MCG Foundation honors donors, Harrison with $1 million gift toward unretired debt on new building

AUGUSTA, Ga. – To honor donors and inspire future philanthropy, the Medical College of Georgia Foundation, Inc., has contributed $1 million toward retiring remaining debt on the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons.

“We feel this is an investment in the Medical College and hopefully in philanthropy in the future,” said Dr. Sandra N. Freedman, Chairman of the MCG Foundation Board and a 1968 MCG graduate. “We give our gift in honor of all our donors because it takes all of us together to maintain the quality of education that we want for our students and for the health care of our state.”

The $1 million comes from unrestricted gifts made to the foundation, many by MCG alumni, and earnings from the foundation’s investment of those dollars. In recognition of the gift, the first floor main corridor of the building has been named the Medical College of Georgia Foundation Commons Corridor.

“The Harrison Commons has transformed our medical school experience,” said D. David Davis, President of the Class of 2018, which started freshman year in older facilities and moved into the new building in January. “Thankful is the number one word that comes to mind.”

“We are absolutely grateful to our donors, to our foundation, and to the state of Georgia for its support of their medical school,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, MCG Dean. “As David said, the generosity and support of so many coupled with the skilled investment strategy of our foundation enabled this beautiful academic home that has also become a natural gathering spot for our students.”

The three-story, 177,000-square foot Harrison Commons, MCG’s academic home, opened to students in January and bears the name of Dr. J. Harold Harrison, the late 1948 MCG graduate and benefactor, who twice served as Chairman of the MCG Foundation as well as a term as Alumni Association President. Harrison and his wife Sue gave $10 million for the building in 2013 and, after his death, $66 million for scholarships and endowed chairs to help attract the best students and faculty.

Including the $1 million MCG Foundation gift, more than 200 donors have given more than $22 million to support the $76.5 million project to provide state-of-the art learning facilities. Many of the areas of the building, such as small group learning spaces, learning communities, and the administrative suite, bear the name of donors and additional naming opportunities are still available in the building, said Ralph Alee, Associate Vice President for Major Gifts at MCG and GRU. State appropriations totaled $42 million, leaving a remaining debt of about $12.5 million.

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Toni Baker

Toni Baker is the Communications Director at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-4421 or

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Written by Toni Baker

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