Guy Wilson has had a leading role in one of the university's most remarkable academic and fund-raising endeavors. As owner of Wilson Pharmacy and Home Health, Guy and his wife, Debra also a pharmacist and company President, had become painfully aware of the shrinking pool of available licensed pharmacist in our region and the difficulty of recruiting and retaining qualified personnel. They saw on a daily basis how this affected the cost of health care. Guy took up the challenge of raising awareness of the need for pharmacist, especially in rural areas. The Wilson Family already had strong ties to ETSU through their establishment of The Guy and Miriam Wilson Nursing Scholarship Endowment, which honors Guy's mother's work as a nurse. Guy and Debra have also supported the LeeAnn Brown Chair of Pediatrics, Men's and Women's Intercollegiate Athletics, Friends of the Reece Museum, National Institutes of Health ETSU Programs, and others.
With the James H. Quillen College of Medicine presenting the natural partner for a new pharmacy program, many of the challenges and strategies to overcome obstacles were part of Guy's dialogue with university leaders. He led the charge of what became a critical corps of university supporters, who realized and shared the dream of an ETSU College of Pharmacy. Today, we stand at an incredible point of progress with $6.5 million raised or pledged since the March 17, 2005, announcement and challenge by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen to raise $7.5 million by fall 2006. An idea fostered by Guy Wilson grew into a dream for an entire region, with the first class for pharmacy students to begin January 2007.