Joseph D. & Millie E. Williams Science Hall: New name for a new era

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | January 28, 2014

Image with caption: Joe and Millie Williams

Joe and Millie Williams

The existing College of Pharmacy building will enter its new era bearing a new name: the Joseph D. & Millie E. Williams Science Hall.

The new $35 million Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education and Center for Drug Discovery, set to begin construction in February, also will feature two auditoriums named for the couple.

Joe Williams is a distinguished alumnus and 1950 graduate of the College of Pharmacy. He rose through the ranks of the pharmaceutical company Parke-Davis. After a merger, he was elected president, then chairman and CEO of Warner-Lambert.

Looking ahead

The Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education and Center for Drug Discovery is set for completion in July 2015. The Joseph D. & Millie E. Williams Science Hall will continue to be devoted to cutting-edge research, with laboratories focused on the pharmaceutical sciences of drug discovery and drug delivery and other UNMC research priorities, and it will serve as an educational home for all UNMC health discipline students.

He and Millie have been longtime advocates for and donors to the College of Pharmacy, establishing a Scholarship Leadership Award for the college and recently serving as a principal donor to the new state-of-the-art facility.

Joe was instrumental in establishing the Parke-Davis Chair in Pharmaceutics, the college's first endowed faculty chair. The auditorium in the current College of Pharmacy building is named in his honor.

"In light of Joe and Millie's accomplishments, service to mankind and generous and ongoing support and advocacy for the College of Pharmacy, we are proud to recognize them with the naming of the Joseph D. & Millie E. Williams Science Hall," said UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D. "Their most recent generous gift, to support the Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education and Center for Drug Discovery, and their previous leadership gifts to the College of Pharmacy, express the high value they place on pharmacy education and will have lasting benefit for the health of Nebraska."

The namings were approved by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

"Joe Williams epitomizes why someone should come to Nebraska to study pharmacy," said Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., dean of the UNMC College of Pharmacy. "Here, we will give you the tools for success, whether that be in your Nebraska hometown or on the national and world stage as Joe has done. Joe's career is one of my best recruiting strategies.

"The gifts that Joe and Millie have provided keep us moving forward as we enter our second century of educating pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists."

Joe was the 1980 recipient of the Remington Honor Medal, the American Pharmacists Association's highest honor. He also holds 13 honorary degrees and served on several major national boards, chairing Project Hope and the United Negro College Fund.

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