Herbert Retzky has never forgotten his time as a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. A $5 million donation from he and his wife Carol’s estate will ensure his legacy of advocating for the practice of pharmacy is secured within the college in perpetuity.
The largest monetary gift in the history of the College of Pharmacy will establish the Herbert M. and Carol H. Retzky Deanship. The Oak Park, Illinois, couple has consistently supported the college since 2003, and in 2012 their financial gift created the Herbert M. and Carol H. Retzky Endowed Chair in Pharmacy Practice. The new deanship replaces the chair position.
"Herb and Carol's vision for the role of a pharmacist aligns perfectly with the mission that has guided us since 1859," said College of Pharmacy Dean Jerry Bauman. "It charges us to raise awareness of the role of the pharmacist within our communities and within healthcare. Their generous gift will allow us to do just that."
It is UIC's first named deanship and the third in the entire University of Illinois system.
The field of pharmacy has played an important part in the lives of the Retzkys. Herb was a pharmacist, while Carol was a pharmacy technician. Following a successful career as independent pharmacy owners, the Retzkys were searching for opportunities in which to make a lasting impression, and they believed the college could benefit from their good fortune.
"We wanted to provide something that extends beyond our own time here on Earth, and we found that a gift to the College of Pharmacy would seem to fulfill the ambitions we had," Herb Retzky said. "We're grateful that we have been given the chance to assist the college."
UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said, "The generosity and vision Herbert and Carol Retzky have shown by investing in the university and the College of Pharmacy with their named deanship opens an enormous opportunity to recruit a highly visible, renowned and top regarded pharmacy leader.
"This in turn will support the evolving priorities of the university: providing an exceptional student experience, serving as a magnet to recruit other world-class faculty who will blaze new trails in research and teaching, and building our national and international reputation for research and excellence in the health and health care fields."
The income from the pharmacy deanship will support expenditures such as salary, research, graduate students, curriculum development, scholarships, outreach, materials and more.
"All of this excellence deeply impacts the level of care we bring to the patients and communities we serve," Bauman said. "We are deeply grateful to and inspired by Herb and Carol Retzky. Their investment will touch every corner of our college, and invigorate everything we do."
The College of Pharmacy was founded in 1859 and joined the University of Illinois system in 1896. It is the oldest academic unit in the U. of I. system, and today includes campuses in Chicago and Rockford. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the college sixth among pharmacy schools in the nation.