mcg foundation News

Six Harrison Scholars are among the MCG Class of 2018
by Toni Baker

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The 230-member class of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University starting school this week includes the first recipients of student scholarships made possible by the $66 million gift last year from the late Dr. J. Harold Harrison.

The unprecedented gift by the renowned vascular surgeon from Kite, Ga., and 1948 MCG graduate has enabled six medical school scholarships – three full and three partial – starting this academic year.

Twelve Harrison Scholars will be added in subsequent years to each freshman class.

“Dr. Harrison’s extraordinary gift has already generated tremendous excitement at our medical school and among our alumni across our state and nation,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, MCG Dean. “To see the first impact in the form of scholarships for these exceptional medical students is remarkable as well.”

"Three of the Harrison Scholars are the first MCG students ever to receive a scholarship that covers the entire $27,803 annual, instate tuition cost", said Dr. James B. Osborne, President and CEO of the MCG Foundation, which has oversight of the Harrison gift. Three Harrison Scholars received partial scholarships of $15,000 annually.

The merit-based scholarships, which emphasize intellect and outstanding leadership potential, are effective for four years but will be reviewed annually to ensure that recipients continue to meet eligibility standards.

“This truly amazing gift has enabled us to be even more competitive for top students,” said Dr. Paul Wallach, MCG Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. “These are academically outstanding students who had many options for where they went to medical school. The commitment of Dr. Harrison and his family to MCG significantly impacted their decision to choose us.”

“Knowing Dr. Harrison, he would have been very proud of this moment,” said Osborne, a longtime friend. “As a scholar, innovator, and physician, Dr. Harrison would have understood the real benefit of these students to society for generations to come.”

Harrison died June 2, 2012, and a few months later, GRU announced that Harrison and his wife, Sue, had given his name and $10 million toward construction of a new academic home for the medical school. The J. Harold Harrison MD Education Commons should open in September. Last year, the MCG Foundation announced the $66 million gift for student scholarship and endowed chairs for faculty.

“These gifts will help ensure that MCG has the best facilities, the best students, and the best faculty”, Osborne said. In addition to the student scholarships, 10 University Distinguished Chairs funded at $2 million each, will be established over the next five years thanks to the Harrison gift, he said.

The first recipients are:

Samuel Cochran, from Atlanta, studied biology and foreign language at Emory University. He has national certification as an Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate. Cochran has volunteered thousands of hours for Emory EMS and has worked for DeKalb County EMS. He is a trained gymnast and an experienced coach who speaks fluent Spanish.

Robert MacDonell, of Augusta, studied biochemistry at the University of Georgia. His father and brother are both MCG graduates, and MacDonell has participated in GRU’s Summer Student Training and Research Program for undergraduates. He has worked as a telemetry monitor technician at University Hospital and has Basic Cardiac Dysrhythmia certification.

Stanton Royer, was born in Kansas but spent most of his childhood in Augusta. He is a first-generation college graduate who studied chemistry as an undergraduate at GRU where he was active in undergraduate research. He has worked as a research assistant and is an active tutor and community volunteer with a special interest in serving the underprivileged in rural areas of Georgia.

Travis Welsh, is a native of Tyrone, Ga., but has lived all over the country. He studied chemistry at UGA, volunteered with IMPACT Savannah to provide care to the homeless, and worked as a college radio show host for a music as well as a science and medicine talk show.

Anna Willis, from Powder Springs, Ga., studied biology and chemistry at the University of Alabama. She has family ties in Ellijay and Rome and an interest in practicing medicine in a rural area of the state. She is a skilled equestrian who has worked with disabled children to help them overcome their fear of animals and to learn to care for them.

Matthew Winn, from Peachtree City, Ga., had a triple major in biochemistry, biology and microbiology/bacteriology at UGA where he was involved in undergraduate research. He was a member of the UGA Redcoat Marching Band and Derbies Pep Band. He has volunteered with Athens Regional Medical Center and is a founding member of Seeds of Knowledge, which brings education to underprivileged children in Benin, Africa.

“Dr. Harrison always said that MCG gave a country boy the chance to be a physician; that always stuck with me,” Osborne added. “We miss him but he left a great legacy here.”

