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Another chapter in the University of Utah's commitment to the pharmacy industry is unfolding with the opening of a research center, the L. S. Skaggs Pharmacy Institute.

The building is named in honor of L. S. "Sam" Skaggs, the late businessman and benefactor whose family has supported the pharmacy program for nearly 50 years. The 150,000-square-foot structure is designed to encourage creativity and multidisciplinary collaboration to spur research breakthroughs.

The new building is just south of the College of Pharmacy, built with Skaggs family money in 1965 and named after his father. The college will be a key part of the new structure.

The 89-year-old Skaggs, who died March 21, had quietly funneled tens of millions of dollars to pharmaceutical research and education, which helped build the U.'s pharmacy programs, among other endeavors. That legacy reached a critical milestone a few years ago when the U. broke ground on the pharmacy research center. The family, through its foundation and Skaggs' personal fortune, gave $30 million toward the $69 million project.

A grand opening for the research center was conducted last week.

U. officials say that 60 percent of the pharmacists in Utah graduated from the college.