Pharmacy Alumnus Gives to Honor Mentor, Promote Community Health

By Grace Merritt

Greg Susla

Greg Susla '80

Greg Susla '80 (PHR) treasures his fond memories of his days at UConn's School of Pharmacy in the '70s. "The camaraderie between my classmates and the professors was great, like a big family," he recalls. "It was a good foundation for my early career in pharmacy."

He has wonderful memories of hanging out with his fraternity brothers at Kappa Psi, a pharmaceutical fraternity, and says UConn had a lasting impact on his life.

So, when he sat down to update his financial and estate plans, there was no question that he would provide something for UConn. "I just think that UConn was so beneficial to my career and I think it's important to give back to the next generation," he says.

His bequest will help fund a professorship honoring the late Henry Palmer, a beloved pharmacy professor and mentor who always put students first and prized innovation.

"Professor Palmer was an absolutely outstanding teacher, a real student's professor, and this is an excellent way to give back," Greg explains. "Considering what he did for me and what he did for other students, I wanted to honor him and keep his legacy alive."

After graduating from UConn, Greg went on to earn a doctorate in pharmacy at the University of Florida and completed a critical care pharmacy residency at The Ohio State University.

For most of his career, Greg served as an intensive care unit pharmacist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. More recently, he served as associate director of medical information at MedImmune before retiring in 2017.

As a young boy growing up in Torrington, Conn., Greg always knew he wanted to become a pharmacist. His dad was the pharmacist at the drug store around the corner and his aunt and uncle, Peter Susla '60 (PHR) and Gail '59 (PHR), were pharmacists as well.

Greg now lives in Frederick, Md., not far from Antietam, Harpers Ferry, and other historical Civil War battlefields. Now that he's retired, he volunteers as a docent for the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. In addition, he and his wife, Lisa Romano, are lovingly restoring a Civil War-period medicinal garden at the Antietam National Battlefield, an interest first sparked by the medical garden that grew beside the old pharmacy building on the Storrs campus.

Greg urges other alums to consider providing support for UConn as part of their financial and estate planning.

"If you had a positive experience at UConn, if you had a really good start and built a strong foundation at UConn, you should consider including support for UConn," he says. "All states are in dire need of support for their state-supported colleges. That support is important to keep UConn a top-ranked university."

If you're ready to follow Greg's lead and include a gift to the University of Connecticut Foundation in your financial or estate plans, please contact Gregory Knott at (860) 336-1468 or giftplanning@foundation.uconn.edu.