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Under Construction: URI's New Pharmacy Building Takes Shape


The new home of the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy is the key to the future growth of the program and its ongoing role as a center of excellence in teaching, learning and research. The College has long since outgrown the space it has occupied in Fogarty Hall since 1964 for the 700 undergraduate and graduate students who participate in the program.

The new building will not only offer adequate classroom space for these students, but also high-tech learning suites and research facilities that will enhance the pharmacy curriculum as it progresses into the future, according to College of Pharmacy Dean Ronald Jordan. It will also provide an opportunity to grow the Doctor of Pharmacy program by 30 percent in the coming years.

Each new milestone in the construction of the building brings excitement to students, faculty and staff as they move toward its completion date at the end of this year. Co-chair of the College of Pharmacy Building Committee Ian Lester notes that the URI Pharmacy Building has recently reached a significant step. “Getting the building closed in was the next step, and we have reached that point. The roof is complete and exterior brickwork has begun.”

“The pharmacy program is one of the leading programs at the University of Rhode Island, and the new facility will help us move forward and provide the increase in educational and research space necessary to grow the program and meet the mission set by the University President,” notes Jordan.
The building was funded by a $65 million bond issue approved by voters in 2006. An additional $10 million is being raised through private donations. Jordan says they are about halfway to meeting that goal.

“We are still trying to raise private donations for the project,” states Jordan. “We hope that these private donations will add amenities to the facility — better technologies that will provide students with additional opportunities for interdisciplinary and research-based learning with hands-on experience.”

There have been significant private donations for the project including the support from the Omar Family Magnate Foundation, which funded the initial architectural plans for the building. Additional substantial contributions have come from CVS Caremark Corporation, Thomas M. and Cathy H. Ryan, the Mario Family Foundation, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Lois Vars Mason and William B. Mason, and Brian K. Dallaire.

“The private donors are all very important to the success of this project,” says Jordan. “We are so appreciative of all the support we have received.” Another significant contribution has come from a group of alumni independent pharmacists who are making a donation to fund a teaching suite or classroom. These individuals are Timothy E. Baker, Scott A. Campbell, David P. Feeney, Robert L. Iacobucci, Richard S. Sabatelli, Anthony J. Solomon and David P. Whalley.

Opportunities to make private donations will continue all year. This summer, Dean of Academic Services and Student Affairs Joan Lausier is due to retire, and Jordan notes that this will provide an opportunity for students and alumni to make contributions in her name for student areas of the building.

For continuing updates on the building’s progress, visit


For information on this or any news item, contact Tracey Manni in Development Communications, at 401.874.2145 or