UMKC alumni make estate gift to School of Pharmacy  

The $1.7 million gift from Andy and Carol Riley will provide scholarship funds and may help support the Pharmacy School's new Springfield site


May 7, 2014

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation is pleased to announce a $1.7 million estate gift from alumni Andy and Carol Riley to the School of Pharmacy

The gift is expected to provide scholarship support to the Pharmacy School, and may also be used to support the school’s new satellite location in Springfield.

“Andy and Carol Riley are the kind of alumni who truly exemplify the UMKC spirit,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “They respect the value of education, and they understand how important it is to open up additional avenues of access to education. Their generosity is genuinely appreciated.”

Andy Riley, a 1974 graduate of the School of Pharmacy, said he and his wife, Carol, a 1975 graduate of the School of Education, hope their gift will provide an opportunity for someone to attend the school who otherwise could not.

“UMKC Pharmacy School gave me the opportunity to be successful in life,” Andy Riley said. “I made lifetime friends in the program and learned the importance of collaboration for success.”

The Rileys specifically remembered the late Dr. Noel Nuessle, Andy Riley’s mentor and longtime friend. Carol Riley recalled Dr. Nuessle, who died last fall, as the person whose “sincere and compassionate encouragement” prompted her husband to complete his pharmacy degree.

Russell B. Melchert, dean of the School of Pharmacy, thanked the Rileys for their support.

“The Riley’s gift will provide tremendous opportunities for future pharmacy students to follow in their path of success in pharmacy and in their lives,” Melchert said. “They have set a great example for us all in paving the way for future pharmacists.”

Andy Riley started his career as a pharmacist, taking over his family’s pharmacy, Riley Prescriptions at 72nd and Troost, when he graduated. But after selling that business, the Rileys eventually relocated to Pearl City, Hawaii, where they owned a successful auto body repair and painting business. The Rileys still travel to Kansas City and often visit the School of Pharmacy when they are here. Andy Riley said his connection to the school remains strong thanks in large part to the great friends he made while in school.

But his connection is also multi-generational. His father, Weldon Riley, graduated from the School of Pharmacy in 1960. Weldon Riley owned two other pharmacies in Kansas City before opening Riley Prescriptions. Andy Riley said his father later became an inspector for the Board of Pharmacy.

Founded in 1885, the UMKC School of Pharmacy is the only public school of pharmacy in the state of Missouri. The School offers professional practice (doctor of pharmacy-Pharm.D.), non-practice bachelors (B.S.) and graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) degrees. The School of Pharmacy is committed to providing an atmosphere that promotes life-long learning by helping students develop both the knowledge and skills needed to be a pharmacy professional in an ever-changing health-care environment.

The UMKC Foundation, launched in 2008, is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves as the official fundraising and fund management organization for UMKC.