Irbys Donate $20,000 to SWOSU College of Pharmacy


Lowell IrbyLowell and Norberta Irby of Artesia, N.M., recently donated $20,000 to the Southwestern Pharmacy Alumni Foundation in Weatherford.

The gift was designated to the Irby Family Practice Grant Fund that gives grants to pharmacy students on practice rotations who have demonstrated significant financial need. The Irbys established the fund in 1996 and have contributed over $197,000 to SWOSU since that time.

"Southwestern gave me the education and training that has allowed me to be successful in the business world," said Irby, a 1955 graduate.  "I have always believed that one should help those that have helped you, and our family believes that SWOSU is probably the premier pharmacy school for training retail pharmacists."

While at SWOSU, Irby played football for one year and was active in pharmacy activities and the Wesley Foundation at the First United Methodist Church. He was honored in 1999 as a distinguished alumnus of the SWOSU College of Pharmacy. He serves on the Southwestern Pharmacy Alumni Foundation Board of Directors and is a lifetime member of the SWOSU Pharmacy Alumni Association.

Irby was not the only one in his family to attend the SWOSU College of Pharmacy. Brother Dillard Bayless Irby graduated in 1951, and sons Kirk and Wade graduated in 1995 and 1996, respectively. The Irbys' other son, Eugene, runs an oil field service company owned by the family, and their daughter, LaNette, is a biologist and zoologist.

The Irbys recently celebrated 50 dedicated years of business with their Lowell's Pharmacy in Artesia. Irby is very active in the Artesia community, especially with the Artesia Public Schools. In 2008, the school system dedicated their newly redesigned and remodeled board room as the Lowell Irby Board Room in honor of his service on the board since 1977.