URI receives $35M gift from Thomas and Cathy Ryan

Thomas M. Ryan, former chairman, CEO and president of CVS Health, and his wife Cathy Ryan have made the largest private gift in the University of Rhode Island's history. The $35 million gift will be split into three parts: $24 million will go to the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, $10 million will establish the Thomas M. Ryan Scholars program and a $1 million challenge grant will go toward upgrading facilities for men's and women's basketball. / COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND
Thomas M. Ryan, former chairman, CEO and president of CVS Health, and his wife Cathy Ryan have made the largest private gift in the University of Rhode Island's history. The $35 million gift will be split into three parts: $24 million will go to the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, $10 million will establish the Thomas M. Ryan Scholars program and a $1 million challenge grant will go toward upgrading facilities for men's and women's basketball. / COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – Former CVS Health Corp. Chairman, CEO and President Thomas M. Ryan and his wife, Cathy, made a $35 million contribution to the University of Rhode Island, the university announced Monday.

The gift is the largest private contribution that URI has ever received.

According to a media release, the monies will help fund academic matters, such as expansion of research and teaching capacity in neuroscience and to create a scholars program to attract “high-performing students.”

“Tom and Cathy Ryan have been outstanding leaders and dedicated advocates for the University of Rhode Island,” URI President David M. Dooley said in a statement. “This extraordinary gift demonstrates their commitment to all aspects of the URI experience, including the mission of academic excellence within our student body, the vital research taking place in the Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, and the community spirit that comes from excellence in athletics.”

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The gift will be split into three ways:

  • $24 million for the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, which will further research through expanded lab facilities.
  • $10 million to establish the Thomas M. Ryan Scholars program, which will provide four-year full scholarships and fees for selected students while also offering access to URI’s Honors Colloquium, Leadership Institute and Global Winter J-Term. The first scholars will be enrolled in the fall of 2020, the release states.
  • A $1 million “challenge” to support a new basketball training facility for the university’s men’s and women’s programs.

To date, the Ryans’ giving to URI totals more than $56 million, according to the release.

James Bessette is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Research@PBN.com.

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