Campus News

November 11, 2011

New study documents Emory's broad impact

An independent study commissioned by Emory shows that the University, which is a nationally ranked research institution, is an important dynamo underpinning a strong economy and quality of life in metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia.  

As the fourth-largest private employer in the metro area, Emory accounts for more than $5.1 billion in economic activity and supports directly and indirectly almost 50,000 jobs in Georgia, according to the analysis performed by Appleseed, Inc., a New York City economic analysis firm.  

In Fiscal Year 2010, Emory University, including Emory Healthcare, spent more than $2.5 billion on payroll, purchasing, and construction, the study showed. Including economic activity directly and indirectly generated by visitors, students and joint ventures, Emory registered a total impact on Georgia of more than $5.1 billion per year.  

Emory researchers—working primarily, but not exclusively, in the University’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center—generated $450 million in sponsored research spending and were awarded $535 million in new research funding. Most of this total represents competitively awarded funding coming from outside the state, attracting new dollars for expenditure in Georgia; in FY2011, total awards rose to nearly $540 million.  

Looking ahead, the study reported that Emory anticipates spending more than $780 million in construction and renovation projects for both the University and health care system in the next five years. This investment should lead to the creation of additional jobs in a construction industry eager to rebound.

President Jim Wagner, noting that the economic impact study was commissioned to commemorate Emory’s 1836 founding as a small college in Oxford, Ga., said: “In this, the 175th anniversary year of Emory’s charter, we take great satisfaction in what these many decades of work by innumerable faculty, students and staff have accomplished for all of us—in Atlanta, Georgia, the nation and the world.”  

He added: “And we feel equal gratitude for the support of so many friends and partners in this rewarding work of teaching, discovery, health care and community service. We have been beneficiaries of remarkable support by the federal government, the state government [especially from the Georgia Research Alliance and the Georgia Cancer Coalition], many private foundations, and countless donors, including both alumni and other friends. We are proud of our affiliations and partnerships, including those with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the VA Medical Center, Grady, the CDC, the American Cancer Society, Georgia Tech, and so many others.”  

The report also listed many respects in which Emory contributes to Georgia’s human capital and overall quality of life. About 41,000 of the University’s 109,000 alumni live in Georgia, while about one-quarter of Georgia’s physicians have been trained at Emory, many in the School of Medicine residency programs at Grady Memorial Hospital.  

Nearly nine out of 10 students at Emory regularly volunteer in the community, many through Volunteer Emory, a clearinghouse founded by two undergraduates in 1980.  

As a substantial contributor to the the culture of the region, the arts attract nearly 100,000 people to performances and events throughout the year, making the arts second only to Emory’s health care operations for bringing people to the campus. The  Carlos Museum, which has one of the premier collections of ancient art in the Southeast, provides events, tours, lectures, and other programs for children, families, adults and senior citizens. The museum galleries were host to more than 72,000 visitors in 2010.  

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