Pharmacy Plans Building Addition to Support Increased Research
Research space in the Skaggs Building has become very tight since the School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences jumped to fourth place nationally in terms of funding generated by faculty members.
A $3-million challenge grant from the National Institutes of Health earmarked for a $14 million construction project could change that. Building plans call for putting a 42,000-square-foot addition on the south end of the Skaggs Building to house interdisciplinary labs as well as offices, conference rooms, an electronic classroom/science learning center complex, a tiered classroom, and student support areas.
The addition is necessary, according to Dean Dave Forbes, to support the tremendous growth in research and scholarly productivity. Over the past decade UM has attracted world-class researchers and has projects on virtually all the major modern-day medical problems. “Clearly,” says Forbes, “our scientists are involved in studies that have tremendous implications for Montanans in particular and for the world.”
Researchers at the University put particular emphasis on environmental health issues, cardiovascular research, and neuroscience. Currently there are more than ninety active research grants within the school, making it the No. 1 funded entity on the UM campus. In addition to its own studies and cooperative ventures with other UM departments, the school collaborates with St. Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center, the Inter- national Heart Institute, and Montana Neuroscience Institute and operates two interdisciplinary centers—one for Environmental Health Sciences and another for Structural and Functional Neurosciences. It will soon begin a joint doctoral training program in neurosciences with Montana State University. The building addition will support these investigations as well as two new doctoral programs the school will offer.
The scope of the research studies prompted the school to add “biomedical” to its Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. “This is much more reflective of the training we offer students,” says Vernon Grund, chair of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences. “We do very little classical pharmaceutical research such as drug delivery anymore,” he adds. “Roughly 90 percent of our research is biomedical.”
Grund’s team of scientists and their students are unlimited in their investigation and imagination, but they are limited by space. “Recruiting top researchers is not an issue. We have some of the best in the world and can attract top investigators to The University of Montana to work with our resident faculty,” he says. Montana is fast becoming known in the scientific community for the work done at UM. With total funding in the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at $6.7 million and long-term commitments of $25 million through September 2007, the building addition is necessary, Grund says “for UM to take the next significant step in terms of being recognized as a power in biomedical research.”
To receive the full $3 million from NIH, the school must raise the remaining $11 to construct the building. The school is pursuing all avenues of non-federal funding to complete the project.
Missoula Physician Gives UM a Band that “Sounds Great, Looks Great”
It’s not surprising that the Grizzly Marching Band has a little more skip to its step this year, some more bass to its beat.
The rhythmic walkers recently received a five-year pledge of $150,000 from Steve Kemple, a Missoulian who has taken great strides the past three years to create a solid foundation for the UM Marching Band program.
“This is just another way to help kids go to school, and it propagates what we all love—music,” Kemple says.
As a result of continuous contributions to the scholarship and endowment fund by Kemple and others, the UM Marching Band has nearly doubled in size since the 2000 football season. Currently, 108 musicians are on board, helping to create the type of spirit that all college football towns strive to achieve.
With close to just sixty members three years ago, the marching band was a mere side note at Grizzly football games and other events. Nowadays, the boisterous sounds of drums and horns resonate throughout Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
“The biggest thing we’ve seen in the past three years is the fan participation,” says Randy Zschaechner of Missoula, a third-year trumpet player. “Having a bigger band really boosts the involvement of fans.”
Contributions to the marching band have provided Zschaechner and other band members with scholarships to help ease the financial burden of tuition and other expenses. Due to limited funds before the 2001 football season, marching band scholarships did not exceed $200. Now, first-year members receive $500 scholarships, second-year members $750, and after that, member awards are $1,000. This scholarship level keeps current members involved and draws new members whose job opportunities are limited by a rigorous practice schedule.
“Participation in any marching band is a big-time commitment,” says Bob LedBetter, band director and associate professor of music. “To have the supplemental scholarships encourages students to get involved.”
Contributions to the marching band endowment, which Kemple helped initiate, will secure the future of the UM Marching Band.
“The endowment is a great way for the program to support itself if substantial donations are scarce from year to year,” says Kemple, who ignited a marching band donation trend with gifts totaling $39,000 prior to his most recent pledge. Kemple’s $150,000 five-year pledge will annually allot $20,000 to the endowment fund and $10,000 directly to the program.
“Steve Kemple has been the moving spirit behind the Grizzly Marching Band,” says Shirley Howell, dean of the School of Fine Arts. “He is the marching band’s ever-present fan, and he has worked with the band directors and UM athletics to find ways to maximize the band’s effectiveness.”
Others have followed Kemple’s lead in securing a solid musical future on the UM campus. “It just took someone to get the ball rolling,” Kemple says. “The University has really gotten involved and now we have a band that sounds great, looks great and people are proud to be a part of it.”
Three New Trustees Elected to the Foundation Board
Three UM graduates joined the Foundation board at the October meeting in Missoula.
The new trustees are:
Philip Barney, Missoula, ’60 zoology;
Scott M. Brown, Aspen, CO, ’67 history, and
Mike Covey, Roswell, GA, ’80 forest management.
Re-elected to a second term were Dave Enger ’67, Seattle; Priscilla Pickard Gilkey ’62, Spokane; Jack King ’50, Kalispell; Robert Munzenrider ’70, Minneton-ka, MN; Charles Oliver, Hamilton; Dorn Parkinson, Prescott, AZ; Kent Price ’65, Kentfield, CA; and Phyllis Peterson Washington ’64, Missoula.
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