The first Harrison Scholars were selected by the MCG Scholarship Committee, chaired by Wallach. MCG Foundation Board leaders on the committee include Dr. Mason P. Thompson, a 1973 MCG graduate and MCG Associate Professor Emeritus; Dr. Sandra N. Freeman, a 1968 graduate and MCG Professor Emeritus; and Dr. Charles Green, a 1974 graduate who is Chief of Primary and Emergency Care at the Charlie Norwood Veteran Affairs Medical Center and a clinical faculty member at MCG.

MCGF Boardmember, Jim Hull is appointed to the Georgia Board of Regents

On November 7th, 2013, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Augusta's distinguished citizen, local philanthropist and real estate developer, Jim Hull, to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Hull is a member manager of Hull Storey Gibson Companies, LLC. In addition to serving on the MCG Foundation board, he is also a member of the ASU Foundation Board of Directors and sits on the GRU Board of Visitors.

Hull will be the first Augusta appointee to the Board of Regents
since 2007

MCGF Recieves $66 Million Gift

On April 27th, 2013, The Medical College of Georgia Foundation has announced a transformational gift from the estate of MCG alumnus and long-time Foundation board member, J. Harold Harrison, MD. The gift, which will be in excess of $66 million, is the largest in the history of the university and one of the largest ever received by a public university in Georgia. In 2012, Dr. Harrison also made a $10 million gift for a total of $76 million. This gift, called the Harrison Fellowship Endowment Fund, will not be for new buildings or renovations, but will be invested in students and distinguished faculty. Specifically, the entirety of the Harrison gift will be endowed and will support student scholarships and endowed chairs.

J. “Harold” Harrison, a 1948 MCG graduate, vascular surgery pioneer and cattle farmer, made a commitment many years ago to support student education at the Medical College of Georgia.

In his own words, Harold expressed this desire to give back to the medical school that turned him into a doctor. “When someone asks me why I support the MCG Foundation, it really boils down to a basic principle of providing what input I can to develop a medical school where a gifted individual from the state knowing no better or having no choice from a financial standpoint of attending the state medical school can look back after being out of school for 20 to 30 years and have no regret or question of the quality of the medical education that he received-one that if he had a son or daughter that is equally gifted with the option of choosing any school in the country would consider it a privilege to stay home for his medical education.”

Dr. Jim Osborne, President & CEO of the Foundation, knew Dr. Harrison for over 22 years in his many capacities at MCG. “Harold made a comment to me many years ago that I have not forgotten...that he was so proud that MCG took a country boy and made a doctor out of him.” Dr. Osborne, Mrs. Harrison, and a close group of friends from the Foundation Board, and State Representative Barbara Sims, urged Harold to make a commitment to support the building of the Education Commons at GRU. “Harold wanted to invest in people, not in bricks and mortar, but the idea of a ‘home’ for medical and dental students intrigued him enough to make the lead gift,” says long-time friends Dr. Cecil Whitaker, Dr. Billy Mayher, and members of the Foundation Board.

Before his death in 2012, Dr. Harrison pledged $10 million in support of the Education Commons Building at Georgia Regents University, which is set to be completed in 2014 and will bear his name.

Having served two terms as Chairman of the Board of the Medical College of Georgia Foundation, Dr. Harrison understood the importance of creating intergenerational equity through endowment. This once in a lifetime gift will not only have an immediate impact on MCG’s ability to recruit the most talented students and faculty to its medical training program, but the impact will continue far into the future.

Boardroom dedication & Portrait Unveiled

On April 26th the Medical College of Georgia Foundation hosted a portrait unveiling and conference room dedication ceremony in honor of Dr. William E. Mayher III. His portrait was painted by renowned artist and Georgia Regents University Associate Professor of Medical Illustration, David Mascaro. It will grace the newly named, William E. Mayher III, MD Executive Boardroom, located in the MCG Foundation’s office in Augusta. This dedication is in recognition of Dr. Mayher’s 20 years of commitment and contributions to the MCG Foundation.

  • Dr. vaughn mccall named new endowed chair
  • In late 2012, we announced the appointment of Dr. W. Vaughn McCall to the Case Distinguished Chair of Psychiatry. Dr. McCall arrived to GRU from Wake Forest University, where he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, "Vaughn is established as an innovative, passionate leader, scientist and clinician," said Dr. Peter Buckley, MCG Dean. "He will be invaluable to us as we continue to strengthen our Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and move the Medical College of Georgia forward."


