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UB Gets One Million Gift for Pharmacy School

By Joyce Kryszak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-821868.mp3

Buffalo, NY – UB is closer to funding its new pharmacy school on the south campus. The family that started the Fay's Drug store chain announced on Thursday a one million dollar gift for the school's atrium.

The Fay's Drug Store Chain grew to 270 locations and was a billion dollar a year business when the family sold it in 1996. The chain was named after the wife of Henry Panasci Jr., who with his father founded the store started in Syracuse.

But the Panasci family also has a long legacy with the UB.

Henry Panasci Sr. and Jr. are both alums of the pharmacy school. This is the family's second one million dollar gift to the school. The latest gift will be used to build the Panasci Atrium at the new south campus building.

David Panasci is the son of the drug store chain's founders. Panasci said the atrium is a fitting tribute to his family's dedication to community.

The former Acheson Hall on the south campus is being renovated into a high-tech pharmacy facility that officials say will vault the department into the future. The building is being named John Kapoor Hall.

Kapoor is another pharmacy school alum who donated five million dollars to the school last May. UB President John Simpson said the gifts are a template for UB's growth.

"It shows the value of public-private partnerships, which more and more will characterize how public universities like UB do business in the future," said Simpson.

Panasci said he hopes his family's gift will inspire others to support the pharmacy school. Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.