Joan and Joseph(PHARM ’38) Koslow
Joseph Koslow (PHARM ’38) truly believed that generosity brought interconnectedness among people. His daughter remembers him always saying, “Never forget the people who helped you get where you are.” As a testament to that philosophy, Joseph Koslow, who died in 1990 and his wife, Joan, who died in 1996, left a generous, unrestricted gift to the School of Pharmacy. Joe and Joan’s daughter, Barbara, and her husband Ted Reineking, chose to apply this gift to scholarships and research in pharmacogenetics – a field that did not exist just a decade ago.
Joe attended the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy through the support of Thrift Drug co-founder Reuben Helfant and went on to become a medical representative for Chicago-based Burroughs Wellcome. He adored his alma mater and even received the School of Pharmacy’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989. Joe and Joan were active with the Pitt Club of Chicago, where they lived, and were inducted as Charter Members of the Cathedral of Learning Society.
Though the Koslows left an unrestricted gift to the School of Pharmacy, Joe’s daughter and her husband chose to create two new funds: an endowed chair and an endowed scholarship fund. Both came after much discussion between the Reinekings and then-dean Randy Juhl and are a testament to Joe’s desire to help others achieve their highest potential.
The Joseph Koslow Chair was the first endowed chair in the School of Pharmacy and reinforces the School’s national reputation as a leader in pharmacy education and pharmaceutical care and research. Because an endowed chair provides an opportunity for an individual to do extensive research with ongoing funding, this chair has allowed for remarkable work to be completed at the School of Pharmacy. The first recipient of this chair was Leaf Huang, PhD who directs the School of Pharmacy Center for Pharmacogenetics. His team uses advanced genetic tools to investigate genetic variations within individuals that affect response to drugs and xenobiotics.
The Joseph Koslow Endowed Scholarship Fund benefits Pennsylvania-resident students who demonstrate character, enthusiasm, potential and commitment to the pharmacy profession as well as academic accomplishment and financial need. A provision that gives special consideration to those with extraordinary life circumstances was included based on an experience that shaped Joe’s life. After Joe graduated from the School of Pharmacy, he served his country in World War II. When he returned home, he found that his brother wanted to attend Pitt’s School of Pharmacy, but neither of them could afford the tuition. Joe visited then-School of Pharmacy Dean Reif who told Joe, “You go ahead and bring him to Pitt and we’ll find a way.” It was through the generosity of others that both Joe and his brother were able to obtain an education at the University of Pittsburgh. Through his gift, Joe continues to provide that same opportunity for others.
Joe and Joan’s kindness and generosity have touched the lives of many through their planned gift to the School of Pharmacy. It is this interconnectedness that Joe always understood and appreciated. Those who receive assistance through these funds will always remember who helped them achieve their greatest dreams – and that’s something Joe would be proud to do.Return to all donor stories.