USF Announces $10 Million Gift to Name the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy

Tampa, FL (Aug. 16, 2019) — The University of South Florida announced today it has received a $10 million gift from Taneja Family Foundation to name the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy. The donation, made through the USF Foundation, is the largest philanthropic gift to a pharmacy school in the state of Florida.

As result of the gift, the Taneja College of Pharmacy will move into the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute facility under construction in downtown Tampa.  The building is scheduled to open in late 2019, with pharmacy students tentatively expected to start classes there in fall of 2021.

Inside the Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa, community and university leaders, students, friends and supporters heard news of the gift and its impact on the young pharmacy college.

USF President Steve Currall.

“This is a thrilling moment and it is an honor to be here to celebrate another important milestone for USF, one of the fastest-rising universities in the country,” said USF President Steve Currall. “Jugal and Manju Taneja share a passion for education, for giving back to their community, and for transforming the health care system for future generations. This gift will do so much for the trajectory of USF’s success — advancing innovation at our College of Pharmacy and elevating the academic stature of the entire university. Therefore, I am pleased to announce that in recognition of this transformational gift, the USF Health College of Pharmacy will now be known as the Taneja College of Pharmacy.”

The USF Health College of Pharmacy was established by the Florida Board of Governors in 2009 and welcomed its charter class in August 2011. From the start, the pharmacy program set out to build an innovative program that would be a pacesetter in both pharmacy curriculum and clinical experience. Since opening to the charter class of 53 students, the college has steadily progressed with key accreditation and academic milestones. Today, the Taneja College of Pharmacy welcomes 100 new students each year for its PharmD program, and has expanded its offerings to include master’s degrees suited for students interested in pursuing a professional degree program, an advanced degree, a degree focused on research, or a degree for those interested in working in the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.

“The College of Pharmacy — now the Taneja College of Pharmacy — is a valuable component of the interprofessional team of colleges that comprise USF Health,” said Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

“Its success is critical to our continued organizational growth and expansion. For this reason, I am proud to make a second announcement, made possible by the generosity of the Taneja family. Right out this door, is a deck that overlooks our beautiful new USF Health building—the anchor of the Water Street Tampa project, a $3 billion 21st century state-of-the-art urban development by Strategic Property Partners, which will represent the world’s first wellness district. The Taneja’s gift now provides a way for the COP to move from its current space on the main USF campus to our new, state-of-the-art building across the street. Thanks to your generosity, our Taneja COP will now be able to create in brick and mortar the facilities needed for a transformative pharmacy program—one that will revolutionize health care by empowering pharmacy practitioners to be catalysts for health change. Thank you to the Taneja family for making this possible.”

Already a leader for attracting Florida’s best pharmacy students, the appeal of USF’s pharmacy school will grow greater with this philanthropic endorsement, said Kevin B. Sneed, PharmD, dean of the Taneja College of Pharmacy and senior associate vice president for USF Health.

Dr. Kevin Sneed, dean of the Taneja College of Pharmacy.

“This year we celebrate 10 years since the Florida Board of Governors approved the opening of our college.  From the very beginning, we set out to build a college built for the future of healthcare, and not simply exist in the past.  With the generosity of Mr. Taneja, we will now have the opportunity to build a new home that allows us to truly build the pharmacist clinician of the future.

“Alongside our Morsani College of Medicine, and the Colleges of Nursing, Public Health, our School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, and our Physician Assistant program, the Taneja College of Pharmacy is one of the best positioned pharmacy schools in the country to achieve true interprofessional education, creating the best possible trained workforce for the future,” Dr. Sneed said.

“For future students, if unique is what you seek, seek USF Health as your destination. To the business community, I pronounce that the Taneja College of Pharmacy is open to your engagement, as we continue our trek to the future of health care through academic entrepreneurship, and transformational, disruptive vision. As I have stated on many occasions, when I became the dean, there were only two options for this program: outstanding or excellent. Today, we are in a position to achieve both because of the generosity of the Taneja Family in creating the Taneja College of Pharmacy. We are forever thankful to you Mr. and Mrs. Taneja.”

The gift marks a huge milestone for the young school and validates the innovative education experience offered to USF pharmacy students, he said.

Jugal and Manju Taneja.

This drive to revolutionize how pharmacists are trained is what attracted the Tanejas to USF.

“The way that technology is changing, the old way of compounding, the old way of discovering medicines, are going to go away,” Jugal Taneja said. “Now, medicines are going to be targeted for a particular disease. And pharmacists are going to play a big, big role in this. And for that, you have to educate 21st century pharmacists and clinicians. That’s what we come here today to do.

“Making money makes you happy but when you give money to a cause, to an institution, or to places where money is needed, you gain a special kind of satisfaction. The other day when we signed the gift agreement, with Dr. Lockwood and Dr. Sneed, Manju and I were both going out and we looked at each other. We were much happier and we were $10 million less! But we didn’t feel that – we felt $10 million richer. I often believe in people. Machines don’t make money – people make money. If I ever lost money, it was because it was to a bad man. Not today. We are putting money in very safe hands.”

Dr. Rossina Valarezo Chevasco, graduate of the charter class of the pharmacy school.

Photos by Freddie Coleman and Allison Long, and video by Torie Doll, USF Health Office of Communications.