Time, Talent, and Treasure

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Tiffany Ventura Thiele

3 min read

The three-tiered generosity of Trustee and alum Rick Carbray

Rick Carbray ’75 (PHARM) sums up his University experience simply: It’s as if he never left. Shortly after graduation, Carbray became a member of the former UConn Alumni Association, serving as its president from 2004 to 2006, and is now in his second four-year term as a Board of Trustees member.

“I’ve always been involved with volunteering,” he said. “There are a lot of ways you can give back to the University, and certainly giving of one’s time and talent are important. But in light of what’s happening overall with state institutions seeing decreases in operating budgets, which we as Trustees see every year, more has to be made up through philanthropy.”

It’s this perspective that guides his generosity.

“I’ve been an athletics donor for years, so it was a tug of war with me: Should I give to athletics in scholarship, or should I give to pharmacy?” Carbray explained. “But I realized that my first priority should be establishing a pharmacy scholarship. That’s my profession and how somebody helped me get started.”

How Do You Pharm?
The job outlook for pharmacists is expected to grow 3 percent through 2024. And at UConn, future pharmacists have many degree options within the School of Pharmacy:Pharm.D: Over six years, students are prepped to sit for the licensure exam and become practicing pharmacists.

Pharm.D./MBA Dual Degree: Students combine pharmacy education with business managerial knowledge and skills.

Pharm.D./MPH Dual Degree: Students learn special skills in public health as it relates to disease prevention and medication safety.

Pharm.D./Ph.D. program: Targeted for a small number of students who combine their professional licensure with advanced research-based training in the pharmaceutical sciences.

That somebody was Curtis Gladding, whose named scholarship covered one-third of Carbray’s educational costs during his five years at UConn. Carbray was never able to thank his donor—Gladding, who had served as the president of the State Pharmacists Association in 1896, passed away many years before Carbray arrived at UConn. Carbray is hoping to have a connection with pharmacy students who will benefit from his $150,000 gift to create the Richard T. Carbray Jr. Pharmacy Scholarship.

“I thought this was a great way to make the commitment to a couple of students every year, and then I can watch them progress through their professional career, see them every year, and hopefully mentor them along the way,” he said.

UConn’s School of Pharmacy, considered one of the top choices for pharmacy education in the U.S., is a six-year program and costs can add up. In fact, tuition can double for students to offset additional costs associated with laboratory and rotation experiences in their final two years. This makes Carbray’s gift even more significant.

“Rick has been the most enthusiastic, energetic, and loyal supporter of the School of Pharmacy that a dean could possibly hope for,” said Dean James Halpert, Ph.D., UConn School of Pharmacy. “As a newcomer to Connecticut, I especially appreciated how Rick welcomed me and introduced me to other alumni and friends of the school.  His advice on so many occasions has been invaluable. His and [his wife] Pat’s generous and recent gift will make a tremendous impact on pharmacy students today and in the future.”

Carbray hopes others will follow his lead.

“If you’ve been fortunate enough to come to UConn’s School of Pharmacy and have had a successful career, what better time than now to have another pharmacy student share that experience,” he said.

Carbray has fond memories of his UConn days, so it’s been exciting for him to witness the progression and growth of the University.

“When I come back, especially now, I’m so impressed by the campus itself,” he said. “I remember going to school here and the pharmacy building was older with less modernization. Today, you see this beautiful $85 million Pharmacy School and how it just transforms this University. This instills a lot of the pride in the fact that UConn is moving forward and that the state has been supportive of its flagship University.”

The former owner of Apex Pharmacy and Home Care Center in Hamden, Conn., Carbray credits his UConn education for his successful 40-year career. But he adds that he couldn’t have done it without his family’s support.

“I really have to thank my family—my wife Pat and my three children, Matthew, Amy, and Brendan—for all the time I was not around those evenings when I was out volunteering or spending time in my profession,” Carbray said. “Without their support, I wouldn’t be here today.”

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