Building rendering courtesy Rollins School of Public Health
Forging the future of public health
By Mary J. Loftus
Going global sometimes means digging deeper roots at home. Public health supporters and practitioners gathered on May 30 to break ground for the Claudia Nance Rollins Building, which will join the Grace Crum Rollins Building to house the School of Public Health.
Made possible by a $50 million commitment from the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation and Grace Crum Rollins, the new building will be named for O. Wayne and John Rollins’s mother, Claudia Nance Rollins.
“This 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,” said President James Wagner. “The Rollins School of Public Health is an integral part of our working for social justice and global health.”
The nine-story building will rise on what is now a parking lot behind the current Rollins Building, and a glass bridge will link the two public health structures. When the building opens in 2010, the school will more than double its size. The complex is designed to enhance collaboration and will overlook the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—one of the school’s frequent partners in public health.
Since its first building opened in 1995, the Rollins School of Public Health—now ranked seventh among U.S. schools of public health—has tripled its number of students, faculty, and research dollars. The Claudia Nance Rollins Building will have technologically sophisticated “smart” classrooms, three floors of wet laboratories, offices, conference space, and a 250-seat auditorium. Designed by S/L/A/M Collaborative, it will be built to meet silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirements.
Amy Rollins Kreisler, executive director of the Rollins Foundation, believes her grandfather would be proud: “He always said the highest form of giving is when you invest in people.”