WEATHERFORD, Okla. (KAMR/KCIT) – Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in Weatherford has announced it will receive the largest single donation in its history.
Longtime benefactors of the university, Jerry and Margaret Hodge of Amarillo, are cited to have committed to a $5 million donation.
“The Hodge donation will enable SWOSU to take the next steps toward construction of a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to healthcare education and pharmacy, named in honor of the Hodges.” said SWOSU, “The gift will also establish a substantial new endowment benefitting students enrolled in the SWOSU College of Pharmacy.”
Jerry Hodge, former chairman and chief executive officer of Maxor National Pharmacy Services Corporation, is a 1965 graduate of the SWOSU College of Pharmacy and noted as a long-time supporter of the university. He was inducted into the SWOSU Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 1979 and was honored by the SWOSU College of Pharmacy as Outstanding Alumnus in 2008.
SWOSU President Randy Beutler said the goal of the building project is to establish SWOSU as the center for rural health education in the region. An integral part of the center will be components of the College of Pharmacy and other health-related fields at SWOSU that will further the university’s mission of enhancing outreach efforts across western Oklahoma.
“We are extremely grateful and excited about the opportunities that this provides for SWOSU,” Beutler said. “This incredibly generous gift from Jerry and Margaret Hodge and the long-term, positive benefits it will provide to our students, faculty and programs is truly a watershed moment in the 120-year history of this institution.”
“I am deeply indebted to SWOSU and the College of Pharmacy,” Hodge said. “Without my pharmacy degree, I would not have been able to purchase Maxor in 1966, and Maxor would not have been able to contract with Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to run their out-patient pharmacies in 1991. It was at John Hopkins Hospital that I met Margaret, and we married in 1994. With her support and her medical background, Maxor began to grow nationally. So, now you understand why I feel so indebted to SWOSU and the School of Pharmacy. This gift is from the two of us.”
The Hodge donation, said SWOSU, will complement resources given by a recently passed sales tax by the citizens of Weatherford, focusing on rural health sciences and education.
“As SWOSU continues to expand its health sciences offerings, the Hodge donation will enable the university to proceed with planning for strategic partnerships with other higher education institutions.” said the university, “These partnerships could lead to SWOSU students having access to a Physician’s Assistant program and the possibility of a dual degree program through the SWOSU College of Pharmacy. This is a long-term goal and priority of SWOSU that will be powerfully and positively impacted by the Hodge gift.”