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School of Medicine

Medical school donor wall unveiled to commemorate $44.8 million campaign

At the grand opening of the James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center, the medical school announced the completion of the first phase of a fundraising campaign that raised $190 million in gifts and pledges. The campaign included $44.8 million in support of the education center, a total that surpassed its initial goal by $7 million.

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“This facility is a testament to the loyalty and commitment of our alumni and friends. Their gifts and pledges have fueled the first phase of what will clearly be the most successful fundraising campaign in the medical school’s history,” said Jerry Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the medical school and executive vice president for medical affairs for the VCU Health System.

The unprecedented level of support was anchored by a lead gift from philanthropists Jim and Fran McGlothlin, for whom the center is named. Their $25-million gift, the largest to VCU at the time it was made in 2011, was given in honor of their friend and physician Harry Young, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery.

The names of the McGlothlins and all donors who made leadership gifts in support of the Medical Education Center are inscribed on a wall in the lobby of a facility that will allow the School of Medicine to pioneer new approaches for training physicians. Dozens of faculty and generations of alumni added their support to that vision through the discoverMedicine Campaign. The campaign’s donors include more than 30 faculty and 325 alumni including:

    • Physiology faculty members Linda Costanzo, Ph.D., and Richard Costanzo, Ph.D., who made their gift in honor of former student, medical school alumnus and ophthalmologist Ali R. Tabassian, M.D., Ph.D., whose surgical skills saved Linda’s sight.
    • The Cook brothers — the Class of 1982’s William A. Cook III, the Class of 1987’s Robert D. Cook and the Class of 1993’s George W. Cook — who, with their joint gift, elected to posthumously add their father’s name on the wall: William A. Cook Jr. of the Class of 1951.
    • Drs. Charanjit and Parbhur Singh, who went to medical school in India but adopted the VCU School of Medicine as their own when their sons earned medical degrees and went on to join the faculty.
    • Family Medicine Chair Tony Kuzel, M.D., who asked to have Dr. Fitzhugh Mayo's name inscribed on the wall, instead of his own. Mayo was the department’s founding chair and a pioneer for re-establishing the family medicine field in Virginia.
    • The Class of 2012 — the medical school’s youngest alumni — who marked their graduation by showing their support for the medical school and the students who would follow in their footsteps.

“Alumni, faculty and friends of the medical school have come together to support our core mission, medical education,” Strauss said. “I hear over and over again from our alumni about the incomparable clinical experience they had on the MCV Campus, and how exceptional teaching helped paved the way for their rewarding careers. The success of this campaign ensures that future generations will have an equally rich educational experience.”

In addition to $44.8 million in private donations, the McGlothlin Medical Education Center also was supported by $70 million from the commonwealth of Virginia.

The center opens in a milestone year in which the medical school marks its 1838 founding. To further commemorate the 175th anniversary, the medical school is embarking on the second phase of its campaign that will support faculty, research and student scholarships. A key feature of the campaign will be the 1838 Fund, a scholarship endowment to support the students who will train in the McGlothlin Medical Education Center.