When the USC School of Pharmacy launched its fundraising initiative – BOLDLY FIRST – on Sunday, November 3, Dean R. Pete Vanderveen announced William A. Heeres as the chairman for the effort. Heeres is also chairman of the School’s Board of Councilors.
A community pharmacist for nearly 50 years, Heeres is outspoken about his love for the profession and the School. “I’m amazed at what the School and the profession have accomplished in the last 50 years. We must build on these achievements,” he said.
Heeres agreed to chair the effort because he sees it as a powerful way to advance both the School and the profession of pharmacy. The School is ranked as the top private pharmacy school in the nation and, among all pharmacy schools, it is in the top ten. Further, the School uniquely spans the full spectrum of pharmaceutical development and care, from drug discovery and development to regulatory science to clinical care to health outcomes and policy.
The profession received a recent boost with the passage of Senate Bill 493 in California, which recognizes pharmacists as health care providers. Dean Vanderveen was active in supporting this bill – educating elected officials, the media and public about pharmacy education and the role of the pharmacist in various settings.
“I want to stay involved with the School because I see nothing but upward potential. We’re at an auspicious moment and we must provide the support to build on it,” Heeres said.
Heeres and his wife, Josephine, have been ardent supporters of the School. In 2002, they provided a gift to establish the William A. and Josephine A. Heeres Chair in Community Pharmacy, the first such chair in the nation. They have also supported other projects over the years, including the “Heeres Challenge,” which raised over a million dollars that was used to renovate teaching facilities.
“Josephine and I are proud to now be able to make another major gift to help our School and our profession,” said Heeres. “I ask that all Trojans, alums and friends alike, join us and consider a generous gift to the USC School of Pharmacy. Every gift makes a difference.”
The fundraising campaign is centered on providing support for faculty and research endowment, academic and professional priorities, scholarships and capital projects. The goal of the campaign is to raise $100 million. “This is a big number but it will support the School and the profession far into the next century,” said Heeres.
At this point, donors have already contributed over $36 million in support which represents over 36% of the overall goal. “Every gift counts and I’m confident we will together support our School and our profession,” said Heeres.