Emory Report
March 26, 2007
Volume 59, Number 24

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March 26, 2007
Emory receives $5M gift to support Center for Ethics

by elaine justice

The crowd gathered in the striped tent behind Bishops Hall last week to celebrate groundbreaking for a new building for Candler School of Theology and the Center for Ethics got a pleasant surprise — learning that John and Sue Wieland of Atlanta have made a gift of $5 million to the project and that the relocated Center for Ethics will be named in their honor.

Asking the Wielands to stand and be recognized, President Jim Wagner unveiled a plaque that will hang in the new building. “John and Sue, thank you for your vision and leadership,” said Wagner, adding that their support “has made possible the location of the Center in the wonderful new building that will rise on this spot during the next year.”

“John Wieland has been an important part of the life of the Center for Ethics since 1994,” said Kathy Kinlaw, interim director of the Center for Ethics. She said that Wieland, who led the Center’s Advisory Council for eight years, shares the University’s vision for “a Center that would work across the University and beyond. With this gift, John and his wife Sue help us to cultivate deep roots, making tangible the vital role that the Center and ethical engagement play in the life of Emory.”

Wieland, founder, chairman and chief creative officer of John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, said that “ethics should be at the core of everything we do in society, whether it’s business, education or health care.” He added that bringing the study of ethics to the core of the campus has been a long-held dream of his and many others, including former Center for Ethics director James Fowler, who retired from Emory in 2005. “I’m thrilled that the dream is being realized,” he said.

The new John and Susan Wieland Center for Ethics will occupy the first floor and 10,000 square feet in a new $34 million 70,000-square-foot structure that will also be the new home for Candler. The Center’s new home will triple its current space, with 17 faculty/staff offices, a library, conference room and seminar room, in addition to a 100-seat flexible-use room for classes, seminars and public lectures.

Speaking about the future of the Center, Kinlaw invited the audience to envision the new space at the heart of campus “where students from across the disciplines gather to work,” where “faculty working groups have adequate space to explore interdisciplinary ethics issues or the teaching of ethics,” and where classes and seminars can bring together students from different schools and programs, and visiting scholars can interact with the community.

“I sincerely hope that each of you will join us both in seeing the possibilities and in making them real,” said Kinlaw.

Presiding over the groundbreaking was Ben F. Johnson III, chair of the Board of Trustees. He recognized past and current project managers, administrators and building architects Collins Cooper Carusi of Atlanta and Boston’s Shepley Bulfinch Richardson Abbott for designing the “spectacular five-story building” near the heart of Emory’s campus.

After an invocation by University Trustee and United Methodist Bishop Mike Watson, Dean Jan Love of Candler thanked the many people who have guided the project, which began a decade ago with a building committee comprised of faculty, including Russ Richey, who led Candler during the most recent planning

In closing the festivities, Johnson invited the crowd to return in 2008 “when this building is dedicated and we break ground for Phase II of this project, which will provide Candler with a Teaching Chapel and a new home for Pitts Theology Library.”