Cecil and Violet Newton

Violet Newton.

$1 Million Gift to UB to Fund Pharmacy Scholarships

Boosts Cecil J. and Violet W. Newton Scholarship Fund to more than $2 Million

By Suzanne Chamberlain

Release Date: March 31, 1999

BUFFALO, N.Y. - It is all about helping others. That's the legacy carried on by Violet Newton, who has given an additional $1 million gift to the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy scholarship fund that she and her late husband, Cecil, began in 1995.

The Newtons created the scholarship fund in gratitude for the outstanding education and training that Newton, who died in 1996, received at UB that led to his successful business and professional career.

Violet Newton's latest gift to The Cecil J. and Violet W. Newton Scholarship Fund brings the fund total to more than $2.1 million dollars. She thinks of the gift in terms of students helped rather than dollars given.

"Tuition is so expensive, I am wholeheartedly in favor of scholarships to help students get through school," she added.

A banker by training, Violet Newton said she and her husband created their wealth together and they donated together. "When I am able," she said, "I continue to give to causes we both cared about, because there is no such thing as having done your share."

Wayne K. Anderson, Ph.D., dean of the pharmacy school, praised Violet Newton's continuing generosity. "She's quite a remarkable lady who has a strong feeling for UB's pharmacy program and a passion for our students."

Anderson said Violet Newton has met some of the scholarship recipients and was quite impressed with their character, ethics and behavior. He added that the students were equally charmed by her and appreciative of her financial support.

Anderson said scholarships have become increasingly important for UB's pharmacy students because of the higher costs associated with the switch from a five-year to a six-year professional doctoral program. He explained that the switch was driving one of the most dramatic changes that the industry has seen, because it will produce graduates who spend far more time on patient-care management than they will on dispensing drugs.

In addition, students in the Pharm.D. program will specialize in one of four areas: ambulatory, which is community pharmacy practice; clinical, which is primarily hospital practice; industrial, which involves working with clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry; and research, which involves drug discovery and analysis, quality control and research in both industrial and academic settings.

The Newton scholarship fund currently provides scholarships for about 40 pharmacy students. With this additional gift, Anderson said even more students should receive scholarships, which are awarded for both need and merit.

A 1928 graduate of the UB pharmacy school, Cecil Newton spent most of his career with the Walgreen Co. as a pharmacist and store manager from 1933-78. His only time away from the company was when he served in the Special Brigade of the 532nd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment of the U.S. Army from 1941-45. Newton retired from the army as a lieutenant colonel.

The Newtons lived in upstate New York and Connecticut throughout Cecil's pharmacy career, until his retirement in 1978. They moved to Florida in 1979, eventually settling in Bradenton, where Violet Newton still resides.

The Newton Fund, created through gifts of appreciated securities, is an endowed scholarship, so the principal is invested for growth while a portion of the proceeds is used for the scholarships.

In many cases, using securities allows a donor to give a gift beyond what he or she ever thought possible. Gifts of stocks and bonds also can produce significant tax advantages for the donor, including a deduction equal to the fair market value of the securities, as well as elimination of capital-gains taxes on the transfer.