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Remembering Dean Emeritus Jack Orr

Dean Emeritus Jack Orr

It is with sadness we report that Dean Emeritus Jack Edward Orr passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 6, 2018, surrounded by his family.

Born in Delphi, Indiana in 1918, Jack’s father and grandfather were both pharmacists. Like so many of our alumni, he began his pharmacy career dusting shelves and sweeping the floor of the family pharmacy. He followed in his father’s and brother’s footsteps, attending Purdue University School of Pharmacy. He was a pharmacist (BS Pharm, Purdue University) and a Medicinal Chemist (PhD, University of Wisconsin). Jack served on the faculty of Pharmacy at Ohio State University and the University of Utah before accepting an offer in 1952 to become Dean of the University of Montana College of Pharmacy.

In 1956, Jack became Dean of the UW School of Pharmacy succeeding Dean Forest Goodrich. At the UW, he served 22 years as our Dean and was succeeded by Milo Gibaldi in 1978. While in service as Dean, Jack led the school’s growth to double the number of faculty and staff and the curriculum shift to include a clinical approach with patient care at its center, along with other changes that laid the groundwork for the Doctor of Pharmacy Program. Support of research grew, along with federal research funding. Pharmacy services started being offered in Hall Health, culminating in the Rubenstein Memorial Pharmacy. In 1976, Jack asked UWSOP alumnus Ted Taniguchi to establish the UW Pharmacy Alumni Association (PAA). The Distinguished Alumni Award was also established while Jack served as Dean.

Outside of his work at the UW, Jack was heavily involved in the American Association of the Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) for 13 years, including as President (1964-1965) and chair of the Executive Committee (1968-1973).

He retired from the School of Pharmacy in 1983 and had lived in the Puget Sound area since his retirement. In 1994, Jack wrote The First Century, A History of The University of Washington School of Pharmacy, 1894-1994, on the 100thanniversary of the founding of the UWSOP. The history brings to life the many storied accomplishments of our faculty, alumni, and students.

UWSOP Deans Emeriti Jack Orr, Tom Baillie, and Sid Nelson
UWSOP Deans Emeriti Jack Orr, Tom Baillie, and Sid Nelson

A number of talented faculty leaders joined the School during his tenure, including: Lynn Brady, Wendell Nelson, Joy Plein, Frank Vincenzi, Dale Christensen, Pharmacy Professor John Horn, Wayne Kradjan, Bill Trager, Rene Levy, Bill Campbell and Sid Nelson. Three of these individuals went on to become Deans, themselves (Kradjan at Oregon State, Campbell at UNC, and Nelson at the UW).  What a phenomenal academic legacy that Dean Orr helped to create.

Jack was married to and preceded in death by Maxine Kennard. They had one daughter, Judy, and two grandsons. Dean Sean D. Sullivan shared, “When I last saw Jack, he mentioned to me his wish to see his 100th birthday. He came very close! Jack requested that no memorial be held, just a big party.”

In honor of his memory, Jack’s family has asked that gifts be made to the Jack Orr Endowed Fund at the UW School of Pharmacy.