George J. Couchiaftis
A Pillar of Support
George J. Couchiaftis BSP ’59 never looked for a job. In a pharmacy career that spanned nearly 35 years, the jobs always found him. And that’s at least partly why after serving the pharmacy profession for more than a half century as a professional, and as a volunteer with his local and state association, George committed to support MCPHS through a bequest. Yet, this gesture represents just one element of a supportive relationship with his alma mater that has many roots.
As a graduating high school and aspiring college student, young George took the advice of Uncle George Verallis to pursue a pharmacy education. The lifelong Springfield, MA resident never looked back. “I have never doubted my career choice,” he says. Who would when the jobs keep knocking at your door?
George spent his entire career working for independent pharmacies which he still views as strong pillars of the community. How strong? His first employer, Whelan Drug Company, sold everything from paint to vacuums to door knobs, not to mention pharmaceuticals. So, while the sign on the door of the pharmacy in which George worked changed from time to time as he moved back and forth among employers, he never left Springfield, never left his neighborhood, and became a special fixture in community pharmacy.
Yet his relationship with MCPHS is also very special; his service is extraordinary as a Trustee, Alumni Association board member, Century Club president, Presidential Advisory Council member, recipient of the College Medal, Constant Cardinal donor and continuing education devotee. He established a scholarship fund nearly 30 years ago. He remembers, “I knew back then that it was the thing to do, to give back for the professional success that I’ve had and to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that new students benefit every year.” His bequest intention only reinforces his commitment to advance the University’s mission of service in perpetuity.
George Couchiaftis has demonstrated a steadfast and stable approach over the course of both his professional and volunteer careers. He has lived in the same city, worked in the same neighborhoods, allied with hundreds, if not thousands, of local residents and built a reputation for dependability that endures into his 77th year. He notes that his bequest intention to support MCPHS is consistent with “my objective to continue to help bring perpetual stability and security to MCPHS.” For someone who never had to look for a job, those words speak volumes about George’s values, and his level of appreciation for the education that led to career success, and even more profound personal satisfaction.