Oxford Main Image

Alumni and Friends keep Oxford Strong 

Oxford College alumnus Art Vinson 66Ox 68C and his wife, Laurie Vinson, (pictured above) believe strongly in Oxford. To show their gratitude for his Oxford experience, they have made a planned gift to support the fund-raising effort for a new science building. Private gifts such as the Vinsons’ helped Oxford raise more than $37 million during Campaign Emory, and the school continues to garner support for its mission. 

“To see the difference that Campaign Emory has made to Oxford College, I need only take a short walk through our campus,” says Stephen H. Bowen, dean of Oxford College. “From the construction site where our new Library and Academic Commons is rising to classrooms where there are outstanding students who could not attend without the help of scholarships, I see possibilities that have been transformed into reality through the generosity of Oxford’s alumni and friends.” 

The new science building was one of Oxford’s top priorities in Campaign Emory, and fund-raising for the building is ongoing. 

“Art Vinson’s leadership has been invaluable to Oxford over the years, and the couple’s gift speaks volumes about their longstanding commitment to our students and our campus,” Bowen says. “We are so fortunate they are part of the Oxford community of alumni and friends.”

Oxford is known for excellence and innovation in science education, giving freshman and sophomore students high-level research opportunities and helping Georgia educators learn new ways to teach science. Built in 1961, the school’s science facilities long ago lost pace with the accomplishments of faculty and students.   

The Vinsons chose to invest in the construction of the new science building because they feel it holds the potential for the quickest return, Art Vinson says, and they hope their gift will inspire others to invest as well.

“One of the reasons we made this gift was to encourage our peers to explore and use innovative ways to give. Oxford alumni cherish and nourish deep affections from their tenure on campus. As they become aware of Oxford’s current programs, the accomplishments of students, and the scope of scholarship, they feel an even greater sense of pride in their own degrees,” he says. 

By designating Oxford as the beneficiary of a fully paid life insurance policy, the Vinsons provided a leadership gift to the project through Campaign Emory. Planned gifts such as the Vinsons’ enable donors to make significant gifts to the university without diminishing needed income. Private gifts from thousands of other friends and alumni have served to strengthen areas of Oxford’s work that mean the most to them. 

In summer 2012, an anonymous donor gave $5 million to support scholarships and help fund capital projects at Oxford, including the new science building. Other gifts to the building project include those from Atlanta surgeon Duane Blair 48OX 50C 54M 58MR and his wife, Emy Evans Blair, and Jane Chambers Bostwick of Atlanta, who has made a gift in honor of her late husband, alumnus John Bostwick III62Ox 64C 75MR, an esteemed Emory surgeon.

For Zoe and Charles “Smoky” Hicks, Oxford College is more than the place that led to multiple degrees and successful law careers. The couple—who met at Oxford—has included Oxford in their estate plans to support the school’s greatest priorities.

“Oxford is a family, a place where you can’t slip through the cracks, where the professors will not allow you to be less than your best,” says Zoe Hicks 63OX 65C 76L 83L. 

“Emory educated us and gave us the opportunities we have had. When we went to school here, it was in buildings someone else helped build. Now it is our turn,” says Smoky Hicks 62OX 64C 67L.

Luke Gregory 76Ox 78C and Susan Gregory 77Ox 79C helped raise more than $100,000 to create a scholarship in memory of classmate Michael S. Overstreet 76Ox 78B. Their gift is helping make Oxford’s education and personal experiences affordable and possible for deserving students.

Oxford parents Ben and Angel Keller have made a bequest to endow the John Lewis Keller Award in memory of their son, John Lewis Keller 04Ox 07C. Keller, who lost his battle with cancer in 2008, overcame severe learning disabilities to graduate from Oxford and Emory. The scholarship will be awarded to a deserving Oxford sophomore who has shown excellence in working through disabilities. 

Along with these and many other investments in Oxford College, alumni and friends are creating new professorships, strengthening key programs, and supporting the Oxford College Fund for Excellence, which the dean can use to support the school’s most important priorities. 

To learn how you can support Oxford College, contact Tony Kimbrell at 770.784.8313 or tony.kimbrell@emory.edu.


Oxford College Volunteer Campaign Chairs:

J. Joseph Edwards 54OX 56B 58B and Henry Mann 62OX 64C