$10 million gift to GHSU paves way for others

A $10 million donation from a Medical College of Georgia alumnus led to others that will help fund the Education Commons Building at Georgia Health Sciences University, a top fundraiser said.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted Wednesday to name the building after the late Dr. J. Harold Harrison, a 1948 graduate of the school and an Atlanta cardiovascular surgeon. He had served as the president of the MCG Foundation and the MCG Alumni Association and “was a key volunteer for us for years and years,” said GHSU’s chief development officer, Susan Barcus. He died June 2.

Harrison made his gift contingent on getting bond funding and the university’s being able to raise money from others, including people in Augusta, Barcus said.

The $76.5 million facility, which will serve both MCG and the College of Dental Medicine, will be funded in part by $42 million in bonds, and GHSU has committed to raising the $34.5 million difference in private donations, Barcus said. With about $23.2 million coming in, the university hopes to raise the rest by the end of this fiscal year, she said.

“We’re in good shape,” Barcus said. “I wouldn’t say that we are ahead of the game, but we are really where we wanted to be and we feel like this is going in the right direction.”

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