Commitments totaling more than $12 million will help pave the way for expanding and renovating the Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Tucson campus.

The ALSAM Foundation provided a $10 million challenge grant to the UA College of Pharmacy – the largest commitment in the history of the college.

Class of ’67 alumnus R. Ken Coit and his wife, Donna, along with Class of ’70 alumnus Rick Katz, were the first to provide additional support with gifts totaling more than $2 million. Faculty, staff and alumni are offering additional philanthropic support.

To complete the project, the UA College of Pharmacy must have commitments for the remaining $9.5 million. Once that fundraising goal is reached, it will trigger fulfillment of the $10 million pledge from The ALSAM Foundation. In addition to the philanthropic funding raised, the UA will contribute $10 million to the $31.5 million project.

“The UA College of Pharmacy has brilliantly navigated the changing landscape of pharmaceutical sciences for the last 70 years,” said Coit, a member of the College of Pharmacy’s national advisory board. “The campaign reflects our shared commitment to ensure this college remains the vanguard for drug discovery and drug development for decades to come.”

College of Pharmacy Dean Rick G. Schnellmann, PhD, believes the newly renovated space not only will advance drug discovery, but also enhance education for future pharmacists.

“This is the space where thousands of pharmacists and scientists have received their training. It’s beyond just a laboratory; it is an education center that provides a transformational experience for them. This facility will reflect the caliber of education the college provides and the research strength of our world-class faculty,” Dr. Schnellmann said.

The Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center, the college’s first building, was built with the support of Utah businessman L.S. “Sam” Skaggs 35 years ago. The new construction and renovation of 31,500 square feet is expected to take 24-30 months, with completion by 2020. The new space will enhance and accelerate drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and toxicology, as well as expand space for teaching and collaborative research. Building renovations will allow the college to deliver the most innovative pharmacy education possible, lead to new drug discoveries and improve health care delivery to citizens in Arizona and around the world.