University of Pittsburgh
October 5, 2016

2016 Distinguished Alumni Fellow

Noted Pitt alumnus and trustee Larry J. Merlo will be recognized for professional achievement and community service at annual awards dinner, Oct. 6
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh trustee Larry J. Merlo, president and chief executive officer of CVS Health, is the University’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Fellow. The award—Pitt’s premier alumni honor—recognizes graduates with extraordinary records of professional achievement and community service.

The Distinguished Alumni Fellow Award will be bestowed upon Merlo at Pitt’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Fellow Dinner. The Mr. Larry J. Merloby-invitation-only affair will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 in the J.W. Connolly Ballroom of Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Media are welcome to attend and cover.

Merlo has served as president of CVS Health since May 2010 and as CEO since March 2011. He has been a key figure in the company’s growth into the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States.

An executive at CVS Health since 1990, Merlo has spearheaded a number of initiatives aimed at making CVS a leader in pharmaceutical innovation. In 2014, he announced that the company would be the first major retail pharmacy to eliminate tobacco sales in all of its stores. Under his leadership, CVS has developed apprenticeship programs to train pharmaceutical technicians, provided scholarships to pharmacy students, and has endeavored in a number of efforts to engage diverse communities in STEM careers. CVS Health also has established programs for the long-term unemployed and has made a commitment to hiring qualified veterans and their spouses.

Earlier this year, Merlo was named to Barron’s World’s Best CEOs list. His other recent honors and distinctions include being named a Businessperson of the Year by FORTUNE magazine, a Wealth Creator by Chief Executive magazine, and a Champion Award from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The White House recognized Merlo as a leader in the pharmacy-care field by inviting him to sit in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box during the 2015 State of the Union Address. Merlo also was the recipient of Pitt’s 2010 School of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni Award and was named a Legacy Laureate by the University in 2008.

The son of a machinist and homemaker, Merlo was the first member of his family to attend college. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Pitt’s School of Pharmacy in 1978. He was elected to Pitt’s Board of Trustees in 2013. Merlo and his wife, Lee Ann Merlo (A&S ’77), endowed the Larry and LeeAnn Merlo Student Leadership Fund Award, providing need-based assistance to students in Pitt’s Doctor of Pharmacy Program.