A former University of Mississippi faculty member – known globally as a leading pharmaceutical marketing expert – has made a major investment in the department he once led at the School of Pharmacy, increasing educational experiences for students.
With a $350,000 IRA transfer, Dr. Mickey Smith established a pharmacy administration endowment named for him and his late wife, Mary. The generous resources will provide funding for graduate student support, faculty development and seed funding for research projects. It will also help cover conference travel expenses and provide support for guest speakers and lecturers among other needs.
“I spent 37-plus years on the faculty and I have great loyalty to both the Pharmacy School and the Department of Pharmacy Administration, for which I served as chair for about 15 years early in my tenure,” said Smith, who retired in 2003 as the F.A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy Administration and continues to live in Oxford, Mississippi. “I had great affection for the many doctoral students I directed.”
Smith said he hopes his support will give the department increased flexibility.
“It’s like my home away from home if you will,” he said. “Bearing in mind my experience as department chair, I know how good it is to have some money that you can use pretty much at will rather than the restricted funding you get from grants and contracts.”
Income from the Mickey and Mary Smith Pharmacy Administration Endowment will be directed by the department chair.
“The Smiths’ gift is very generous and is really a testament to the standard of excellence Dr. Smith set while a member of the faculty. He was an incredible mentor to so many. He truly grew to love the school and this department as well as seeing the success of his students. His gift is just further evidence of that,” said current Chair John Bentley, who along with his wife Sandy recently made a gift to the Smith endowment.
The Department of Pharmacy Administration boasts one of the nation’s oldest programs of its kind, offering quality graduate education in pharmaceutical marketing, management, health outcomes and economics, and pharmacoepidemiology for more than 50 years.
“I am extremely grateful to the Smiths for their desire to see this department continue to excel,” Bentley said. “With their help, we can continue to give our students an ever-expanding education.”
Mickey Smith earned a doctorate from Ole Miss in 1964 under then-Dean Charlie Hartman. After graduating, he worked as marketing manager for the Swedish drug company, Pharmacia (now owned by Pfizer) in New Jersey.
In 1966, Hartman recruited Smith from the drug industry, urging him to return to Ole Miss to serve on the faculty. The two became great friends and Smith later wrote a book about Hartman, who died tragically in 1970.
In addition to his book, “Hello, I’m Charlie Hartman,” Smith is one of the world’s most read and respected pharmaceutical marketing experts. He has published some 450 research and professional papers, written or edited 22 books and helped found the Journal of Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management.
Smith’s papers and books brought much positive attention to the Ole Miss Pharmacy School as did many of his research projects. Throughout his career, he was involved in the groundwork of some major pharmaceutical decisions.
Smith conducted studies with pharmacists on such issues as generic substitution before it was even considered an issue. He was also involved in research to discover pharmacists’ response to switching several drugs from prescription to over-the-counter status, including ibuprofen, hydrocortisone cream, Benadryl® and Actifed®.
The first study he conducted, in 1966, involved the economics of adverse drug reactions. In ensuing years, he studied such topics as drug use among AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) families, the consequences of a Medicaid formulary and determinants of medication use among the elderly.
Just six years after receiving a doctorate, Smith was promoted to full professor and chair of the department, which he molded into one of the nation’s best. He led the department until 1985, when he stepped down to concentrate on research, writing and teaching, at which he excelled.
Four years later, the university rewarded Smith’s work by naming him one of its five inaugural Barnard Distinguished Professors, a distinction that honored only internationally renowned faculty members.
Mary Smith served as school nurse for Oxford City Schools from 1961 to 1968. In 1970, she earned a master’s degree in home economics from Ole Miss and was named a member of Phi Kappa Phi. She also earned an undergraduate from Stephens College and a doctorate from Clayton University.
Additionally, she taught part-time in the Department of Home Economics, receiving the Teacher of the Year Award.
Mary Smith was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and enjoyed researching genealogy. She also enjoyed music, art, reading and especially travel, visiting with her husband all seven continents, more than 100 countries and all 50 states. She passed away in late 2018.
The Smiths, married for 58 years, have two children and three grandchildren.
The Mickey and Mary Smith Pharmacy Administration Endowment is open to gifts from individuals and organizations. Checks may be mailed to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the endowment noted in the memo line, to 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655. Gifts can also be made online by visiting https://umfoundation.givingfuel.com/pharmacyadmin.
For more information on supporting the School of Pharmacy, contact Port Kaigler, development officer, at email@example.com or 662-915-2712.
By Bill Dabney