    In the summer of 2012, the MCG Foundation transferred $10 million to the University to support the construction of the Education Commons Building. This included a generous gift from one of our distinguished board members, Dr. J. Harold Harrison. In Augusta of 2012, the Board of Regents approved the naming, J. Harold Harrison, MD Education Commons, to commemorate the late philanthropist, renowned vascular surgeon and 1948 MCG graduate.

    For more information on the J. Harold Harrison Education Commons ground breaking J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons groundbreaking slated Nov. 28


Foundation Board Meeting Information
foundation Investment Committee Meeting

The Investment Committee will meet at 12:00pm on April 26, 2013 at the Foundation Offices in Augusta. The Full Board will meet on Saturday April 27 at 2:00.

"iN The News"

  • The Medical College of Georgia’s 2014 investiture ceremony Jun 12th, 2014, (Video) took place on June 12th,2014. Lead by Dr. Peter Buckley (Dean MCG) with remarks from Dr. Jatinder Bhatia (MCG Faculty Senate), Dr. Gretchen Caughman (GRU Provost), Dr. J. Dan Hanks (MCG Foundation Board), and Ms. Lael Reistatler (Student President, Class 2015).

         The cermony celebrates the outstanding achievements and prestigious academic appointments of the MCG Faculty.  It honors the generosity of our donors who have supported the Foundation and the Medical School through 60 years.

  • 7/2/2013 -Dr. Amyn M. Rojiani, Chairman of the Department of Pathology at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University has been named Associate Editor of the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology. Dr. Rojiani holds the Edgar R. Pund, MD Distinguished Chair in Pathology. Georgia Regents University
  • 6/24/2013 - Dr. Jin-Xiong She, GRA Bradley-Turner Eminent Scholar Chair in Genomic Medicine, recently received $10 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Atlanta Magazine
  • 6/12/2013 - TEDDY study yielding new approach to finding high-risk genes for type 1 diabetes, Dr. Jin-Xiong She holds the Georgia Regents Alliance Bradley-Turner Eminent Scholar Chair in Genomic Medicine, and is Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. GRU News
  • 5/23/2013 - Researchers eliminate schizophrenia symptoms in an animal model, Dr Lin Mei holds the Georgia Regents Alliance Eminent Scholar Chair in Neuroscience, and the Director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. GRU News
  • 5/20/2013- Medical College of Georgia Dean, and MCGF Ex Officio Board Member, Dr. Peter Buckley receives the American Psychiatric Association Special Presidential Commendation in recognition of his exemplary leadership and substantial contributions to psychiatry and U.S. academic
  • 5/06/2013 - Detroit Boy, One of the First to Receive New Cerebral Palsy Treatment in study at GRU, CBS News
  • 4/18/2013 - James M. Hull to Receive Honorary Degree, Mr. Hull is the namesake of the University's business school, and MCGF Board member.
  • 4/16/2013 - GRU Researchers working on kidney repair, Dr. Michael Madaio, Charbonnier Professor and Chairman, Atlanta Business Journal
  • 4/15/2013 - Forgetting is Harder for Older Brains, Dr. Joe Tsien GRA Eminent Scholar Chair in Cognitive and Systems Neurobiology Scientific American
  • 4/15/2013 - ECT Can Restore Quality of Life for Some Severely Depressed Patients, Dr. W. Vaughn McCall, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Medical
  • 4/14/2013 - Two GRU College of Nursing Students Selected for Mayo Clinic Externship Advance for Nurses
  • 4/13/2013 - GHA Recognizes Georgia Regents Medical Center as a Patient Safety Leader Advance for Nurses
  • 4/12/2013 - Breastfeeding: A Case study in Market, Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, Chief of Neonatology at Children's Hospital of Georgia and Georgia Regents University
  • 4/06/2013 - Insomnia Increases Suicide Risk, Dr. W. Vaughn McCall, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Huffington Post
  • 3/29/2013 - Georgia Regents ROTC Best in Nation The Signal3/27/2013 - Historic Augusta Mills Might Become GRU campus Expansion The Augusta Chronical
  • 3/01/2013 - Weintraub recruited to MCG to spur translational science in cardiovascular disease, Dr. Neal Weintraub to hold the Herbert S. Kupperman Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Science in the Department of Medicine.