Dean Cole, a member of the Class of 1953, was the first alumnus to be appointed dean. Dr. Cole campaigned heavily for a new pharmacy building to be located at the Arizona Health Sciences Center. His efforts quickly paid off and in 1979, construction began on the building the college still occupies today. The project succeeded due in large part to Dr. Cole's efforts to secure a $1 million grant from the Skaggs Companies, Inc. At the time it was the largest single corporate gift ever received by the university. Research efforts at the college also grew substantially under Dr. Cole's leadership. In 1979, more than $1 million in federal research grants were acquired by the faculty, as compared to $250,000 received during 1978. In 1981, Dr. Cole achieved another major accomplishment when the Arizona Board of Regents approved the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program as an option for pharmacy students. Following a temporary stint as acting vice provost for the university in the late 1980s, Dr. Cole was appointed UA provost in 1989 and stepped down as dean. He remains a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the college.