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UT Tyler Office of Marketing and Communications

Fisch Foundation Gives Gift to Name UT Tyler College of Pharmacy Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy

September 14, 2013

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
Director
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303 or 903.330.0495 (cell)

The University of Texas at Tyler is proud to announce a generous gift from the Fisch Foundation to name the new College of Pharmacy for Ben and Maytee Fisch, longtime friends of the university, President Rodney H. Mabry announced.

The trustees of the Fisch Foundation, made up primarily of the children and grandchildren of Ben and Maytee Fisch, decided to break with tradition and name the new college because they wanted to honor their parents and grandparents. 

The fact that Ben and Maytee first met when they were both pharmacy students together, even though Ben later went on to be a physician, made the trustees feel connected in a special way to this new pharmacy college being developed in Ben and Maytee’s own back yard.

“We are so pleased to have this gift, which will not only significantly contribute to the creation of this fine program, but also honor two of the most kind, loving and selfless people I’ve known,” said President Mabry.

The funds will serve, in part, as a pool to cover start-up costs early on—to be replenished by year five—and then the full amount will serve as a permanent endowment to provide student scholarships in perpetuity as well as a faculty endowed chair and at least two endowed professorships to attract nationally known faculty.

“What a miracle it is to have these funds to put the new Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy on such a high footing. It is very rare to be able to give a college a venerable family name at its inception, and this naming will help catapult the Fisch College into the national limelight very early on. We are truly grateful,” Mabry said.

Dr. Ben R. Fisch was a well-respected physician who practiced in Tyler for almost 30 years. He and his wife, Maytee, were recognized as UT Tyler Patriots of the Year in 2002 for their support of the university.

“It is our pleasure to make this contribution to education and to remember our parents in this way. This program will honor their legacy of giving back,” said Martee Fuerst, president of the Ben and Maytee Fisch Foundation Board of Directors.

The Fisch College of Pharmacy will fulfill a workforce need and provide East Texas students access to a course of study that is not available locally or regionally.

UT Tyler founding dean, Dr. Lane Brunner, is leading the accreditation process with the goal of accepting the first class of students in fall 2015. He comes to UT Tyler from California, but began his career as a young professor of pharmacy at UT Austin.

Business, healthcare and education leaders throughout the East Texas region support the program and the benefits it will bring.

The Texas Workforce Commission predicts Texas will have 1,005 annual openings for pharmacist positions from 2010 through 2020. At the same time, Texas pharmacy schools will produce a maximum of 895 graduates per year, so the number of jobs per year will outnumber the annual total of graduates by more than 100 jobs in 2019.

The UT Tyler Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy will produce more in-state pharmacists to serve local retailers and hospitals, particularly those in rural areas where the shortage is greatest, in place of the current high percentage of out-of-state pharmacists who often return to their native home states after training in Texas pharmacies for a couple of years. 

That shortage, when unfilled, and the revolving door of pharmacists when positions are filled from the out-of-state pool of applicants have negative consequences. In the first case, East Texans are left without sufficient pharmaceutical care. In the second case, pharmaceutical and medical costs rise when pharmacists come and go and new ones have to be constantly trained.  

Almost 10 years in the making, the Fisch College of Pharmacy will be an innovative, self-sustaining program in which UT Tyler will partner with UT Health Northeast on the research to be conducted in the program.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 7,500 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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