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Feurt Memorial Fund

Dean Feurt
 Credit: ©alex ginsburg PHOTOgraphics

Dr. Seldon Dick Feurt, one of the most progressive leaders in the field of pharmacy education, was born October 21, 1923 in Wichita, Kansas. He graduated from high school in Hamilton, Missouri, in 1941 and a year later enlisted in the U.S. Navy. As a pharmacist's mate first-class in the First Aid Corps, he was involved in combat operations in the South Pacific, assigned to the Fourth Marine Battalion. He was commissioned an Ensign prior to his discharge in 1945. He enrolled at Loyola University of the South in New Orleans and graduated with his B.S. in Pharmacy degree in 1949. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Florida where he majored in pharmacology. Prior to coming to the University of Tennessee, Dr. Feurt was Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy at the University of Georgia School of Pharmacy. He also served as research director at DeLeon Laboratories in Atlanta, and he co-invented the tranquilizer gun, which gained worldwide acceptance in animal management and control programs.

Dr. Feurt was appointed dean of the University of Tennessee School of Pharmacy on March 1, 1959, but his tenure almost did not last very long. It seems that his first day on the job was particularly frustrating. Upon arriving home that evening, he instructed his wife Joella to immediately stop unpacking and prepare to move back to Georgia. On his first day, the new dean had encountered a multitude of problems: there was no money; the school was facing probation; water pipes had burst and flooded the best laboratory; the Memphis police officers demanded that Dean Feurt give character witness for Ed, the janitor, who is in jail. To top off his frustrating day, his car had run out of gas on the way home! Fortunately for the College, Mrs. Feurt got the new dean to sit down and cool off. She then convinced Dr. Feurt to consider his new job as a research project, a challenge he could not refuse.

The administration of Dean Feurt began a new era in pharmacy development, starting with a change of name from School of Pharmacy to College of Pharmacy, consistent with the Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry on the Memphis campus. Dean Feurt brought acclaimed teachers and scientists to College, the faculty being increased to 60 full-time and part-time teaching and research members, 20 of whom held doctoral degrees. A graduate program in the pharmaceutical sciences was introduced in 1963, leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Physical facilities were greatly expanded. A five-story research building at 26 South Dunlap Street was completed in 1962. This facility was initially shared by the Colleges of Pharmacy and Dentistry, and was known as the Dental-Pharmacy Research Building. In 1975, it was renamed the Seldon D. Feurt Memorial Research Building in honor of Dr. Feurt. Under his leadership, the College of Pharmacy became the largest pharmacy school in the south and one of the five largest schools in the nation. Dean Feurt began the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree program at UT in 1968. He initiated a student-coordinated drug abuse education program and numerous cooperative educational and research ventures with industry, hospitals and community pharmacies across Tennessee. He was a frequently sought pharmaceutical consultant to both government and industry.

January 19, 1975, brought sadness to the College and profession with the death of Dean Feurt. The outstanding contributions he made during his 16-year tenure as dean in guiding the expansion and development of the College will continue to have a lasting impact on pharmacy education and practice in Tennessee.

Establishment of the Feurt Memorial Fund

The establishment of the Seldon D. Feurt Memorial Fund in 1976 marked a unique cooperative agreement between The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, its alumni, the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, and the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy. It was the primary goal of these groups to honor a man who had served each of them well and had contributed significantly to the profession of pharmacy. Through their efforts, they created an endowment which will perpetuate the legacy of Dr. Seldon D. Feurt. He would be very proud of the efforts undertaken in his name. We encourage you to participate in the Feurt Memorial Fund as well. The four programs noted below are are unique and innovative programs of The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy that are made possible by the Feurt Memorial Fund.

Seldon D. Feurt Symposium

The Feurt Symposium is the focal point of the Committee’s activities. The first symposium was held on February 13, 1991. The symposium brings outstanding educators to the College to address students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the College and The University of Tennessee community. The visiting educators present a major seminar to the entire UT Health Science Center faculty and student body. This provides the recognition that Dean Feurt should be afforded and presents an opportunity to continue to enhance the Feurt Memorial Fund. In 1999, the Feurt Committee voted to name the keynote address for successive Feurt Symposia the Harold and Agnes Casey Lecture to honor Mr. and Mrs. Casey for their tireless work and generosity to the Feurt Memorial Fund.

Feurt Scholars Program

The second component of the Feurt program is to support 16 Feurt Scholars enrolled in the professional program as joint Pharm.D./Ph.D. students. Private foundations and the pharmaceutical industry are approached for funding for these scholars as well. The Feurt Memorial Fund sets the example and paves the way for additional funding.

Feurt International Scholarships

This program allows fourth-year student pharmacists to participate in international rotations in one of 11 countries where the College has affiliations. Students have professional experiences that benefit them the rest of their lives and broaden their professional and personal horizons.

Feurt PharmD Scholarships

Because of the growth of the Feurt Memorial Fund endowment, Dean Gourley proposed funding a fourth program, undergraduate merit scholarships. This plan was adopted, and the first three Feurt PharmD Scholars were announced prior to the 1998-99 academic year. Another component of the Feurt Pharm.D. Scholarships is the award of scholarships to the students who show the most improvement in grade point average from one year to the next.

For more information on giving to the Seldon D. Feurt Memorial Fund, please contact a member of the Feurt Committee or the UTHSC Office of Development, 62 S. Dunlap St., Suite 500, Memphis, TN 38163. Telephone numbers are 901.448.5516 and 800.733.0482.

May 26, 2022