Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little

Chancellor celebrates Medicine, Pharmacy expansions in Wichita

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Remarks to the Kiowa County High School Honor Roll Banquet

Thank you, Dr. Atkinson, and thank you to everyone here who has made this day possible.

As the state’s flagship research university the University of Kansas has a special mission: To educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world.

Our schools of Medicine and Pharmacy accomplish all three of these.

We’re joined by some of the medicine and pharmacy students who will go on to be leaders in their communities. 

Their work - and the work of KU faculty and staff around the state - will help improve the health and well-being of people in communities throughout Kansas.

And the care they provide for their patients will be enhanced by the work we’re doing in everything from drug discovery, to treatments for major depression, and health care in countless other areas.

Thanks to the tremendous support of policymakers, philanthropists and the people of Wichita and Sedgwick County, more Kansans will have access to health care providers and advanced treatments in their own communities.

I also want to thank the legislators who invested in the future by funding the pharmacy expansion.  And I want to give special recognition to our two legislator-pharmacists: Sen. Vicki Schmidt and Rep. Don Hill.  Their leadership made this expansion possible and will lead to more Jayhawk pharmacists joining their ranks.

These expansions will do more than just help Kansans live happy, healthy lives.  They also help secure the health and prosperity of their communities.

It’s hard to recruit a new family or a new business to town if the nearest doctor or pharmacist is a county away.  But now, with a new pharmacist or doctor - educated right here in Wichita - moving to those communities, the health care that people expect and deserve will be right down the street. And these communities can grow and prosper.

That’s what we mean when we say that KU builds healthy communities.  And it is why we are so proud to be here today.

Deans Atkinson, Audus and Wilson:  Congratulations to you, and to your faculty and staff for reaching this milestone.  And for your dedication to the lives of our students and the people they will serve.

To our students: We’re happy you chose the University of Kansas for your education, and we look forward to seeing the amazing things you’ll do here at KU and after graduation.

And to Wichita: Thank you for being tremendous hosts and strong partners.  We are proud to be a part of your community.

This is an important day for KU.  But it is an even more important day for the students here with us, and for the people who they will serve as doctors and pharmacists for years to come.

And that’s truly cause for celebration.



One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
Chancellor's Vision

The mission of the University of Kansas is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world.

We will do that by raising the expectations we have for ourselves, the aspirations we have for our state, and the hopes we have for our world.

KU is in the midst of a comprehensive effort to ensure the university is ranked among the top tier of public international research universities.

Through Bold Aspirations, our strategic plan, we're changing the way we prepare students for success. We're fostering research and scholarship across all disciplines. And we're sharing the benefits of a flagship university with our state and world.

This effort is supported by Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, as well as our initiative to reduce administrative costs, Changing for Excellence.