Araneo Craft makes historic gift to MUSC College of Pharmacy

College name reserved to honor largest ever gift to an MUSC college

Contact: Roby Hill 843-792-1100 |

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Sept. 24, 2019) – Following in her father’s footsteps, Alycia Araneo Craft has made a transformative, historic gift to the College of Pharmacy at the Medical University of South Carolina.

The college announced today that Craft, the daughter of longtime college supporter Michael P. Araneo, has made a substantial donation in current and planned gifts that is the largest in the college’s history. The college’s previous largest gift was made by her father.

While the terms of the gift are confidential, the aggregate total of the family’s giving is such that upon realization of Craft’s estate gift, MUSC will rename the College of Pharmacy in recognition of the Araneo-Craft family’s generosity. The MUSC Araneo and Craft College of Pharmacy will be only the second named college at MUSC.

Craft designated $1 million of the gift to establish the endowed Robert D. and Alycia Araneo Craft Student Scholars Program in memory of her late husband, Robert “Bob” Craft. The remainder of the donation, made in the form of a deferred estate gift, will establish a new endowment to support the College of Pharmacy’s mission in perpetuity.

“Through her vision and generosity, Alycia has managed to change the lives of so many people,” said Philip Hall, dean of the College. “The students who come here, the pharmacists they become, the patients they care for – a gift of this kind will make a powerful, enduring difference in the lives of so many people for generations to come.”

The Craft scholars program is already benefiting current students. Mary Stewart Leatherwood ’20, the 2019 Robert D. and Alycia Araneo Craft scholar, was keynote speaker at the 2019 annual College of Pharmacy scholarship luncheon on Aug. 23.

“I have gotten more out of this journey than I ever expected,” Leatherwood said. “I have accomplished things I never thought I’d be able to and built relationships that I will treasure forever. When I look ahead, I am giddy at what might be next in continuing to learn and grow, and when I look back, I have people like the Craft family to thank for making this dream more achievable and within reach.”

The gift cements in perpetuity the legacies of two larger-than-life men who had major influences on Alycia Craft’s life, which has been filled with plenty of its own adventure.

  • As a career professional at Pan American World Airways and Delta Air Lines, Alycia Craft has been hijacked, held hostage, interrogated, evacuated, and in 11 emergency landings.
  • Her late husband, Bob Craft, a war hero with two tours in Vietnam, was in the air during the terrorist attack on September 11 and landed his plane on a World War II runway in the Azores to protect his passengers.
  • Her father, Michael, was a pioneer in discount pharmacy who created a series of highly successful stores in the 1930s and 1940s, including the largest discount store in the Southeast.

This extraordinary family has left an indelible mark on the world, which now will be commemorated and celebrated by each succeeding generation of the MUSC pharmacy family.

“I learned from Dad and Bob to set goals, to reach those goals and to set higher goals,” Craft said. “I want us to work together to keep the MUSC College of Pharmacy the very best in the country.”

For more information on the family or to access photos, please see contact information at the top of this release.

MUSC College of Pharmacy Quick Facts

Founded in 1881

Dean: Philip D. Hall, Pharm.D.

Enrollment: 320

Faculty: 37 full-time faculty

Research funding: $5 million

Alumni: 3,500+

MUSC pharmacy’s 2018 Phase I post-graduate year one (PGY1) match rate of 92 percent was the highest in the country.


About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South, as well as the state’s only integrated, academic health sciences center with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 700 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The state’s leader in obtaining biomedical research funds, in fiscal year 2018, MUSC set a new high, bringing in more than $276.5 million. For information on academic programs, visit

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.