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$100 million gift to Emory U from Rollins family
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$100 million gift to Emory U from Rollins family

Amy Rollins Kreisler recently announced that her family’s O. Wayne Rollins Foundation has committed $100 million to Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.

The transformative gift, which is the largest in the school’s history, will establish two endowed funds: the Rollins Fund for Faculty Excellence and the Rollins Fund for Student Success.

“Through sustained and visionary investment over the last three decades, the Rollins family has transformed Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health into one of the finest in the nation, addressing public health needs in Georgia, across the country, and on a global scale,” says President Gregory L. Fenves. “Today’s landmark gift will enable Rollins to reach even greater heights of impact by supporting current and future generations of outstanding and innovative faculty members and students dedicated to improving the health of all.”

The Rollins Fund for Faculty Excellence will focus on recruiting and retaining distinguished senior faculty leaders dedicated to addressing the world’s most pressing public health challenges and provide early career support for gifted junior faculty members.

The gift will allow the Rollins School of Public Health to deepen the bench of exceptional faculty members in key areas where the school is recognized as a national leader, from cancer research and infectious diseases to global safe water, sanitation and hygiene, mental health and substance use disorders, and more. Additionally, in selecting recipients, Rollins will expand the faculty in departments where the school has a significant opportunity to gain national prominence.

The Rollins Fund for Student Success will expand the school’s ability to provide financial support and valuable career-enhancing experiences to the nation’s most promising students through the Rollins Earn and Learn work-study and global field experience funds. The fund will also allow the school to support increased student interest in public health spurred by the global pandemic.

“We are deeply grateful to the Rollins family for this extraordinary commitment and their enduring belief in our mission to promote health, prevent disease and save lives,” says James W. Curran, MD, MPH, dean of the Rollins School of Public Health. “Support from the Rollins family has been crucial to the success of our school, and their continued investment in our faculty and students has led to remarkable advancements in research and profound impact on the health of populations throughout the world.”

  1. Daniele Fallin, PhD, an internationally regarded researcher and educator who will succeed Curran as the new James W. Curran Dean of Public Health at the Rollins School of Public Health on July 1, 2022, echoed the importance of this gift from the Rollins Foundation.

“This is a critical moment for public health in our country and around the world,” says Fallin. “This gift enables the Rollins School of Public Health to continue its incredible growth and impact by providing sustainable funds to support and increase an outstanding faculty while also expanding education of the next generation of public health researchers and work force.”

The Rollins School of Public Health is ranked No. 4 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and No. 4 in National Institutes of Health funding for schools of public health. The school is home to six academic departments, an executive MPH program for working professionals, and, as of 2020, more than 200 full-time faculty members. The school also hosts more than 20 interdisciplinary centers and 11 dual-degree programs that bridge students to related fields such as business, medicine, nursing, law and theology. Today, more than 11,000 Rollins School of Public Health alumni are contributing to public health in over 110 countries.

“My family and I are proud of the tremendous success of the Rollins School of Public Health and deeply grateful for the dedication of Dean Curran, whose leadership has propelled the school into the highest echelon of public health education and research,” says Amy Rollins Kreisler, executive director of the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation. “We are pleased to support the school’s commitment to its faculty and students.”

Philanthropic support from the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation has been pivotal to the school’s success. In addition to gifts to the school’s unrestricted endowment, the James W. Curran Scholarship Fund and several endowed professorships, the Rollins family has made possible the Grace Crum Rollins and Claudia Nance Rollins Buildings and the forthcoming R. Randall Rollins Building — which, when open in 2022, will expand the school’s footprint to approximately 515,000 square feet. These state-of-the-art facilities are instrumental in attracting and supporting internationally renowned faculty members and exceptional students. In addition to the Rollins School of Public Health, the foundation has generously supported Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, Winship Cancer Institute, and Candler School of Theology.

Photo: Amy Rollins Kreisler 

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