have a good livelihood.

“I think that it is very important to give back to those institutions that help you out in life,” Rowe said. “I would hope the gifts that Phil and Jocelyn did and Annette and I are doing will help inspire others to give. If everyone gives a little each year, we’ll have enough to keep our facilities first rate, our teaching staff first rate and ease the debt load for our students.”

David Eisler, president of FSU, said the Rowe’s generosity is an extraordinary example of alumni who are giving back to the university.

“We’re very grateful for their support,” Eisler said. “When you consider the scholarship fund they have established, I think it really encompasses Jeff’s career as one of the key figures at Diplomat, and it combines together the idea of pharmacy and business in a way that I think reflects his life’s work. We’re grateful for their help, for their support and for their leadership in our college.”

Scholarship impact

The annual scholarship fund will allocate $6,000 to a maximum of six full-time graduate students accepted into the dual Pharm.D./M.B.A. program.

Of the six scholarships, three are required to be designated for Michigan residents, unless three individuals from the state do not apply for the funds.

Stephen Durst, dean of the College of Pharmacy, said the scholarships will make it feasible for students to pursue the Pharm.D./M.B.A. degree.

“Our students will leave with the skills to go out and be leaders and innovators,” Durst said. “This gift will have an incredible impact. Ferris is such a big part of pharmacy in our state, so this gift is impacting the state of Michigan.”

Annette Rowe, with an associate’s in dental hygiene and B.S. in health systems management from FSU, said she and her husband were at the university during a time when neither had very much money.

“To be able to be where we are and help someone else is what it’s really all about,” Rowe said.

College of Pharmacy

FSU’s College of Pharmacy has been accredited by the Michigan Board of Pharmacy since 1893 and is a member of the American Association of Pharmacy.

As of 2014, roughly 150 applicants were admitted to the doctorate program in 2009, and they had a 96.5 percent pass rate for the first time taking the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination.

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