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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI College of Pharmacy dedicates Brooks Eckerd classroom

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

Support from pharmacy chain exceeds $100,000

KINGSTON, R.I. -- July 20, 2006 -- The University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy has dedicated a classroom with the latest animation technology to Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy. The pharmacy chain has supported several College projects, its total support exceeding $100,000.

During springtime ceremonies with company officials, the College renamed the facility in Fogarty Hall the Brooks Eckerd 3D Visualization Auditorium.

“This room, which is now one of the most technologically advanced classrooms in New England, is a reflection of the great changes going on here at the College,” said Pharmacy Dean Donald E. Letendre. “We dedicate this facility with sincere thanks for all Brooks Eckerd does for the College.”

Brooks Eckerd, which is based in Warwick, funded a full renovation of the facility, including the reconstruction of the stage and screen area, a drop ceiling, and in collaboration with the University, installation of stadium seating. A $100,000 Champlin Foundations grant funded the animation equipment and software.

Students and faculty use the facility to view animations that depict drug interactions and biological processes at the molecular level.

“This classroom is reflective of how we like to work in the community,” said William Z. Welsh, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brooks Eckerd. “In all our visits to the College, we see the hope and the optimism that are so needed in health care today. People who graduate from the College are real difference makers.”

After the ceremonies, the dean gave Brooks Eckerd executives a tour of Fogarty
Hall, home of the College of Pharmacy. Letendre explained how the College has outgrown Fogarty, and that URI seeks voter approval in November for a new pharmacy headquarters.

Daniel Haron, vice president of pharmacy and professional affairs, said Brooks Eckerd is the fourth largest pharmacy chain in North America, filling 125 million prescriptions per year.

“When you graduate, stay connected and stay involved with the profession,” Haron told the students. “If you follow your passion and have some fun along the way, you’ll be in good shape.”

Ginger Lemay, a 2000 graduate of the College and manager of pharmaceutical care for Brooks Eckerd, urged the students to follow their hearts. “Expose yourself to a wide variety of experiences because you never know what is going to catch your eyes.”

DEDICATION CEREMONIES: William Z. Welsh, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy in Warwick, left, accepts a plaque from University of Rhode Island Pharmacy Dean Donald E. Letendre after the College named its animation auditorium in the chain’s honor. URI News Bureau photo by Michael Salerno photography.