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University of Rhode Island Foundation names former CVS chief Tom Ryan chairman


KINGSTON, R.I. –  The University of Rhode Island on Tuesday elected former CVS Health chairman and CEO Tom Ryan as chairman of the University of Rhode Island Foundation Board of Directors. Ryan was elected to the volunteer post at the Foundation’s Board of Director’s meeting held Sept. 22.

“We are incredibly grateful to Tom for taking on this critical role at this very important time. As we look ahead to planning URI’s future, Tom’s leadership, insights and commitment to supporting URI’s mission will be invaluable resources," stated David Dooley, University president. "We are confident that his involvement will raise the bar in a number of important arenas, all of which will position us favorably for continued growth.”

“The University is a special place to me and I believe it is better positioned than ever before," Ryan said. "I am at a point where I am able to commit my time and effort toward supporting the vision of president Dooley and this team, all working hard to further elevate our state university,” he added. “I owe a great deal of my success to the education I received here and I am pleased to have this opportunity to help assist URI and the Foundation team in its efforts to help future generations of students.”

Ryan, who retired from CVS in 2011, graduated from URI’s College of Pharmacy in 1975. He and his wife, Cathy, established the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience at URI with a historic gift of $15 million to the University. The Ryan Institute focuses its research, teaching and outreach on neurodegenerative diseases and disorders, like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS. It draws on the expertise of dozens of scientists from across the University who study brain disorders and diseases from multiple perspectives and disciplines and seeks active collaborations with other state, regional and national entities to develop and deliver treatments for central nervous system disorders. Its inaugural director, Paula Grammas, was appointed in the fall of 2015.

Ryan has also generously contributed, over the years, to the College of Pharmacy, URI’s Athletics program and to the construction of the Ryan Center, URI’s premier athletics and entertainment venue, which opened in 2002.

The URI Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) created by the Rhode Island legislature in 1957. From 1957-2007, the Foundation focused primarily on managing the URI endowment. At the start of 2008, which was near the public launch of URI’s last capital campaign, it assumed fundraising responsibility for the University as well.

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