Brenau health sciences students Bethany Green, Chandy Henson, Savannah Blalock, Dean of the Ivester College of Health Sciences Gale Starich, Ivie Hall and Martis Ferguson unveil renderings of the future letterings of Brenau's Downtown Center and Brenau East in Gainesville during an event announcing the naming of the Brenau University Ivester College of Health Sciences. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Brenau health sciences students Bethany Green, Chandy Henson, Savannah Blalock, Dean of the Ivester College of Health Sciences Gale Starich, Ivie Hall and Martis Ferguson unveil renderings of the future letterings of Brenau's Downtown Center and Brenau East in Gainesville during an event announcing the naming of the Brenau University Ivester College of Health Sciences. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau Exceeds Fundraising Goal, Names Ivester College of Health Sciences

Dec. 14, 2017
Kristen Bowman

 

With Generous Foundation Gift, Brenau Exceeds $40 Million ForeverGold Target and Celebrates by Naming the Ivester College of Health Sciences

Kay Ivester, center, and Doug Ivester talk with health science students Martis Ferguson, Bethany Green, Chandy Henson and Savannah Blalock at a meet and greet during an event announcing the naming of the Brenau University Ivester College of Health Sciences. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Kay Ivester, center, and Doug Ivester talk with health science students Martis Ferguson, Bethany Green, Chandy Henson and Savannah Blalock at a meet and greet during an event announcing the naming of the Brenau University Ivester College of Health Sciences. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

With a series of significant gifts designated for support of health science programs from the foundation created by Gainesville area natives Doug and Kay Ivester, Brenau University surpassed the target amount of its multiyear $40 million ForeverGold campaign more than six months ahead of schedule.

Brenau President Ed Schrader acknowledged the most recent contributions totaling $3.5 million by the Melvin Douglas and Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation at a ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 13, celebrating the naming of the Ivester College of Health Sciences.

“Tonight, what we’re making public is not only the longevity and continuity of this focus on community in Hall County and Brenau that the Ivesters and the Ivester Foundation have been so diligent in,” said Schrader, “but it is the recognition of a major gift that will provide for professorships and scholarships that will keep our students in school and support their education.”

Schrader said the gifts, coupled with earlier gifts from the Ivester Foundation and the Ivesters personally, elevated the total giving above the amount the university requires for naming rights to one of its four colleges. In addition to the 2017 pledge, the Ivester-related largess includes earlier ForeverGold foundation contributions to the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing and the Ernest Ledford Grindle Athletics Park. Previously the Ivesters personally had established a scholarship endowment for health science students and a programming endowment that supports bringing internationally renowned speakers and thought leaders to Brenau campuses.

Although the ForeverGold fundraising continues through the university’s current fiscal year to fund projects, facilities and assets that were not earmarked in existing contributions and pledges to the campaign, Schrader acknowledged that all Ivester Foundation gifts to the campaign “makes the job of achieving all of the goals in the campaign a lot more realistic.”

From left to right Brenau health sciences students Bethany Green, Chandy Henson, Savannah Blalock, Ivie Hall and Martis Ferguson, along with Dean of the Ivester College of Health Sciences Gale Starich listen as Brenau President Ed Schrader speaks during an event announcing the naming of the Brenau University Ivester College of Health Sciences. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

From left to right Brenau health sciences students Bethany Green, Chandy Henson, Savannah Blalock, Ivie Hall and Martis Ferguson, along with Dean of the Ivester College of Health Sciences Gale Starich listen as Brenau President Ed Schrader speaks during an event announcing the naming of the Brenau University Ivester College of Health Sciences. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

“Kay and Doug Ivester personally and the Ivester Foundation they created are thoughtful, deliberative givers,” said Schrader. “They have set a great example for others to follow in supporting Brenau. They have been intimately involved with shaping the mission of this institution because they want their support to make a difference in the world. And their support will make a difference. It is fitting that the part of Brenau that will affect lives of millions of people should bear their name.”

Schrader said the Ivester gifts collecting provided a significant boost to the total value of the university’s permanently endowed funds, earnings from which can be used to offset annual operations and student aid costs.

“Endowed funds provide colleges and universities with sustainable sources of revenue in perpetuity,” said Schrader. “Because of our size and focus, these contributions will make a huge difference in the long-term success of Brenau University.”

The Ivesters, who grew up in the New Holland community adjacent to Gainesville city limits about two miles from the historic Brenau campus, have been long-time supporters of Brenau – particularly its mission to help meet long-term regional health needs by the development of undergraduate and graduate professional programs including nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and exercise science. Also, Doug Ivester, former chair of Coca-Cola Co., has been a member of the Brenau Board of Trustees for almost 29 years.

The Melvin Douglas and Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation established to support nonprofit institutions and charitable causes in Hall County, Georgia. The foundation does not accept any unsolicited funding requests but only looks at funding opportunities that support specific tenets of its mission.

Ivester Foundation President Lynn Darby said he was extremely pleased that the university acknowledged through the naming of the Ivester School of Health Sciences “the shared mission and partnership of the foundation and the university to meet the health care needs of the community for generations to come.”

“Through our close work with the development team and administration in the past few years, we are confident that Brenau University will aggressively pursue that goal by building high-quality programs for preparing professionals for outstanding careers in serving other people,” Darby said.

A rendering of the Brenau Downtown Center with the name of the Ivester College of Health Sciences. (Brenau University)

A rendering of the Brenau Downtown Center with the name of the Ivester College of Health Sciences. (Brenau University)

Brenau University is organized academically into the College of Business & Mass Communication, the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts & Humanities and, now, the Ivester College of Health Sciences. The latter includes the doctoral-level Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, the School of Occupational Therapy and the Department of Physical Therapy as well as a range of graduate and undergraduate programs in mathematics, sciences, applied gerontology, clinical psychology, exercise science and pre-professional health care programs.

“We have hit the financial goal of $40 million for the ForeverGold campaign with the sum of all contributions and pledges, but we still have yet to raise funds for some specific pieces within the campaign prospectus that have not yet been covered by donation,” said Lawrence (Lorry) Schrage who along with fellow trustee Carole Ann Daniel co-chairs the ForeverGold campaign. “But I have said all along that the $40 million was just the opening goal. We have to exceed that amount.”

Daniel said the campaign will continue aggressively until June 30, 2018, and said humorously at a recent trustees meeting that, “if you don’t want Lorry and me to pay you a visit, go ahead and send in a check because we still have some things we need to do.”

A rendering of Brenau East in Gainesville with the name of the Ivester College of Health Sciences. (Brenau University)

A rendering of Brenau East in Gainesville with the name of the Ivester College of Health Sciences. (Brenau University)

For example, she added, “we planned to raise more than $10 million in endowed funds, but even with the generous Ivester Foundation contributions to that initiative, we still have some more to do to endow international experiences and scholarships for students at all levels.”

Other unfunded aspects of ForeverGold include a major expansion of the nursing school’s showcase human patient simulation center, the Women’s Leadership initiative, residence hall improvement for the 140-year-old residential Women’s College that remains the core of the broader coeducational university, and other academic program enhancement as the university continues to expand its degree offerings on campuses in Georgia and Florida and online.

General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100