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Media Contact: Ashante Dobbs 28 May 2008    
  (404) 727-5692   Print  | Email ]

Front Door to the Future: Rollins School of Public Health Breaks New Ground
On Friday, May 30, at 11 a.m., Emory University officials will lift shovels to break ground for the Claudia Nance Rollins Building of the Rollins School of Public Health.

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The building is made possible by a $50 million commitment from the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation and Grace Crum Rollins (widow of O. Wayne Rollins) and will be named for O. Wayne and John Rollins' mother, Claudia Nance Rollins.

"This gift from the Rollins family reflects their vision and their desire to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that we have the capacity to make our leadership for public health a reality, both locally and globally," says Emory University President James Wagner, PhD.

The multi-story building will rise on what is now a small parking lot behind the current Grace Crum Rollins Building, and a glass bridge will link the two public health structures. When the building opens in 2010, the school will more than double its size. Specifically, the Rollins family gift will help create a public health complex designed to enhance collaboration within the School of Public Health and its many partners in and outside of Emory. In fact, the new building will overlook the home of one of the school's partners -- the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The Rollins School of Public Health not only educates the most outstanding public health students in the world, its scientists and scholars also collaborate across disciplines and professions to contribute to all of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center's lifesaving, life-affirming and life-enriching work," says Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD, Emory University executive vice president for Health Affairs and CEO of Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center. "This new building enhances the School of Public Health's ability to continue its extraordinary progress toward transforming health and healing for Atlanta, for Georgia and for the world."

The new building will serve as the "front door" to the complex -- "a welcoming home for students and alumni and a landmark space for partnership and community," says Rollins School of Public Health Dean James Curran, MD, MPH.

Since its first building opened in 1995, the Rollins School of Public Health has tripled its number of students, faculty and research dollars. The Claudia Nance Rollins Building will provide the school with additional space to accelerate teaching and collaborative research in key areas, including global health, predictive health, infectious disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Plans call for a multi-use facility with technologically sophisticated "smart" classrooms, three floors of wet laboratories, offices, conference space, and a 250-seat state-of-the-art auditorium. Conference capabilities will enhance the development of specialized training, individualized distance-learning modules, and professional exchange programs. All of these amenities will help attract students and recruit and retain faculty, who have become the hallmark of the school's commitment to improving health and disease. "We are indeed fortunate to have resources that enable our school to dream of making the world healthier for all mankind," Curran says. "Because of the generosity of the Rollins family, we will continue to be an international leader at the forefront of public health successes."

To learn more about the Rollins School of Public Health and plans for the Claudia Nance Rollins Building, visit

The groundbreaking event is open to the Emory comm unity and guests -- media are invited to attend. For directions to the site, contact Ashante Dobbs, 404-727-5692,

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