Creating a Legacy of Giving
E. Paul and Amey Larrat
For Paul and Amey Larrat, there is a common thread woven through the rich tapestry of their lives together: the University of Rhode Island. Paul, dean of the College of Pharmacy, and Amey first met as undergraduates in 1980. Since then, the Larrats' connection to the University has not only endured, it has grown stronger.
"We met our best friends here—people who stood up for us at our wedding and became our children's godparents, people we still see today," says Amey, who earned her Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics in 1982.
Paul, who received a pharmacy degree in 1982, an MBA in 1984 and a Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration in 1988, recalls being dropped off by his parents at the URI campus as a freshman and never looking back. "I've been here ever since," he says with a smile.
Amey's URI roots go back even further, starting with her parents, Robert Wilkinson, Jr. '57, Civil Engineering and Audrey Joslin Wilkinson '54, Home Economics; followed by Amey and her brother, Robert S. Wilkinson '79, Civil Engineering. The Larrats are also parents of alums Meghan '10, G'13 and Eric '13.
Now, Paul and Amey want to ensure that their URI connection remains unbroken through a combined planned gift from their estate. The Larrats' gift helped establish the Innovation Fund at the College of Pharmacy. The Innovation Fund was created to enhance educational opportunities for students and develop research enterprises at the College.
Paul has set a $10 million goal for the Fund before he retires. And, he's already halfway there, thanks to gifts like his and Amey's, along with gifts from other generous supporters like Edward Avedisian. Avedisian's transformative gift of $5 million, which dedicated the new Pharmacy building to his late brother, Paramaz '54, also included a gift to the Innovation Fund.
Creating a Legacy of Giving
Paul says the URI community has always been caring and supportive, giving him and Amey so much that they want to give back in return.
"I wouldn't have had such rich opportunities anywhere else," says Paul, who has been a pharmacy professor since 1992 and a URI professional staffer from 1984 to 1992.
Amey gives back by volunteering at the Heber Youngken Medicinal Gardens on the grounds of the pharmacy building two to three times a week, rain or shine. "Without URI, we'd be in a totally different place," she says. "When you are given so much, it's so important to give back."
The Larrats' giving also includes scholarships and Annual Fund gifts. Now, their legacy includes a lasting testament to their enduring bond of more than 30 years and to the University where they first met.
"I hope my legacy is that I've helped make URI a better place since I've been here," says Paul. Amey adds, "For me, it's really a feeling more than something tangible. It's knowing that we've given back for all we've received."
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