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09 July 2007
Rollins Family Gives $50 Million Gift to Emory's Rollins School of Public Health
The Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University has received a commitment of $50 million from the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation and Grace Crum Rollins, Emory University President James W. Wagner announced today.

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Since its founding in 1990, the Rollins School of Public Health has rapidly become a world leader in public health education and research. The gift will enable the school to more than double its physical space and will be instrumental in attracting the high caliber of faculty and students that have become the hallmark of the school's commitment to improving health and preventing disease both locally and globally.

Specifically this support will create a public health complex designed to enhance collaboration with Atlanta based public health partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CARE, The Carter Center, the American Cancer Society, the Arthritis Foundation, the Task Force for Child Survival and Development, Atlanta University system, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Georgia State University, as well as partners throughout Emory.

"This new 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 W. Wagner. The Rollins family has been a generous benefactor to Emory for generations. Early major gifts to Emory's Candler School of Theology, to the O. Wayne Rollins Research Building and the Rollins School of Public Health exemplify the family's commitment to serving humanity. As members of the Emory University Board of Trustees, O. Wayne Rollins and later his sons, Randall and Gary Rollins, recognized the importance an outstanding school of public health could have for all of humanity.

The Rollins family's earlier contributions to the School include major funding toward the construction of the Grace Crum Rollins Building, named for O. Wayne Rollins' wife and Gary and Randall's mother. Generous gifts have helped to build a significant endowment for the school and have accelerated the recruitment of outstanding faculty leaders. The family's concern for protecting health led to the creation of the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research. Their commitments to Emory were recognized with the naming of the school in 1994.

"Expanding the physical space for public health will facilitate teaching and scholarship and will provide dynamic facilities conducive to building and maintaining key partnerships, " says Michael M.E. Johns, MD, CEO, Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and executive vice president for health affairs. "The ability to collaborate with our local and global public health partners is essential if we are to harness the resources to meet the world's greatest challenges to health and well being." Rollins School of Public Health Dean James W. Curran, MD, says, "We are deeply grateful for the Rollins family's continued belief in the mission of public health and in our School. Their extraordinary generosity will prepare the next generation of public health leaders to face current and future public health challenges.

"The new facility will provide state-of-the-art space needed to accelerate teaching and collaborative research in key areas including global health, predictive health, infectious disease, nutrition, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, " emphasiz es Dean Curran.

Since its founding in 1990, the Rollins School of Public Health has become a national leader in public health training and research. It ranks seventh among U.S. schools of public health according to U.S. News and World Report, and is ranked among the top 10 schools of public health in NIH-funded research. The Sc hool has tripled the number of students, faculty and research since the doors opened to the first building in 1995. With the newly planned building, the School will add 160,000 square feet of space. A connector between the Grace Crum Rollins Building and the new building will provide easy access between the two.

The new building will provide onsite and virtual educational opportunities as well as enhanced research space. Plans call for a multi-use facility with more laboratory space, technologically sophisticated "smart" classrooms, offices, conference space and an auditorium. Conference capabilities will enhance the development of specialized training, individualized distance learning modules and professional exchange programs dedicated to spreading public health solutions around the globe.

O. Wayne Rollins was a self-made business entrepreneur and innovator. In 1964 he orchestrated the purchase of Orkin Inc., often recognized as the first leveraged buyout. With his brother, John, Mr. Rollins participated in numerous successful business ventures including radio and television stations, pest control, oil field services, truck leasing, boat manufacturing and real estate. Following his death in 1991, his sons, Randall and Gary Rollins, have continued to build the Rollins companies. Four generations of the Rollins family have been involved in philanthropy, setting a remarkable example for this generation and generations to come.


Editor's Note: At the Rollins School of Public Health, students learn to identify, analyze and intervene in today's most pressing public health issues. The school's location in Atlanta, often referred to as the "Public Health Capital of the World," also is home to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (next door to the School), CARE, the national home office of the American Cancer Society, The Carter Center, the Arthritis Foundation, and numerous state and regional health agencies. This setting is ideal for hands-on research, collaborations with the world's leading public health agencies and interdisciplinary work with national and international organizations.

Rollins students experience unique opportunities to gain knowledge, cultural understanding, hands-on training and career-lasting relationships in an environment that values diversity and student participation. The School has built a highly qualified and diverse faculty by recruiting and retaining nationally and internationally known public health scholars and practitioners with an environment that supports excellence in instruction, research and service.

The School is an integral part of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center at Emory University. It offers dual-degree programs with Emory's business, medical, nursing and law schools, twenty-four masters of public health degrees including a distance based career masters of public health program, and Ph.D. programs in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Global Nutrition, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education and Health Policy and Management.

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