Gift from CVS chief enables URI to establish second endowed chair in pharmacy

KINGSTON, R.I.– October 27, 1998–The president and chief executive officer of CVS Corporation has donated $250,000 to the University of Rhode Island, the final gift in a four-year effort to establish an endowed professorship in community pharmacy. The personal gift by CVS chief Thomas M. Ryan, a 1975 graduate of the URI College of Pharmacy, brings the total for the endowed professorship to $1.25 million. When the fund drive for the chair was begun in the fall of 1994, CVS donated $500,000, which at the time was the single largest gift received by the College of Pharmacy. Ryan also led the effort to raise funds for the chair. Other contributors were: Schering Laboratories, Mylan Laboratories, Ely Lilly and Bristol-Myers-Squibb. “I believe community pharmacy can play an expanded role in improving the quality and delivery of health care in this country,” Ryan said. “The establishment of an endowed professorship in community pharmacy will help realize that goal. I am pleased and proud to be able to give back to URI and the pharmacy profession, both of which have given so much to me.” “This is one of the defining moments for the College of Pharmacy, and it has been achieved in large part through the efforts of one of the nicest and most generous people we know,” said Louis Luzzi, dean of URI’s College of Pharmacy. “Tom is a great supporter of academics at the College, the University and indeed the entire pharmacy profession. “The endowed chair in community pharmacy will allow us to build an area of excellence in the research of community pharmacy and indeed to improve health care in Rhode Island and the nation,” Luzzi said. To honor Ryan’s commitment to the College, the professorship has been named The Thomas M. Ryan/CVS Chair in Community Pharmacy. Interest from donations invested in the endowed professorship will allow the University to attract a national expert in the area of community pharmacy. “We wouldn’t have been able to establish this chair without Tom’s leadership,” said Daniel R. Barry, URI assistant director of development. “Naming the chair in his honor is our way of saying thank you. It’s also a way for the College to recognize one of its most successful alumni.” Since CVS prides itself on taking a leadership role in providing pharmaceutical care and drug delivery to its customers, Ryan said it is vitally interested in cutting-edge information from the University critical to its long range needs. By providing support to URI so that it can attract a top-flight researcher and teacher in the area of community pharmacy, CVS will be helping to prepare the pharmacists of the future for work in pharmacies around the country, Ryan added. CVS and Ryan have had a long history of supporting the College. Ryan is co-chairman of the Convocation Center Steering Committee, former chairman of the URI Annual Fund, past chairman of the Winter Gala, past member of the URI College of Pharmacy Advisory Council and former Capital Campaign Steering Committee member. In addition to the gifts to the endowed chair, CVS has contributed $100,000 to support courses and programs and has provided $5,000 per year for the last 14 years for scholarships to deserving pharmacy students. CVS also donated funds to build a communications lab to help improve information exchange skills of pharmacy students. The largest pharmacy chain in the country, CVS operates 4,100 stores in 25 states and had sales of $12 billion in 1997. The Ryan/CVS chair is the second one developed by the College. In May 1996, a $1.5 million gift from Ernest Mario, a URI alumnus and co-chairman and chief executive officer of Alza Corp., established the Ernest Mario Distinguished Chair in Pharmaceutics. URI operates the only College of Pharmacy in Rhode Island. It’s one of four in New England and one of 78 in the country. It opened in 1957 with 133 students. Today there are 628 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. -XXX- For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116