Contact: John Scarffe, KU Endowment Association, (785) 832-7336

Couple gives $1.75 millon for pharmacy professorship to honor former KU dean

LAWRENCE -- In recognition of the 37-year career of Howard Mossberg, vice chancellor emeritus of research at the University of Kansas, an Illinois couple has given $1.75 million for a pharmacy professorship in his name.

The gift from Madison “Al” and Lila Self of Hinsdale, Ill., established the Howard E. Mossberg Distinguished Professorship in Pharmacy Fund at the Kansas University Endowment Association. Interest earned on the fund will support a salary stipend, professional travel, graduate student assistants, and equipment or other materials for the faculty member awarded the professorship.

“During the 25 years Howard Mossberg was dean, the KU School of Pharmacy rose to prominence as one of the leading pharmacy schools in the United States,” said Provost David Shulenburger. “Throughout his many years of service in several administrative capacities, Howard has shown exceptional leadership. It is wonderful that two of our strongest supporters, Al and Lila Self, have honored him with a professorship in his name.”

Kenneth L. Audus, pharmacy dean, said the professorship would help KU attract or retain an outstanding researcher and teacher. The first person appointed to the professorship will specialize in pharmacogenomics, the study of how individual human genetic factors affect responses to pharmaceutical drugs.

“We will look for a candidate who has a record of research in the area of genomics -- the study of the function and structure of genes -- and proteomics, which is the study of proteins encoded by genes,” he said. “Both of these areas of study are integral to potential discoveries of improved drug therapies.”

In the future, as other advances in pharmaceutical research develop, the focus of the professorship may change, Audus said.

Mossberg has held several administrative and teaching appointments at KU. In 1966, he joined the faculty as a professor of pharmacy and dean of the school. Besides his service as vice chancellor for research, he is a former dean of the Graduate School and a former director of technology transfer.

From 1991 until 2003, Mossberg directed the Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship Program. Established by the Selfs in 1989, the program recruits outstanding students pursing doctorate degrees who are expected to become leaders in their fields. Offering more financial support for students than the prestigious Rhodes, Truman, Mellon and Marshall fellowship programs, the Self program also provides leadership development for participants.

Al Self said he and Lila established the professorship in gratitude and appreciation for Mossberg's efforts on behalf of the Self Graduate Fellowship Program.

“When we started the fellowship program, we were trying to do something new, meaningful and different in graduate education,” Self said. “It was in great part due to Howard's extensive experience in leadership roles at KU and his ability to work effectively with a variety of university partners that much progress has been made toward achieving the vision we have in mind for this program. We also wanted to honor his efforts with a professorship in pharmacy because of his many years of service in pharmacy education, research and leadership.”

Self, a 1943 chemical engineering graduate, acquired Bee Chemical Co. in Lansing, Ill., in 1947. When he sold the company 37 years later, it had grown from a staff of three to 500 employees worldwide. He then established Allen Financial Inc., a private investment firm of which he is president. In 1989 he and three associates founded Tioga International Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of industrial sealants and coatings, which was sold in 1999.

He met Lila Reetz when they were students at KU. A native of Eudora, she attended KU with the class of 1943. She has long maintained an interest in art and architecture and has been active in her community. The Selfs have one son.

The couple's gift for the Mossberg Professorship counts toward the goal of KU First: Invest in Excellence, the largest fund-raising campaign in KU history. KU Endowment is conducting KU First on behalf of KU through 2004 to raise in excess of $600 million for scholarships, fellowships, professorships, capital projects and program support. KU Endowment serves as the independent, nonprofit fund-raising and fund-management organization for KU.


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