His donation is meaningful because he is grateful. His first paycheck at his new job had a bit less in it than the many more to follow.

Jae Wook Yang, PharmD, PhD, recently accepted a job as a tenure track assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, and has donated $2,000 of his first paycheck to the College of Pharmacy (COP) at Western University of Health Sciences, where he graduated in 2006.

"I know this amount of money is not enough to fully express my gratitude toward Western University," he wrote in a letter to members of the COP that accompanied his donation.

According to Korean tradition, some money from your first paycheck is usually set aside for parents to show appreciation and gratitude. In this case, Yang explained that WesternU is like his parents.

"This school made it possible for me to be born again as an American pharmacist and to be part of a clinical faculty in the United States," said Yang. "So I decided to take out some money from my first payroll and donate to WesternU, which is my mother school."

Dr. Yang surprised many by presenting the check during a recent luncheon celebrating the end of residencies and fellowships. He just completed three years of fellowship in renal transplantation under the supervision of WesternU COP Associate Professor Dr. David Min. In his letter, he expressed his appreciation for the college’s teaching, training, mentoring and encouragement, and asked that his gift be used for scholarships for two pharmacy students.

"With the stroke of his pen, Jae has become one of the most generous pharmacy alumni in the history of the College," said College of Pharmacy Dean Daniel Robinson, PharmD, FASHP. "Jae’s gift is not only significant for its size, but the symbolism is priceless."