Health Care and Sciences Initiative

Health Care
and Sciences

$15.61 MILLION, pie chart

36.83% of campaign total | 125% of Initiative Goal

Investing in the Brenau Community

By Lawrence “Lorry” Schrage

Gainesville has been my home all of my life. My parents, Bill and Gussie, moved to Gainesville shortly after the 1936 tornado that destroyed the town square. A few years later my dad opened Saul’s clothing store on the square. The jewel of Gainesville through these many decades has been Brenau University.

Alongside Brenau is a thriving medical community. It is a great joy for my wife, Sherrie, my mother-in-law, Muriel H. Nathan, and me to watch the growth of both as we engage in each through our time and resources. We are especially pleased that President Ed Schrader places a strong emphasis on health care and sciences and that this area is one of the cornerstones of our successful ForeverGold campaign.

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The Brenau University Downtown Center


groups that hold meetings and events annually

doctorate of physical therapy students

works of art on display from the Brenau Permanent Art Collection

seating capacity in the Theatre on the Square

total meeting room square footage

square feet in the entire Brenau University Downtown Center


When I was first thinking about Brenau as the place to continue my education, I really made the decision after conversations with the faculty. I could tell they were all passionate and driven people of good character and people I could learn a lot from. After hearing about their backgrounds at other PT programs that were successful, their clinical experience and their research, I knew it was somewhere I wanted to be. I had faith they could get our first class through the program.

Jasmine Jacobs, BU ‘18

Physical therapist at Physiotherapy Associates in Norcross, Georgia, and member of the first graduating class in Brenau’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program


I first wanted to be a nurse when I was very young, but my inspiration was really when I grew older, got married and had my son who was born at 26 weeks. We spent 96 days in the NICU. When we came home, my husband and I decided I would go back to school and finish my degree. So nursing is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I have Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing to thank for making it possible.

Jessica Thomas, BU ‘18

Labor and delivery nurse, Northside Hospital Healthcare System


Andrew Phan takes a selfie with fellow members of the first graduating cohort of Brenau University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program following spring commencement May 5 on Brenau’s historic Gainesville campus. (Photo by Nick Bowman/For Brenau University)


The Ivester College of Health Sciences was dedicated in December 2017 following contributions totaling $3.5 million by the Melvin Douglas and Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation. Gifts from the Ivester Foundation and the Ivesters themselves elevated the total giving above the amount the university requires for naming rights to one of its four colleges. These gifts, which were designated for the support of health science programs, helped Brenau surpass the target amount of the multiyear $40 million ForeverGold campaign more than six months ahead of schedule.


The Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing was named in November 2016 for the longtime New Holland/Gainesville resident. The dedication was made possible through a gift of the Melvin Douglas and Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation, funded by Grindle’s daughter and son-in-law. The naming sustains a legacy of strong female leadership in connection with the school’s history, from Ocie Pope, the first director of the Hall School of Nursing — founded in 1959 and acquired by Brenau in 1962 — to Anne Warren Thomas, the Gainesville benefactor who helped sustain and grow the nursing program in tough economic times.

An inspirational

Migrant farmworkers and their families give physical therapy students one-of-a-kind experience

By Kristen Bowman

In a rural farming community in Southwest Georgia, underneath the hot midsummer sun, Brenau University physical therapy students pick vegetables alongside migrant farmworkers.

For the migrant workers, this is just another day in the life of continually stooping, reaching, picking, heavy lifting and moving — all of which take a toll on their bodies.

That’s where Brenau comes in. The Department of Physical Therapy this year joined the Farmworker Family Health Program, an interprofessional, culturally immersive, service-learning experience founded by Emory University.

Vital health care is delivered to farmworkers and their children for two weeks every June in a farming community near Moultrie, Georgia, by students from Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, Clayton State University and Central Georgia Technical College Departments of Dental Hygiene, and Georgia State University and Brenau’s Departments of Physical Therapy.

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