PharmImpact - Summer 2021

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August 10, 2021

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New scholarship celebrates Kauffman family’s legacy in the College of Pharmacy

his year, to honor the 125th anniversary of the inaugural dean, George Beecher Kauffman, Jean Kauffman Yost, an Ohio State alumna and great-granddaughter of Beecher Kauffman, set up the Jean Kauffman Yost Scholarship. Beecher Kauffman held the dean’s position for 25 years. 

Kauffman Yost was motivated to give this scholarship by her desire to carry forward the tradition of giving within her family, and the desire to honor her great grandfather’s legacy. Beecher Kauffman valued the importance of education and was extremely committed to the profession of pharmacy. 

“He believed education was important for success, which explains his dedication to Ohio State,” Kauffman Yost said. “This scholarship will enable students to receive an education to create the building blocks for their own successful careers.”

Ohio State prides itself on diversity and inclusion initiatives and honors it as one of its core values. Kauffman Yost said she was inspired to honor this value by giving more consideration to scholarship candidates of a diverse background – something her great-grandfather would have championed as well. 

“The opportunity for equity is something I want to foster through this scholarship,” Kauffman Yost said.

These ideals are another part of her great-grandfather’s legacy. Beecher Kauffman was the cousin of the abolitionist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the cousin of Henry Ward Beecher, a minister who was an abolitionist during the Civil War and advocate for the women’s suffrage movement. 

These values have remained core through the generations of the Kauffman family,” Kauffman Yost said.

Kauffman Yost and her family annually read letters from recipients of the George Beecher Kauffman Memorial Scholarship, a fund established by the Kauffman family in 1968. Through these annual letters, the family remains connected to the legacy Beecher Kauffman began as it is passed on to each recipient.

The new scholarship Kauffman Yost created will ensure even more students have the financial support they need to earn their degree. 

“These students will be able to develop their careers based on the education they receive at Ohio State, and this new scholarship will enable them to receive this education.”

At least one student will be awarded the Jean Kauffman Yost Scholarship every year starting in fall of 2021. The scholarship is renewable and will carry throughout the student’s entire enrollment.

Celebrating 125 years since the college’s first dean, George Beecher Kauffman

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy planted its roots in 1885 (known at the time as the Department of Pharmacy), before officially becoming one of the six original colleges at Ohio State in 1895. At that time there were only 10 students, $200 in funding for supplies and one part-time staff member, George Beecher Kauffman.

Beecher Kauffman moved to Columbus after obtaining his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Ohio Wesleyan University and partnered with John Rarey at the City Hall Drug Store before buying the company in 1881. 

Beecher Kauffman transformed the drug store and founded a wholesale drug company, Kauffman-Lattimer, with two partners: his brother Linus B. Kauffman and George B. Lattimer. 

Kauffman-Lattimer was a huge success and became the largest drug distributer in Ohio. For decades, the Ohio State pharmacy program and Kauffman-Lattimer enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship. After remaining in the family for generations, the company was eventually sold to what would become AmerisourceBergen, one of the largest pharmaceutical distributors in the world.

For years, Beecher Kauffman served as president of the company while also teaching at Ohio State; he gave his mornings to Ohio State and his afternoons to the company. After a decade, in 1895, the college hired Beecher Kauffman, a business owner and wholesale druggist, as the college’s first dean. He served as dean for 25 years.

Now, 125 years since its first dean, the college has expanded significantly from the early days. It is currently ranked seventh in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and offers programs for undergraduate, professional, doctoral and graduate students, spanning pharmaceutical practice, administration and research. The college still recognizes Beecher Kauffman’s legacy, and the family has continued to impact students generations later. 

The company and members of the family made a gift in 1968 to establish the George Beecher Kauffman Memorial Fund, which continues to provide annual scholarships today. The scholarship has been awarded to over 100 students in its history.

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