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Historic Harrison gift creates scholarships, endowed chair

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 6:46 PM
Last updated 8:18 PM
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The record $66 million gift to Medical College of Georgia earlier this year is now turning into scholarships and an endowed chair, officials said.

The Medical College of Georgia Foundation, which received the gift from former chair and MCG Alumnus Dr. J. Harold Harrison, voted Thursday to create the first Harrison Scholars and to create the $2 million Harrison Distinguished University Chair.

The first round will see three full-ride $35,000 scholarships and three partial $17,500 scholarships for the 2014 class currently applying to MCG at Georgia Regents University, said Foundation CEO James B. Osborne Sr.

“It is the most elite scholarship on this campus,” he said. Having them “will help us recruit the best and brightest medical students to come here.”

Because the scholarships will be awarded during the four years the students are in school, with a new round for each incoming class, that means the first six are really a commitment to 24 scholarships, Osborne said. And the foundation expects to add “significantly more” to that, he said,

The school was already working with the foundation to fill its current endowed chairs, said MCG Dean Peter Buckley.

“The Harrison (chair) comes at a great time and then the amount of it at $2 million is very competitive nationally and sets a kind of new standard among our endowed chairs going forward,” he said. “It’s going to be an opportunity to bring in an outstanding new faculty member on campus.”

The Harrison chair was presented to the school by the foundation in a way that allows the school flexibility in how it is filled, he said.

“The Foundation has been very supportive and has provided it in a way that can be used most strategically,” Buckley said. “As you might imagine the Harrison foundation gift has generated a huge amount of interest so there no shortage of people who know how they want to spend that chair endowment.”

Harrison also contributed $10 million to help fund the J. Harold Harrison, MD, Education Commons Building that is also scheduled to open in 2014, which could make next year one of the best in the school’s 185-year history, he said.

“All of the halo effects of the Harrison gift are going to be very substantial,” Buckley said.


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