Our Donors


Barry and Barbara ColemanUTEP Our Donors Barbara and Barry Coleman

Barry and Barbara Coleman have been long-standing, generous supporters of UTEP – their adopted university. They lived in El Paso for over fifty years, actively involved in the civic affairs before retiring to Dallas in 2012. Barbara worked as an educator and served on a school board and Barry was a pharmacist and entrepreneur.

Despite being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956 during the height of the Korean War, Barry was still able to attain his degree in pharmacy from the University of Arkansas in 1957. During the war, Barry’s first assignment was at El Paso’s Fort Bliss. He worked at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center and he later met and married Barbara, before fulfilling his commitment to the army.

In 1960, the Coleman’s bought their first pharmacy store in El Paso, near East Yandell Drive and Campbell Street. They eventually grew to open five Coleman Pharmacies and five Sun Drugs between 1960 and 1987. Barbara was a driven educator and served on the school board and was on the R.E. Thomason Hospital Board of Directors. Barry served as president of the American Cancer Society, the Texas Pharmacy Association and the El Paso Drug Abuse Council. As the president of the American Cancer Society, Barry initiated a campaign in the 1970’s to encourage pharmacies to stop selling tobacco products. His resolution passed and he was successful with the small chains and independent stores. Through their work, Barry and Barbara recognized a need to help bring more pharmacists to the area. In pursuing this goal, Barry started conversations with UTEP administrators and faculty and participated in various health committees at UTEP. In 2014, Barry and Barbara established the Barry and Barbara Coleman Professorship. The endowment helps support UTEP’s Pharmacy Program by advancing faculty research working on Texas border public health issues.

Barry Coleman died in April 2015. In June 2015, the Texas State Legislature approved a free-standing Pharmacy Program at UTEP, the life-long dream of Barry Coleman. Through their combined giving and advocacy, Barry’s legacy will be felt for generations. Barry Coleman was the first inductee to the UTEP Pharmacy Hall of Fame in recognition of exemplary dedication and service to the Pharmacy profession and extraordinary commitment to the education of Pharmacy students in El Paso.

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