Creighton Fondly Remembers Dean Benedict
L. Kirk Benedict, PhD, dean of the Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions from 1980 to 1990, died of heart failure on Dec. 28 at the age of 81.
Benedict came to Creighton in 1980 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. After completing a 10-year term as dean he returned to the faculty until 1995 when he retired as dean emeritus in order to care for his wife, Patricia.
Michael Benedict, PharmD’87, says his father was a native of upstate New York who moved to Nebraska after earning his PhD from Purdue University in 1967.
Benedict’s tenure as dean encompassed important developments. He inaugurated the school’s occupational therapy program, introduced a joint pharmacy/MBA degree, added a doctoral program in pharmacy and stressed the importance of computer technology to the future of medicine.
He served as president of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association and was the 1991 recipient of that organization’s Cora Mae Briggs Outstanding Service Award conferred on individuals deemed to have contributed above and beyond the call of duty to the profession of pharmacy in Nebraska.
Benedict says his father will be remembered for an avid commitment to photography and for an open-door policy regarding students.
“I remember that we always had students in the house,” Benedict says. “He was known for making sure that everybody had a place to go, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas break. He was always keen on helping people in need.”
Amy Friedman Wilson, PharmD, interim dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, remembers Benedict as “a very kind man.”
“When I was a high school junior exploring a career in pharmacy, Dr. Benedict and his wife took my parents and me to dinner when we traveled to look at Creighton,” she recalls. “That was certainly beyond the expectation of a professional school leader for recruiting an undergraduate. His generosity and enthusiasm for the University was a significant factor in my decision to attend Creighton.”
Amy Haddad, PhD, professor emerita, says Benedict hired her in 1984 to teach ethics.
“He was very kind, and always interested in new ideas,” Haddad says. “He was very involved in the early stages of the use of computers for teaching and learning, and moved the pharmacy program away from just a bachelor’s degree to also offering a PharmD, which was the first step toward Creighton’s pharmacy program becoming all PharmD.”
Benedict lived in Federal Way, Washington, at the time of his death.
He was preceded in death by wife, Patricia. He is survived by sons, Michael, Douglas, Tom and Brian and by companion Lisa Story.