New Name New Beginning

Nov. 1, 2021

The R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy

R Ken Coit
Nancy Theodor

Coit Scholar Nancy Theodor

R. Ken Coit ’67 is determined to see the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona take its place within the ranks of the nation’s top three programs. Recruiting and supporting top students through scholarships is one of the many ways to achieve a goal Coit classifies as “one step under audaciousness.”

The college, which now bears his name, is currently ranked No. 7 by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

Helping students is also a way to improve the world, Coit says.

Current student and Coit Scholar Nancy Theodor is convinced that pharmacy is her path and the University of Arizona is the place to prepare for and launch her career. As for the rest, Theodor is leaving some options open.

She envisions researching new drug therapies and opening a pharmacy to help underserved populations in the United States. Ultimately, Theodor dreams of returning to her native country of South Sudan.

“There’s a huge need for pharmacies in Sudan — there’s only a few in the whole country. That was one of the main reasons why I wanted to go into pharmacy.”

Theodor moved from Nebraska to begin her studies at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, Phoenix campus. The Coit scholarship she was awarded helped make it possible to attend her school of choice.

“I’ve always had to support myself, and money has always been a major issue. I’m extremely grateful to have a scholarship that helps me meet my goals,” she says.

History-Making Generosity

R. Ken Coit recently added to his already generous legacy of philanthropy and volunteer service at UArizona by making a $50 million plus gift, together with his wife, Donna, to name the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy. The couple’s gift is the largest in college history.

Coit learned the value of generosity from his mother. When he was in elementary school in the small farming community of Mendota, California, she encouraged him to take outgrown clothes to school to share with his classmates.

“I think back, and I’ve always donated substantial sums,” Coit says. “Because it just feels good. It feels right.”

—Katy Smith