2016Annual Report


Supporting the Advancement of Education, Research, and Patient
Care at the Medical College of Georgia.

President's Report

Report of the President & CEO

Ian S. Mercier

Ian S. Mercer, MBA, MPA
President & CEO

A New Beginning

It was eight years ago, in 2008, that my wife and I welcomed the news of a child on the way – a girl – and we knew she would change our lives forever. A fetal Doppler turned my hope into a feeling of helplessness as our as yet-to-be-born baby had an irregular heartbeat – a trait that I have as an adult, and one I felt I had unfairly passed on. Yet a visit to a pediatric cardiologist at the Medical College of Georgia very quickly restored our hope as he described the issue as both idiopathic and transient, and that the irregularity had a good prognosis to disappear spontaneously just after delivery, which it did.

Although I find myself listening to her heartbeat frequently still, our eight-year-old daughter is fine in every way. Even a broken arm – surgically repaired here at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia – has not slowed her down, and I can’t help but look back gratefully to those who have cared for us and her, and the profound impact they have made on us.

As an old-timer at this institution but newcomer in the role of President of the Medical College of Georgia Foundation, I have the honor of serving with many leaders in medicine and in health sciences - and I can’t help but to be wide-eyed at the wonder of the accomplishments of this great school. The joy of witnessing your child receive life-changing treatment, watching hearts grow outside of the body from stem cells, or the privilege of watching a student receive an education that is unparalleled in its value – these are gifts to all of us who serve here. But it is through your graciousness and your loyalty that many of these miracles are made possible, and I urge you to experience them for yourself – not necessarily as a patient, but as a part of this great family.

As the MCG Foundation stewards the legacies left in its charge, we implore you to help us build new ones. Our students, our children, our parents, our state, and our country need you and your support through the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta University.

Ian S. Mercier, MBA, MPA
President & CEO

Chairman's Statement

Chairman's Statement

Fellow Alumni and Friends:

The Medical College of Georgia Foundation exists because of your support and generosity. Our role as stewards is a commitment of dedication and loyalty to MCG and the communities it serves. We diligently oversee the handling and disbursement of funds to ensure that every gift is used in accordance with the donor's wishes and provides meaningful support to the Medical College of Georgia.

The Medical College of Georgia is a progressive medical school where brilliant young minds come to be transformed into renowned physicians and community leaders. This was true when I was a student and it is still true today. It takes a committed partnership to optimize this potential.

MCG alumni continue to be our best partners. Throughout Georgia and the nation, they stand out as role models and leaders in their communities. By virtue of their diplomas, alumni carry MCG with them everywhere they go. Therefore, our alumni are our most visible advocates. The MCG Alumni Association has organized regional committees enabling our alumni to demonstrate their collective support. If you have not reached out to your regional committee, contact MCG Alumni Director Scott Henson ( or 706-721-4416) and ask how you can get involved.

And as you immerse yourself in alumni activities, rest assured that our Foundation is in the most capable of hands. This year, the Foundation welcomed Dr. Buffi Boyd ('99) to the Board of Directors. Dr. Boyd is a partner at Urological Associates of Savannah, past Chairwoman of the MCG Alumni Association and a mentor and leader on the Southeast Regional Campus.

Also, Ian S. Mercier has assumed the helm as the Foundation's new President and CEO. Mr. Mercier joined the Foundation in 1999 and has served as Chief Operating Officer since 2013. He has extensive experience in all aspects of the Foundation's operations. He is a leader of diverse abilities with a deep commitment to the mission of the Foundation. We look forward to his dynamic, creative and collaborative leadership as he partners with the University to fulfill the Foundation's mission.


I would also like to take this opportunity to express special appreciation to MCG Dean Peter F. Buckley and his faculty and staff. An exhaustive two-year self-study and onsite evaluation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education yielded full accreditation in July 2016 for MCG. This accreditation is for 8 years and includes all five regional campuses. On behalf of the MCG Foundation Board of Directors, I offer a heartfelt thanks to MCG faculty, staff, students, donors and volunteers who help make MCG a model of progressive education throughout the entire state of Georgia.

Your support for the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta University has never been more important. I appreciate your continued trust in the MCG Foundation. I am proud to be a part of this dedicated, generous and accomplished community.


