Giving her time, talent and treasure
Marsha Millonig credits her father, Larry, for instilling in her a love of learning.
“My dad was the first in his family to go to college, and he wanted his children to have the same ambition,” said Millonig. “As kids, my siblings and I weren’t forced to go to school; we were raised to want to go to school.”
That passion for learning helped Millonig while she was a student in the College of Pharmacy, where she became an active and accomplished student leader.
After graduating in 1982, she spent the next 20 years working in pharmacy association management in Washington D.C. She credits her relationship with former Dean Larry Weaver and his wife Dee, who were living in D.C. at the time, with supporting her during the transition into her new career.
“The relationships I made in school with faculty and my classmates have been very important throughout my career,” Millonig said.
During her time in D.C., Millonig made gifts to the college and would occasionally come back to campus for reunions. A year before she moved back to the Twin Cities in 2002, she was asked to support a college initiative to expand pharmaceutical care.
That’s when she established the Millonig Family Fund in honor of her parents Larry and Mary Millonig. The fund supported the expansion of the college’s curriculum and programs to rural and underserved areas. Some of these funds were used in the expansion of the college to the Duluth campus in 2003.
“Much of the work I had done in the association arena was related to pharmacy manpower, and working with the colleges to meet manpower needs,” explained Millonig.
“The Duluth expansion of the college was an important step to meet Greater Minnesota’s manpower needs without the added administrative burden of a brand new school. I felt it was a very worthwhile endeavor to support.”
Millonig also created a memorial in honor of her mother who passed away in 2006 that supports graduate students, an area she defines as having a ‘huge unfunded gap.’
“Giving back to the college is important to me because I am passionate about education, and I believe the college is instrumental in driving practice change in this state,” said Millonig. “I’m also happy to give back because if it weren’t for the College of Pharmacy, I would not have had the career I’ve enjoyed and the abilities to be self-employed working on projects that I feel make a difference.”
In addition to monetary gifts, Millonig has given her time and talent to the college over the years. In 2003, she helped establish the college’s National Board of Advisors and has served as its chair since 2004.
She is an active member of the Century Mortar Club and chaired its Leadership Committee from 2006-10, and she is a member of Kappa Psi. As a recognized leader in pharmacy practice, Millonig is also a Leadership Networking Partner in which she is paired with a student each semester to provide structured and self-defined learning activities.
“For me, the College of Pharmacy has provided intellectual stimulation and an environment of collegiality that I need in order to thrive,” said Millonig. “My relationship with the college over the years has given me what I need: an outlet for continually learning.”