Building on Tradition

Roby Hill
April 26, 2021
Christy Cooper Whitlock pictured with her father, Charles
Christy Cooper Whitlock pictured with her father, Charles

The new MUSC College of Pharmacy building rests on a tradition of alumni support. Alumni participation is a vital currency, not only funding the project but also inspiring others to invest in it.

“We absolutely relied on our alumni to make this possible,” said Philip Hall, dean of the college. “Our history of support made us believe it could be done. MUSC pharmacy alumni are passionate about the college.”

Christy Cooper Whitlock ’90 is one of those passionate alumni. Her father, Charles F. Cooper ’65, founded Winyah Dispensary in a nursing home and oversaw its growth into a network serving 36 counties in South Carolina. He was also one of the college’s biggest cheerleaders.

“We had so much pride with my father having been at MUSC and having met my mom there,” said Whitlock, who met her own husband, David, at MUSC. “And he was still in pharmacy school when my sister was born. So we’d hear stories about classmates coming over, him grilling out...I just loved the whole history of him being there. He had such reverence and respect for the place. I’m proud of the fact that I graduated from there.”

At a key early moment in the public campaign, Christy and David Whitlock joined with her sister Gina, brother Gary, and his wife Kelly to create the Charles F. Cooper Challenge. Their $1.5 million commitment was a significant step forward and an important statement of support.

“The Cooper family has played such an important role in our history,” Hall said. “Charles Cooper is something of an icon in South Carolina pharmacy, and he was a tireless advocate for MUSC. Having that relationship continue with Christy’s leadership and the family’s support is a great joy to us. This building could not have been built without them.”