Sam Richwine, MD
MCG Class of 1977
MCG Foundation
Chairman of the Board

Sam Richwine, MD

Executive Committee

President Brooks Keel, PHD, President Augusta University
Sam Richwine Jr., MD, Chair
Paul G. Turk, MD, Vice-Chair
J. Ben Deal, DMD
Sandra N. Freedman, MD
Ellen S. Goodrich, BSN, MN
Charles G. Green Jr., MD
J. Daniel Hanks Jr., MD
Christopher J. Mann, MD
Lloyd B. Schnuck Jr., MD

Finance Committee

Ellen S. Goodrich, BSN, MN, Chair
Paul G. Turk, MD, Vice-Chair
Charles G. Green Jr., MD
J. Daniel Hanks Jr., MD
Christopher J. Mann, MD

Investment Committee

Paul G. Turk, MD, Chair
Ellen S. Goodrich, BSN, MN
J. Daniel Hanks Jr., MD
Christopher J. Mann, MD
Cecil F. Whitaker Jr., MD**

Scholarship & Stewardship Subcommittees

Sandra N. Freedman, MD, Chair
J. Ben Deal, DMD, Vice-Chair Scholarship
Charles G. Green Jr., MD, Vice-Chair Stewardship
Ellen S. Goodrich, BSN, MN
Charles G. Green Jr., MD
Alva L. Mayes Jr., MD**
Harvey L. Simpson, MD

Governance Committee

Sam Richwine Jr., MD, Chair
H. Gordon Davis Jr., MD
Sandra N. Freedman, MD
J. Daniel Hanks Jr., MD
Christopher J. Mann, MD
Paul G. Turk, MD

Bylaws Subcommittee

Sam Richwine Jr., MD, Chair
H. Gordon Davis Jr., MD, Co-Chair
J. Daniel Hanks Jr., MD

Nomination Subcommittee

J. Daniel Hanks Jr., MD, Chair
Christopher J. Mann, MD
Paul G. Turk, MD

**Emeritus Member

The chairman of the board resides
on all committees

Full Board List

Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association
Regional Committees and Chairs

State Chairman: David Gose, M.D. (Atlanta)
Columbus: George McClusky, M.D.- Chair
Albany: Price Corr, M.D.- Chair
Valdosta: David Retterbush, M.D.- Chair
Savannah: Dan DeLoach, M.D.- Chair
Macon: Bill Brooks, M.D. - Chair
Gainesville: Sam Richwine, M.D.-Chair
Athens: Mark Ellison, M.D.- Chair
Atlanta: Tommy Dopson, M.D.-Co-Chair
Kelley Dopson, M.D.- Co-Chair
Dalton: P. Bates Bailey, M.D.
Rome: Joe Burch, M.D.- Chair
Augusta: Betty Wray, M.D.
Waycross: Wayne Rentz, M.D.- Chair
Alumni Association
Chairman's Statement


Endowment Value

The endowment fund provides support to the Medical College of Georgia and the Health Sciences Campus of Augusta University in perpetuity. That means the gift you give today, will provide support forever. The endowment’s annual spend rate is set to create reliable and consistent income without affecting the corpus during down markets or overspending when returns are robust. This long-term approach may appear conservative, but ensures consistency in funding that supports the institution. It is this long-term approach that is designed to maintain buying power for future generations.

Audited Financial Statements

Gifts to MCG Foundation for Fiscal Year 2016


Total Donors


Total # of Gifts


Total Value of Gifts


Range of Gift Value

Total Support Provided to the University







Asset Allocation

Without question, the 2015-16 fiscal year represents one of the most volatile since the financial crisis of 2008. Geopolitical issues such as Brexit, the ongoing threat of ISIS, the slowdown of the Chinese economy, and the presidential election contributed to uncertainty within the global market. For this reason, major asset classes with histories of positive performance delivered unusually low and in some cases, negative returns. This unusual return impacted the Foundation’s invested endowment. Returns were also dampened by a higher-than-average allocation to commodities and a slight underweight in private and domestic equities.

Show Return History For Major Asset Classes

Alternative Strategies

Domestic Equity

Global Equities

Performance Over Time

Volatile markets can be uncomfortable and we anticipate there could be further periods of steep declines in the coming year, as well as rapidly rising markets. However, we do not believe increased volatility will lead to dramatic changes within investment programs. Rather, it should reinforce the importance of a long-term plan and the discipline to avoid overreaction.

Maintaining a long-term perspective, rebalancing the program when the opportunity arises, and avoiding mistakes are always top priorities that become even more acute in volatile periods. Investors with a long-term investment horizon and the discipline to remain diversified—even during periods of high volatility—significantly increase the probability of achieving their investment goals, which is a goal we all share.



