News and analysis
February 06, 2011

No. 34: William P. and Lou W. Kennedy

Amount donated in 2010: $30.1-million

Beneficiary: University of South Carolina

Donors’ background: Mr. Kennedy has owned several pharmaceutical companies, including Rotech Medical Corporation, which he sold in 1997 for about $1-billion. Ms. Kennedy is president of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, an Orlando, Fla., which the couple owns.

Mr. Kennedy, 66, and Ms. Kennedy, 47, pledged $30-million, of which $1-million has been paid, to the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, for its College of Pharmacy. The money will establish the William P. and Lou W. Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center, which will focus on providing pharmacy students with a chance to learn business skills, and provide researchers and faculty with updated labs and other programs. Mr. and Ms. Kennedy plan to pay $1-million a year over 10 years. The university will receive the remaining $20-million upon the donors’ deaths.

Mr. Kennedy said he and his wife made the gift as a way to improve health care.

“There is room for pharmacists to do a lot more than what they’re doing in health care,” he said.

To do that, they have to be innovative and have a mind that is entrepreneurial to think about how they can apply their pharmacy education to the changes in the health-care environment.”

In addition to their large pledge, the Kennedys gave the university a total of $75,500 for other campus programs. Both donors are alumni of the university: Mr. Kennedy earned his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy in 1966, and Ms. Kennedy graduated in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

—Maria Di Mento

View more profiles of donors who gave the most in 2010.