If the recent fight over the status of undocumented workers continues, programs such the Farm Worker Family Health Project run by Emory's School of Nursing will be increasingly important for migratory farmworkers, whom the Atlanta Journal-Constitution deemed “one of the most hidden and unhealthy groups in America.”



Agents of Change

The positively transformational
power of gifts large and small

Change and transformation are concepts that do not rest easy with many of us. Leery of upsetting the status quo or apprehensive about what the new can bring, we thrust our heads into the sand and refuse to budge, hopeful that this too shall pass, and things soon will return to normal. But universities must change to grow and survive. And Emory is not only poised to change itself in the future but to use the talents and skills of its people to do good in the world now. Indeed, in the words of its vision statement, Emory aspires to work for “positive transformation in the world,” by virtue of the knowledge, commitment, and actions of its students, alumni, employees, and friends.

A web page devoted to illuminating the collaborative process by which the language of the vision statement was crafted notes, “It seemed presumptuous to some—and to others even imperialistic—to talk about “changing the world for the better.” Of course we want to do that, but we cannot do that by ourselves. Yet each of us—and Emory as an institution—can effect some transformation for good in various pockets of the world.”

Regardless of the size of their gifts, each of the donors featured here had the goal of creating change for the better at Emory and through Emory for the greater good. These gifts, and those of many others given to Emory in the past year, will transform someone’s “world” in ways large and small. Although these are the stories highlighted, they represent a fraction of the ways of and the reasons for giving to Emory by its many generous benefactors.

At a time when the global scale of human suffering can seem overwhelming and unconquerable, Richard N. Hubert strives to make a difference. This year Hubert, an attorney with Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams and Martin, gave $6.1 million to Rollins School of Public Health. Of this amount, one million will increase the endowment of the O. C. Hubert Fellowships in International Health, which support global field study for students. The remaining funds will be used to establish the Richard N. Hubert Fund for Global Health Excellence. The impact of this gift, which brings Hubert’s support for Rollins to $10 million, is so great that the school will name its Department of Global Health in his honor.

One might say such generosity, focused on improving the human condition across the world, could be called heroic, but Hubert disagrees. “People write me notes and thank me for the opportunity that my support for Rollins is giving them,” he said. “Their graciousness is misplaced. I am overwhelmed by the notion that they are the ones putting themselves out there, working to relieve human suffering, not me. I should be thanking them.” Hubert’s goal in supporting Rollins, he said, is simply to help Rollins fulfill its mission. “Public health is the cutting edge of where we ought to be spending money,” he said. “Helping those who are beyond help—it should be a priority in my opinion.”

Closer to home, students and faculty of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing provide two weeks of intensive health care services to South Georgia’s migrant farm workers each June through the Farm Worker Family Health Program. Within the twelve-year-old program, nursing students provide health assessments and care in conjunction with a local community clinic and the school system. The program is making a real difference. “Over the last twelve years we’ve been able to reach an additional twelve thousand people through the Farm Worker Family Health Program,” said Cynthia Hernandez, director of the local health clinic that provides year-round services to the workers.

Bolstered by a $20,000 Georgia Health Foundation grant last fall, which funded crucial permanent program equipment and the clinical rotations of two undergraduate students, the program received a second $20,000 grant this year that will allow additional visits during the year. “Students will be able to visit Moultrie at different times throughout the year to hold smaller, specific clinics for workers,” said program director Judith Wold, visiting professor in the school of nursing.

Laura Rainer 05N , a current master’s student in the nursing school, assisted with preparations for the year’s program and attended last year as a student worker. Her participation in the program cemented her desire to serve vulnerable populations as a nurse. “I’ve gained knowledge and experience in public health and nursing as well as a deeper understanding of the farm worker community. In the face of their many social and health issues, the farm workers demonstrated a strength that motivated me to work to improve health for the community,” she said.  

Daniel and Lillian Hankey have spent a major portion of their lives devoted to medicine, but they are equally committed to lives of faith. It is the latter that motivated them to establish the Daniel and Lillian Hankey Chair in World Evangelism at Candler School of Theology with a gift of $2.5 million. The Hankey Chair is the first given to Candler by a living donor in twenty years and will join the Arthur J. Moore Chair in Evangelism as the school’s second chair devoted to the teaching of evangelism.

