Dr. L. David Hiner, 82, organizer and first dean of the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, who died this week, had been retired for nearly 18 years and thus largely out of the public eye. Yet his impressive achievements are a continuing benefit to Utah.
A native of South Dakota, he came to Utah in 1947 from Ohio State University where he was a professor of pharmacy. In the immediate post- World War II years, there was enormous growth on a hectic U. of U. campus. Hiner took the challenge and began to fashion what was to become a College of Pharmacy with a national reputation. He retired in 1970 after 23 years at the helm.When he left, the scattered wooden barracks that he had inherited on campus as classrooms and laboratories had been replaced by a modern College of Pharmacy building at the U. Medical Center. It remains as a monument to his tireless work.
A skilled worker in the laboratory, he held a variety of national posts, both in pharmaceutical research and teaching. He also labored in the larger sphere of academics and for many years was the U. representative to the Northwest Association, which examines and accredits universities and colleges in the northwestern U.S.
All of this, and much, much more, makes Hiner sound like a brilliant professor, which he was. But there were other sides to the man. He was a outdoors enthusiast, going hunting and fishing, and taking horseback trips into the mountains. He was chairman of the U. of U. Athletic Board for 16 years and was faculty representative to the Western Athletic Conference all because he loved sports.
Hiner was a warm and caring man, quick to give credit to others for achievements at the school. But the U. College of Pharmacy and the skilled pharmacists it continues to graduate, are his legacy to Utah and the nation. In that sense, we have not lost him at all.