Emory Report
November 27, 2006
Volume 59, Number 12



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November 27 , 2006
Emory strengthened by Woodruff gift, new chancellor, new trustees

staff reports

The November meeting of the Emory Board of Trustees was truly remarkable in the breadth and depth of its impact across the University: the board received a major gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, named a new chancellor and funded major portions of the University’s strategic plan in the humanities and social sciences and in student housing — bold actions that will move Emory rapidly from creating a vision to making that vision a reality.

The Woodruff Foundation’s extraordinary financial commitment of $261.5 million will support Emory across disciplines, affecting the entire University. The gift will allow Emory to modernize patient-care facilities and renovate the administrative home of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. It also will establish The Presidential Fund, which will strengthen selective cross-disciplinary initiatives created as part of the University’s strategic plan.

“We are excited and deeply gratified by the confidence in Emory’s future expressed by this gift from the Woodruff Foundation,” President Jim Wagner said. “At the same time, we feel a great responsibility to steward these funds to ensure they achieve the greatest possible impact of advancing Emory toward its vision.”

In support of this vision, the trustees appointed Michael M.E. Johns chancellor of the University. Johns, currently executive vice president for health affairs, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chairman of the board of Emory Healthcare, will assume the chancellorship next fall. He will continue to hold his positions in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center until a successor has been named.

Although his major duties will be as an advisor to the president and trustees, he will also assume responsibility for university-wide projects. He will continue to support implementation of the University’s strategic plan.

Adding to top leadership, the Trustees welcomed three new members during the board’s fall meeting — renowned philanthropy director and retired Woodruff Foundation president Charles “Pete” McTier; General Electric vice chairman John G. Rice; and business law professor and attorney Diane Wilkins Savage.

McTier and Rice were elected by the 36-member board as term trustees and will serve, respectively, until 2009 and 2014. Savage was elected as an alumni trustee and will serve until 2012. Alumni trustees serve six-year terms and are nominated by the Emory Alumni Board for election by the Board of Trustees.

The board also paid tribute to outgoing trustees Marvin S. Arrington, who served from 1990–2006, and Alvin Sugarman, who served from 1998–2006. They each were designated “trustee emeritus.”
Arrington is a Fulton County Superior Court Judge in Atlanta, and earned his law degree from Emory School of Law in 1967. He was the recipient of the Emory Medal — the highest honor from the University for alumni — in 1988.

Sugarman is rabbi emeritus of The Temple in Atlanta. He received his bachelor’s degree from Emory in 1960 and a doctorate from the University in 1988. He began his rabbinate at The Temple in 1971. He was named senior rabbi in 1974 and currently serves as rabbi with life tenure.

For more information about the Woodruff Foundation gift see Woodruff gift story.

For more information about Michael M.E. Johns and his new role, see Johns' story.

For more information about funding for facilities across Emory, see facilities story.