Since Daniel Hankey’s retirement from his medical practice more than twenty years ago, the couple has been involved in the World Methodist Evangelism Institute (WMEI), a cooperative ministry of Candler and the World Methodist Council that trains evangelism leaders. The Hankeys have given generously to WMEI in the past, but were motivated to give this most recent gift to keep the ministry they find so important going well into the future. “Lil’s and my real wish is that this ministry continue,” Daniel Hankey said. “It’s an amazing outreach program for Candler and the World Methodist Council.” He cited the fact that students from other seminaries, including Duke Divinity School and Boston University, have come to Emory to take classes for credit. “More finances will help more students come to study here,” Hankey added.

Closer to home, donors are seeing small needs fulfill big promises, such as the gift to the Michael C. Carlos Museum this year that transformed the perspective of some Atlanta-area schoolchildren.

Three years ago the museum and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese created outreach programs to establish stronger ties with Atlanta’s Hispanic community. Senior lecturer Vialla Hartfield-Mendez, along with the Carlos Museum, received grants to sponsor related events at the museum and at area schools with large Hispanic populations. The resulting multipart program, now in its third year, gives Hispanic elementary and middle school students the chance to experience their heritage in the collections of the Carlos.

A donor who heard of these outreach programs through museum docent Rose Cunningham was inspired to fund, along with the National Endowment for the Arts, the translation into Spanish of the museum’s family guide to the Ancient American galleries. An Emory Spanish-language major did the translation.

The Spanish-language guide is available free of charge for museum visitors, and it serves as a dynamic tool for Spanish-speaking families to use as they tour the museum’s galleries of ancient art and find objects still produced by inhabitants of modern-day South America, Central America, and Mexico. “Some of the children recognize these objects in the museum because they have one at home, or their grandmother in Mexico has one,” said Carlos Docent Guild President Lindsay Marshall. “For a lot of these students, these tours connect them with their heritage and instill pride in them.”

When Lillian Correa 73C was a junior in high school and active in her debate club, she made a connection with the Barkley Forum—Emory’s nationally ranked intercollegiate debate team—that changed her life.

“An anonymous donor paid for my debate partner and me to go for two weeks to a workshop with the Barkley Forum,” she said. After seeing Emory and its renowned debate team in person, Correa knew the University was the place for her. She enrolled at Emory and joined the Barkley Forum, becoming one of only five female debaters on its team of 150.

Now senior vice president for investments at Smith Barney, Correa said she owes her success to Emory’s debate team. “There are things I learned at the Barkley Forum that made me a better student, better in my career, and a better person,” she said.

Since 1983 Correa has given every year to support the team—contributing to the general budget, helping minority students attend Barkley Forum functions, and supporting the forum’s Urban Debate League, which organizes debate programs in secondary schools in low-income neighborhoods across the country. “Lily is a very important ally in our work,” said Melissa Wade, director of the Barkley Forum.

For Correa, it’s a simple proposition: “If students can expose themselves to a rigorous research discipline, gain comfort in public speaking, and a sound perspective on issues,” she said, “they will benefit in school and in life.”

Oxford College’s reputation for building leaders such as those found in the Barkley Forum is apparent in the person of Erik Pike 88OX 90C, the youngest member of the college’s Board of Counselors. He stepped forward with a bridge gift of $35,000 that enabled the college to open its own call center one year earlier than planned, building on gifts already committed by his fellow board members. Current students phone alumni from the call center to ask them to consider making a donation to Oxford through the Annual Fund.

Pike said he liked the idea that his contribution to the call center would be a gift that keeps on giving. “So many campaign drives are done to generate dollars for the school,” he said. “This would be one that would be self-generating. I liked the idea that giving this gift would allow the students to secure additional gifts.”

What’s more, the center provides twenty safe, convenient, well-paying jobs to students and reconnects the college to its alumni, a group Pike likens to a “fraternity.” The center brought in $80,000 in gifts and pledges in its first year. This year’s goal is $100,000, and current figures put the college well on the way to surpassing it.

Pike is happy with the results his gift engendered.

“I just hope that it raises some awareness among all the Oxford alums out there. The campus will need a lot of our support going forward. Now’s the time that we’re going to have to step up and demonstrate the fondness we have for our campus.”

The Donor Report now appears on the web. For a complete list of 2004-2005 donors, visit click here.

Additional reporting by Amy Comeau, Elaine Justice, and Tom Wilfong.



© 2006 Emory University