$1.2 million estate gift to create scholarships at KU School of Pharmacy

A $1.2 million estate gift for Kansas University will create scholarships at the university’s School of Pharmacy.

The gift is from the estate of William and Virginia Davis.

William Davis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from KU in 1940 and worked his way up to the corporate ladder to become president of Ayerst Laboratories.

The couple spent their retirement years in Boynton Beach, Fla.

Their son, Stephen Davis, said in a statement that KU was important to his parents, particularly his father.

“He relished his time at KU,” Davis said. “My father credited KU for how his life turned out. If it wasn’t for the university, he wouldn’t have had the education to bring forth all that he accomplished during his lifetime.”

Ken Audus, dean of KU’s pharmacy school, said that the gift was a “wonderful way to secure the future” of the school, which is expanding to a class of 170 students this fall with the addition of 20 new students at an expanded campus in Wichita.

“Certainly, with our expansion, we’re admitting more students, which created a need for more scholarship money,” he said.

Today, the school distributes between $275,000 and $300,000 in scholarship funds, he said. The gift would add $48,000 per year, and the school would contribute another $20,000 or so per year in matching funds, Audus said.

With the new funds, Audus said he expected about 70 percent of the school’s students would receive scholarships in some amount next year.

“It really helps students out,” he said. “It’s a great gift.”

By Andy Hyland

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