HATTIESBURG – Students
interested in pursuing careers in pharmaceutical sales will soon
have greater opportunities to do so at The University of Southern
Mississippi thanks to Cypress Pharmaceutical Inc. founder Max E.
Draughn and his wife, Susan.
The couple today announced a $1 million commitment
to establish the Max E. Draughn Pharmaceutical Sales Program in
the College of Business. The gift provides for the creation of a
pharmaceutical sales professorship, lecture series and advisory
council, all in an effort to strengthen the undergraduate preparation
for students entering the pharmaceutical sales profession.
"Both (Southern Miss) and the pharmaceutical
industry presented me with opportunities which helped me to achieve
my career goals," said Max Draughn. "This is an opportunity
for Susan and me to help others further their educational and career
"This is one of the largest commitments ever
made to the College of Business. Development of the Max E. Draughn
Pharmaceutical Sales Program will allow us to expand and strengthen
a program that has been in the works for a number of years,"
said Dean Harold Doty. "These additional resources will help
create greater value for our students and greater visibility for
the program and for the university. We are extremely grateful to
be the beneficiaries of the Draughns' generosity."
This program will provide the framework for students
to get a broad-based business education that has a strategic focus
on sales and marketing coupled with practical industry experiences.
The guiding mission of the program states that it "endeavors
to prepare the most professionally adept talent pool capable of
responding to the diverse demands for sales and marketing personnel
in the pharmaceutical industry."
"For our students it means credibility, visibility
and acknowledgment of our serious commitment to quality pharmaceutical
sales education," said Dr. Alvin Williams, chair of the Department
of Management and Marketing. "Pharmaceutical sales is one of
the most lucrative and visible jobs for our graduates and has become
increasingly attractive over the years as a career option for marketing
One of the first goals of the Draughn Pharmaceutical
Sales Program is the establishment of a formal major in pharmaceutical
sales in the Department of Management and Marketing. Although a
pharmaceutical sales program has been in place at Southern Miss
since 1985, it has not been a separate and distinct major. Students
interested in the field major in marketing and take several courses
in chemistry, anatomy and physiology and pharmacology.
Max Draughn is a Petal, Miss., native and a 1984 graduate
of Southern Miss who founded Cypress Pharmaceutical in 1993. The
company, located in Madison, Miss., was named the second fastest-growing
privately held company in Mississippi by the Mississippi Business
Journal in 2003. In 1998, Draughn founded Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals,
a branded division of Cypress. Together, the two companies have
150 employees nationwide and generated $100 million in revenue in
2004. He was honored by the College of Business last fall as its
2004 Distinguished Entrepreneur and is a member of the college's
Business Advisory Council.
Susan Draughn, a Hattiesburg native, holds a degree
from Baylor University and is a former certified public accountant.
The couple has three sons, Owen, Case and Stephen.
For more information about the Max E. Draughn Pharmaceutical
Sales Program and other programs in the College of Business, contact
the dean's office at (601) 266-4659.