Travis Welsh

Scholarship Fuels Student's Dream

Travis Welsh laughs about the irony of having learned on April Fool's Day 2014 that he was selected as an inaugural Harrison Scholarship recipient.

"That was fitting, because I almost couldn't believe it," says the second-year student. "It was quite a surprise."

Travis, who grew up in Tyrone, Georgia, was inspired by his grandfather, a general practitioner and county coroner/medical examiner, to study medicine. "He always had such interesting stories to tell," says Travis.

The career choice was cemented during an undergraduate organic chemistry class at the University of Georgia. "I was intrigued by the way simple little things can have enormous real-world effects," he says. "In medicine, we learn all these scientific concepts, then apply them to our day-to-day existence. That really appeals to me."

Having achieved his dream of admission into the Medical College of Georgia, the follow-up news of his selection as a Harrison Scholarship recipient was almost beyond his imagination. "I'm so grateful," he says. "The scholarship is such a gift, allowing me to really focus on learning without worrying about debt."

And the financial assistance, he insists, is only one exciting component of the program. "From the first time you come onto campus, you feel like you're part of a family," Travis says. "Everybody involved in the program makes you feel right at home. It's a very strong support system."

In fact, he was so inspired by the warm welcome - as well as the ongoing mentorship and extracurricular assistance for Harrison Scholars - that he couldn't wait to pay it forward. Travis wasted no time. "As a second-year student, I help incoming medical students navigate the process and the adjustment to medical school," he says. "A big part of success in medicine is understanding that the profession is a collaborative experience, and that collaboration starts in school."

"From the first time you come onto campus, you feel like you're part of a family," Travis Welsh, MCG Class '18

Travis was also among a group of students and faculty who created a program called "Leadership Through Ethics," which will launch soon. The program, funded by a grant from the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, will focus on cultivating character and integrity in future physicians. "We're working closely with the Augusta University Ethics Board to find experiences fleshing out how to approach hurdles ethically and helping participants identify the tools needed to achieve the best outcomes for patients," Travis says. "It's all about helping students understand how they can make their alma mater proud by serving their future patients in the most caring, principled way possible."

Travis has enjoyed his mentoring role so much that he envisions a career in academic medicine, combining his loves of patient care, education and research. "The Harrison Scholars Program has opened so many doors for me," he says.

Endowed Chair Honors Distinguished Faculty

As the first chairman of the Medical College of Georgia's Ophthalmology Department in 1972, Dr. Malcolm Luxenberg embraced the opportunity to build a new organization.

"I'm proud of its development," said Luxenberg, who retired in 2000 after 28 years at the helm. During that time he developed the department from a single person into a premier organization with 11 faculty and 30 staff members, as well as oversaw two major clinic renovation and expansion projects.

"I'm very proud of the contributions of the department to the education of students and housestaff as well as the excellent quality of care given to patients not only in Georgia but from different parts of the country," said Luxenberg, who helped train 87 residents during his tenure. In addition to the clinical contributions, a superb research program was developed under the dircction of Dr. Keith Green.

Dr. Neil Shmunes, former chief resident of ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia and now part of the Atlantic Eye Group in Jacksonville, Florida, made the initial donation to establish an endowed chair in the name of Dr. Luxenberg and his wife Sandra. He wanted to honor the man "who presided over one of the best ophthalmology training programs in the U.S., training me and the department's current chairman, and to assist MCG in recruiting and thoroughly training residents who will become the most skilled and ethical ophthalmologists whether in academia or private practice."

Dr. Julian Nussbaum, current chairman of ophthalmology and assistant dean at the Medical College of Georgia, said naming an endowed chair for Dr. Luxenberg is a fitting decision.

"Under his leadership he trained a generation of outstanding ophthalmologists," said Nussbaum. "This brings name recognition to all he has done. He's a model for what an endowed chair should look like."

"In today's day and age, we need an endowment to be able to do all the things he held so dear," Nussbaum added.

While Shmunes provided the initial funding, the minimum threshold for an endowed chair is $500,000. and the fund has a long way to go to reach this goal.

Currently there is no endowed chair in the department of ophthalmology.

If you would like to support this endowed chair, call David Cantrell at 706-721-1817 or email him at

Malcolm Luxenberg

Malcolm Luxenberg, MD

Travis Welsh