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August 2, 2006

Governor visits ULM's new College of Pharmacy building

ULM students and representatives warmly welcomed Gov. Kathleen Blanco to the College of Pharmacy's Bienville Building, located at 1800 Bienville Dr.

All acknowledged that the governor's support made possible the purchase and renovation of the building and thus kept the College of Pharmacy on track for accreditation. ULM President James Cofer estimated that her considerable championship put the College of Pharmacy ahead of where it would have been otherwise by at least 20 years.

"I am so glad that we moved forward on this property and gave this College of Pharmacy what it needs," Blanco remarked. "I am delighted to be a part of this timely decision that will make a difference not just in northern Louisiana, but also in the entire state."

Blanco talked about the challenge of pushing for funding in post-hurricane times and the need for such broad-based investments across the state.

"I am committed to educating and training our people, our workforce. It's the most critical thing we can do."

Several ULM pharmacy students, notably Candace Thibodeaux (also the 2006 National Pharmacy Student Volunteer of the Year award winner), Dr. Lori Leggitt and Michelle Mayer, presented Blanco with an honorary white pharmacy jacket engraved with the governor's name and the school's logo as a physical reminder of her support. A duplicate will be displayed in the building.

During a brief presentation, Lamar Pritchard, College of Pharmacy dean, talked about the new 132,000-square-foot Bienville Building, located about one mile from ULM's campus. Pritchard also addressed College of Pharmacy research, goals and new initiatives, including the new satellite campus in Shreveport.

Gov. Blanco's visit concluded with a student-led tour of the facility and an invitation to return in the spring of 2007 for the Bienville Building's proposed ribbon cutting.

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