Dr. Nelson and Mrs. Joyce Torre

Dr. Nelson and Mrs. Joyce Torre.

Nelson Torre, MD, BS ’56, gives generously to establish scholarship for first-generation Americans.

Salvatore and Maria Torre emigrated from Sicily to Buffalo, NY, in the early 1920s “for the freedom and opportunity the U.S. offered,” Nelson Torre, MD, a 1956 graduate of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, says about his parents.

Torre says his mother and father taught him and his sister, Sylvia Torre Giordano, “the value of hard work and education.” The brother and sister were born in Buffalo, and attended Buffalo public schools. Torre went to St. Joseph Collegiate Institute for high school. The siblings then received scholarships to attend the University at Buffalo, each graduating cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy.   

Their positive experience as first-generation college students at the university inspired Torre to establish a UB scholarship for PharmD students whose parents are immigrants. He gave generously to create an endowed scholarship, and plans to contribute to the fund annually.

“We are so grateful for the important contribution that UB made in our lives,” Torre says.

After UB, Torre went on to graduate cum laude from SUNY Upstate Medical University in 1961, and began practicing as a rheumatologist. He also is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

“I practiced in Buffalo,” Torre says, “at Sisters of Charity Hospital, where I became chief of medicine and program director for internal medicine.” He also was a clinical professor of medicine from 1986 to 2007.

He and his wife, Joyce, have been married 59 years, and have four children, two daughters and two sons, and 11 grandchildren.

Torre said starting the endowed scholarship fund is his way of making it possible for future UB pharmacy students to have the same opportunities the university gave to him and his sister.

“Because of my parents’ journey, we felt it would be wonderful to help other young people, especially first-generation Americans, in their educational pursuits,” he says.