By Patricia O’Dell
When Denis Mackey decided to surprise his wife, Ann, he didn’t fall back on traditional gifts like jewelry or flowers. Instead, he initiated the establishment of a new pharmacy scholarship at the University of Missouri – Kansas City in her parents’ names, Jack and Margaret Corken.
“It was such a surprise!” says Ann Corken Mackey (B.S. Pharmacy, ‘79.) “We had talked about it, but he started the process and then we finished it together.”
The Jack and Margaret Corken Memorial Scholarship continues a Corken legacy in the pharmacy field and gives preference to students from northwest Missouri who are studying pharmacy or specializing in geriatric pharmacy.
“My father is in the business, so I’d seen it first hand,” says Ann. “I liked science and the medical field, so I decided to become a pharmacist as well. I’ve worked in private pharmacies, hospital settings and at the Federal Drug Administration.”
Cole Simoncic, a pharmacy intern who works at the University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s hospital, is the scholarship’s first recipient.
“I was very excited when I found out I received the scholarship,” says Cole. “It’s allowed me to focus more on school.”
“I wanted to give back,” says Ann. “I was lucky. My father put me through school. But tuition has gone up so much since we were in college. Denis and I wanted to ease the way for someone else and honor my father at the same time.”
The Mackeys had the opportunity to meet Cole at a School of Pharmacy luncheon for scholars and donors.
“We were very impressed,” says Ann. “Cole is a very nice young man. It was also great for us to have the opportunity to find out what pharmacy school is like now. It’s a lot tougher. There are so many new drugs and discoveries to learn.”
“I am so thankful for the Mackeys’ generosity,” says Cole, who first became interested in pharmacy after shadowing local pharmacists in high school and working as a technician as an undergraduate. “It was great that they took time out of their busy lives to attend the scholarship ceremony. I’m really excited to be a vital part of the patient care process.”
“Pharmacy has been a good career for me,” says Ann. “I’m glad we can help the next generation.”