Alumni gifts School of Public Health $1.5 million

The School of Public Health receives $1.5 million from Patrick Ronan, an alumnus whose passion for the field led him down a rewarding path in the public health sector.

Alumni gifts School of Public Health $1.5 million

The School of Public Health receives $1.5 million from Patrick Ronan, an alumnus whose passion for the field led him down a rewarding path in the public health sector.

School of Public Health alumnus Patrick Ronan 94’ recently donated a historic $1.5 million gift to support the renovation of the Edna S. Brigham Building, a more than 10,000 sq. ft. space on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The opportunity to renovate and occupy the Edna S. Brigham Building follows the School’s significant increase in undergraduate and graduate enrollment, research success and community impact.

“Our School has experienced a tremendous amount of growth, and our new space will provide students and faculty improved access to technology and collaboration opportunities among researchers and community partners,” said Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci, Dean of the School of Public Health. “Patrick’s gift to support our renovation transforms our student and faculty experience and enhances our ability to train our future public health leaders, boost workforce development and support equitable, healthy and resilient communities.”

Patrick received his B.A. from the School of Public Health and later received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He strongly values the education and skills gained during his undergraduate career. 

My experience at Nevada truly opened my eyes to opportunities in the health care field, specifically in the public health sector. I am thankful for my robust, science-based education, which I use every day. Perhaps the most important element of my public health education was developing an understanding about how the foundational elements of public health apply to the real world.” 

Patrick credits former professors Phyllis Reed, Ph.D., and Rosalie Marinelli for not only teaching theories and technical subject matters in the classroom, but also discussing how these theories and skills could be used to protect and promote public health, better serve communities and solve critical public health challenges. The collaborative and applicable nature of his public health education shaped his dynamic career.

“The time spent collaborating on projects with professors and fellow students allowed me to learn and grow in an organic environment where I was able to continuously enhance my capabilities,” Patrick said. “Being surrounded by people who were excelling in areas of public health was both rewarding and fulfilling and played a key role in shaping how I now define success in a professional setting.”

Patrick currently serves as CEO of Validant, a global, full-service life science consulting firm providing regulatory, compliance and quality consulting to pharmaceutical, biologics, medical device, and diagnostics developers and manufacturers seeking to bring to market and commercialize products globally. He previously served as the Founder and CEO of Greenleaf Health, Inc. (Greenleaf), a leading regulatory consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., which he founded in 2007. Prior to founding Greenleaf, Patrick held leadership positions for more than two decades at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and at a leading global pharmaceutical company. 

Patrick’s diverse experiences in the public health and health care sectors have shaped his perspective and understanding of the public health landscape. He encourages current public health students to embrace active learning.

“The world needs you – don’t be a passive observer in your education, engage your professors and peers and capture the excitement of learning new things and exploring new opportunities. The identity of the public health field has evolved rapidly over the past 3 years, this is your opportunity to be a leader and make a difference.”

When asked what he hopes his gift will accomplish beyond renovation, Patrick expressed his vision for the school. “On a national level, I hope this gift further enhances the identity of the School of Public Health so Nevada can continue its path of attracting and educating the public health leaders of tomorrow.  On a local level, my hope is that this gift provides a true home for the School of Public Health where students enjoy the same enriching and lasting experiences that I did during my undergraduate years at Nevada.”

He also hopes his gift will inspire current and future community partners and donors to do their part to support the development of the next generation of public health leaders. 

“History has demonstrated there is never a surplus of effective leaders, this is our opportunity – your opportunity – to lead. Nevada is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the public health field and our support is essential to fulfilling this ambition.”

On behalf of the School of Public Health, Dean Akpinar-Elci expresses heartfelt gratitude for Patrick and his dedication to public health. “Words cannot describe the impact Patrick’s gift will have on the future of public health for generations to come. This donation will help us create new spaces for collaborative research and training opportunities that will best position our school to serve our communities.” 

To learn how you can help support the School of Public Health, please contact Gabrielle Brackett '12, '19 MPH, Associate Director of Development, at (775) 682-8206 or gbrackett@unr.edu.

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