Autumn 2008: Campaign Emory
Photo by Bryan Meltz
Helping Children Grow into Healthy Adults
The Courage to Leap
Stories of Courage
By Marlene Goldman
In July 2003, while on a family trip to Kenya, George Brumley, his wife Jean, and ten other members of the Brumley family died in a plane crash.
George Brumley is a legend at Emory, a man of quiet humility who accomplished wonders. As chair of pediatrics from 1981 to 1995, he turned a small department into a large, thriving one that drew both patients and young doctors from across the country. In the 1990s, Brumley gave a gift to create the Emory Egleston Children’s Research Center, which coordinates a seed grant program that fuels development of young researchers’ promising ideas. Since then, the program has provided $1 million in support and attracted $18 million from outside funding agencies.
In the face of tragedy, the Brumleys’ two surviving daughters, Nancy Brumley Robitaille and Marie Brumley Foster, are carrying on their father’s legacy through the Zeist Foundation, which created the George W. Brumley Jr. Chair in Pediatrics at Emory School of Medicine. The chair is held by neonatologist and neonatal infectious disease specialist Barbara Stoll, whom Brumley recruited to Emory.
Like her mentor, Stoll is chair of the Department of Pediatrics. She also directs the Emory Children’s Center, and is medical director of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, Emory’s longtime partner for pediatric care. For Stoll, holding the distinguished chair is both an honor and a way to remain close to the man who taught her so much. She credits him for imbuing her—and many others—with a sense of responsibility for improving the health of children, regardless of financial situation, and for improving health care through research and the training of young physicians.