O. Wayne Rollins Research Center. Photo by Jason Oh.

O. Wayne Rollins Research Center. Photo by Jason Oh.

By Jordan Rubin
Contributing Writer

The O. Wayne Rollins Foundation has donated $10 million toward an endowment for the Rollins School of Public Health, according to a Nov. 4 University press release.

The money for the O. Wayne and Grace Crum Rollins Endowment Fund will be allocated “for priority faculty hires in both infectious and chronic disease prevention and much needed scholarship support for professional and graduate students,” according to Dean of the Rollins School Dr. James Curran, who is also a professor of epidemiology.

Donations from the Rollins Foundation have previously allowed the School of Public Health to construct the Grace Crum Rollins and Claudia Nance Rollins buildings and have helped the graduate school attract and retain many esteemed professors, according to the press release.

Curran was very thankful for the family and its donation to both the Rollins School of Public Health and other schools in the College.

“The Rollins family and foundation have supported Emory and the Atlanta community generously for over 30 years,” Curran said. “The Rollins School of Public Health, named for the family, has received previous endowment support. The Foundation has also generously supported the Candler School of Theology and the School of Medicine.”

Amy Rollins Kreisler, O. Wayne Rollins’ granddaughter and executive director of the Rollins foundation recalled her grandfather’s passion for donating to the School of Public Health.

In a Fall 2008 Emory Public Health Magazine feature, Kreisler remembered when her grandfather said, “giving to a living institution that goes on and affects people’s lives – to me that’s the best. That’s the highest kind of giving when you invest in people.”

The Rollins School has been highly ranked among the top schools of public health in the country. U.S. News and World Report ranked the Rollins School as the sixth best public health graduate program, behind Johns Hopkins University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harvard University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and Columbia University from first to fifth place.

Second-year Rollins School of Public Health student Cole Youngner said the money should expand scholarship opportunities to encompass more students and, as he studies in the Behavioral Sciences/Health Sciences department, said Rollins should consider expanding its mental health academic opportunities.

“I think offering more courses in global mental health would be good,” Youngner said. “It could definitely use the support.”

– By Jordan Rubin, Contributing Writer

Executive Editor Sonam Vashi contributed reporting.