CORVALLIS - Oregon State University's College of Pharmacy has received its second largest corporate pledge to date - $100,000 from Rite Aid Corp. to help fund the building of a state-of-the art learning center.

Construction of the college's Pharmaceutical Care Learning Center is under way and builders plan to have major aspects of the project completed by the end of the month (September). Formal dedication of the center is planned at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7, and will honor campaign volunteers and donors who have made the first privately funded $750,000 college campaign a success.

The center is replacing the college's pharmacy practice laboratory and two adjacent rooms and will house the latest in technology to help train pharmacy students in patient care. About 100 new pharmacists a year are trained at OSU, which has the only school of pharmacy in the state.

Built in 1924, the college celebrated 100 years of service last year. Educators are preserving the college's historic architecture, while adding state-of-the-art enhancements to the teaching facilities.

In addition to filling prescriptions and managing records, OSU pharmacy professors say pharmacists are now more involved in patient counseling. The learning center will include two exam rooms where students will train in patient counseling methods.

Rite Aid Corp., based in Harrisburg, Penn., is one of the two largest drug store chains in the nation, operating some 3,600 stores, including the recent acquisition of Thrifty-Payless stores in the Pacific Northwest.

Other gifts toward the project include a $200,000 cornerstone gift from Longs Drug Store Foundation, as well as contributions from both McKesson and Bergen Brunswig distributors.

"Longs literally kick-started this effort and we've been pleased with the response from the alumni, friends and other corporate gifts in kind," said Bill Wilson, chairman of the Pharmaceutical Care Learning Center fund-raising campaign.

"We're especially grateful to the Bi-Mart Membership Stores of Eugene for taking on the responsibility of building all the cabinetry for the learning center."

Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.


Tom Chandler, 541-737-4015