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Photo credit: Dalhousie University

Alumnus, former faculty member leaves $285K gift to the college

Dr. J. Gordon Duff bequeathed the generous gift in his estate

“I will always cherish the memories I have of the College of Pharmacy and the University of Saskatchewan,” wrote Dr. Duff in his chapter of the book Pharmacy: An Art, a Science, a Profession*. His generous gift to the college includes $25,000 for historical archival purposes, and the remaining $260,000 is to be used at the discretion of the Dean of Pharmacy and Nutrition.

“This gift will further enhance the rich and engaging educational experiences our students receive in the college,” said Kishor Wasan, Professor and Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. A portion of the gift will go towards establishing a new Graduate Student Training program in the college, while the remainder will be reserved for future use.

With a strong interest pharmacy history, Dr. Duff played a large role in establishing the historical pharmacy in Sherbrooke Village, Nova Scotia and the J. Gordon Duff Pharmacy Museum at Dalhousie's College of Pharmacy. In his tribute to Dean Wesley C. MacAulay, John Turnbull (BSP, 1949) speculated that Dr. Duff was influence by Dean MacAulay’s passion for pharmacy history. MacAulay was dean of the college from 1946-1975, and the MacAulay Pharmaceutical Collection, which is housed in the Thorvaldson Building, is named after him.

Dr. Duff earned Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in 1953 and Master of Science in Pharmacy in 1955 from the University of Saskatchewan. He continued his studies at University of Florida to earn Doctor of Philosophy degree in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1958. He served the University of Saskatchewan as an Instructor of Pharmacy from 1958 to 1961 and then became the first director of the College of Pharmacy, Dalhousie University, in Halifax.

He was honored by the Canadian Pharmacists Association as a Centennial Pharmacist in 2007 and as a Centennial Alumnus of Influence by the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition in 2014. In 2012, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Dalhousie University for his outstanding contributions to pharmacy education, the profession and the university.

Dr. Duff passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 11, 2014. He was born in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, and he is survived by three nieces and six nephews.

*Pharmacy: An Art, a Science, a Profession by Dr. Bruce R. Schnell was published to celebrate the college’s Centennial year. The book also contains John Turnbull’s tribute to Dean Wesley C. MacAulay.

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