KINGSTON, R.I., – September 27, 2016 – The University of Rhode Island today announced that the University of Rhode Island Foundation Board of Directors has elected URI alumnus and former chairman and CEO of CVS Health Thomas M. Ryan ’75 as its Chairman. Ryan was elected to the volunteer post at the Foundation’s Board of Director’s meeting held Sept. 22nd. The Foundation trustees ratified the vote at its annual meeting on Sept. 23rd and his tenure began immediately.
“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. 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,” said University President David M. Dooley.
“The University is a special place to me and I believe it is better positioned than ever before. 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,” said Ryan. “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.”
Lil O’Rourke, who became president of the URI Foundation this past spring, said, “We are certainly looking ahead, to the challenges and opportunities that come with our role of securing and managing support for URI, with a great deal of enthusiasm. We are thrilled to have Tom on board to help guide us and provide his leadership,” she said.
O’Rourke noted that Ryan assumes the chairmanship following the term of Lorne Adrain ‘76. Adrain served in the role since 2014. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to have leaders of such high caliber stepping forward in the name of their alma mater. Lorne made a positive impact on the Foundation and the University as a whole, and we look forward to his continued service to URI as we work to increase support to facilitate URI’s continued upward trajectory,” said O’Rourke.
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.
Several new members were also appointed to the URI Foundation Executive Board: including: Joe O’Neil ’75; Deb Imondi ’83 and David Buckanavage ’80.
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.
For more information visit urifoundation.org.