Jesus Gil is president of Gil Pharmaceutical Corporation. His son, Armando, is an NSU Shark who shares his father’s love of science and dreams of designing and producing proprietary medical products like his dad. Only a year after Armando started the pharmacy doctoral program at NSU Palm Beach, the Gil family has become dedicated supporters, active recruiters, and endowment donors.
Why is the president of Puerto Rico’s top pharmaceutical company, Jesus Gil, taking time out of his busy schedule to encourage families to send their children to NSU? And why has he established an endowed scholarship fund for students enrolled in NSU’s Pharmacy program at the Palm Beach campus when his son is just starting his second year of study?
According to Gil, “It’s really not me that you have to thank, it’s the people that you have here at NSU.”
When Armando was first accepted to NSU’s Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program, he was presented with the option of attending school in Puerto Rico or Palm Beach Gardens. Armando was set on remaining in Puerto Rico until his father took him to tour NSU’s Palm Beach Campus and to meet assistant dean Nile Khanfar, M.B.A., Ph.D.
“Nile had me at hello,” Gil said. “He treated us like family, and after just two hours Armando started talking about going to Palm Beach. The rest is history.”
The feeling of “family” extends far beyond warm welcomes, Gil added. When his daughter began questioning whether she should change her study focus from business back to pharmacy, he took her to see Fulbright Scholar and executive director of NSU’s Puerto Rico campus, Andres Malavé, M.S., Ph.D., so she could discuss her options with someone other than her dad.
“I want you to tell me if she is really ready for pharmacy,” Gil asked of Malavé, “because it is for her. It is not for me.”
Their three-hour conversation proved “a turning point for her,” Gil added. Now she is back studying biology and minoring in business with plans to pursue a doctoral degree at NSU.
Meanwhile, Armando experienced a tough semester during which Khanfar ensured he had all the help he needed in order to succeed.
“That is something you don’t pay for with money,” Gil said. “[Dr. Khanfar] treated my son like his son, and he does that with every single student.
“My son has an advantage in being able to pursue an excellent career, but I know a lot of good young people like my son who would like the same opportunity. That’s why it’s important to provide scholarships.
“[Dr. Khanfar] is always thinking about NSU, thinking about President Hanbury’s vision, and thinking about the students,” Gil added. “Those are the people who make us believe in NSU. That is why, you can always count on me.”
Located in the town of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, this campus has been offering education opportunities to the residents of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties for more than 25 years. (Now it is also attracting students like Armando Gil.)
The campus has approximately 75,000 square feet of space that includes numerous administrative/academic program offices, classrooms, study rooms, computer labs, a student lounge area, and a fitness center.
NSU has a nearly 40-year history with Puerto Rico, serving student residents of Puerto Rico on the university's main campus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and also offering instructional opportunities on the island. The campus is located at the Professional Offices Park IV in San Juan and currently serves approximately 350 students.