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FDAAA Names Temple Scholarship in Memory of Jim Benson

June 13, 2018

FDAAA has decided to name its scholarship fund for students enrolled in the Temple University School of Pharmacy’s Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs graduate program in honor of Jim Benson, a founding member of the Board of FDAAA and FDA’s former Acting/Deputy Commissioner and CDRH Director. Jim recently passed away.

The FDAAA Centennial Scholarship Award was created in 2006 in honor of FDA’s centennial. The endowment created the first scholarship in the school’s QA/RA program.

At the time, FDAAA said it established the endowment not only to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Pure Food and Drugs Act but also to encourage academic training in regulatory and quality issues. FDAAA selected Temple after reviewing graduate programs of schools nationwide.

The fund will now be known as the James S. Benson FDAAA/FDA Centennial Scholarship Fund.

In 2006 donations to the fund came from pharmaceutical trade associations, including the PhRMA Foundation, drug firms, and FDAAA members.

Nancy Myers, chair of FDAAA. Urged current members who want to honor Jim Benson to donate to the fund.

“Jim was a highly regarded and admired member of the FDA and FDAAA communities and I can think of no better way to honor him than to name this program in his memory and for current FDAAA members to contribute to his memory,” she said. “The FDAAA Executive Committee believed that adding Jim’s name to the Temple award is a fitting recognition of his contributions to the FDA community and to FDAAAA.”

Joe Levitt, former chair of FDAAA, said naming of the scholarship fund for Jim was especially appropriate. “Jim was always a champion of education in his many years at the FDA. He began his career in the education division of radiological health. Plus, Jim was a driving force in the creation of the FDAAA/Temple Scholarship Fund by spearheading the fundraising efforts that created the initial endowment of the program.”

Jim’s wife Cynthia has been invited to attend the June 12 Spring Fling and to accept the honor in Jim’s memory. Cynthia is an FDA Alumna, having worked for several decades in CDRH.

Christopher Van Vessem, Assistant Dean For Development and Alumni Relations, Temple University School of Pharmacy, remarked, “I am sorry to hear that Jim passed away. What a fitting gesture to make on Jim’s behalf.”

Temple University School of Pharmacy is a pioneer in providing advanced academic coursework in quality assurance and regulatory affairs, which refer to the quality practices and regulations governing the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, healthcare and consumer products, and related industries. The school was the first to create a master’s program in QA in 1968. In the 1990s, the school created the first academic certificate programs in drug development, clinical trial management, and medical device regulation.

Donations designated for the James S. Benson / FDA Centennial Scholarship Fund may be sent to:

Christopher Van Vessem
Director of Development
School of Pharmacy
Temple University
3307 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140


June 13, 2018
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