An uplifting gift for first-gen future pharmacy professionals

December 1, 2023
students at script ohio

As part of its commitment to providing educational opportunities for marginalized students and enriching lives in the communities it serves, The Meijer Foundation has made a remarkable gift to endow the Meijer First Pharmacists Endowed Scholarship Program at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy.

The gift provides scholarships to first-generation undergraduate students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) program and intending to practice pharmacy. As the fund qualifies for the Scarlet & Gray Advantage Endowed Matching gift program, the impact of this support is doubled for our students.

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by first-generation students, the Foundation is also designating an additional gift to support a new position in the College of Pharmacy that will have a dedicated focus on supporting students through leadership development, mentoring, specialized advising and experiential opportunities. Altogether, this multi-pronged investment helps recruit, train and support first-generation pharmacy students, reinforcing their ability to fulfill their professional dreams.

“Meijer is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our communities, and part of that responsibility means supporting future pharmacists,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “The Meijer Foundation is pleased to provide first-generation pharmacy students at Ohio State with resources to ensure their success and reach their full potential in academia and beyond.”

The recent gift builds on existing philanthropic investments from the Meijer family to the university. The Meijer Foundation made its inaugural contribution to the College of Pharmacy in 2018 with a gift to create The Meijer Foundation Pharmacy Skills Classroom, a technology-enhanced classroom designed for active learning. That investment was quickly followed in 2019 by another supporting the initial launch of a scholarship program for first-generation students entering pharmacy — the program on which this renewed gift is based.

To date, 10 students have benefited from scholarships through the scholarship program. Second-year BSPS student Izzy Peters shares, “The Meijer Scholarship took a financial burden off my shoulders and has allowed me to really focus on my studies rather than stressing about paying for my schooling. I can explore various opportunities on and off campus without worrying if I’d be able to afford them.”

Such opportunities enhance student success in meaningful and long-lasting ways, and we are grateful to The Meijer Foundation for opening life-changing opportunities for even more Meijer Scholars moving forward. This investment truly makes access to a world-class education at Ohio State possible. In this way, the Meijer family’s renewed gift and new level of generosity marks not only a significant investment in the future of the College of Pharmacy, but also in the vibrant futures of the next generation of pharmacy professionals who will make vital contributions to benefit us all.

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