Emory gets $100 million gift for its school of public health

Emory University on Tuesday received one of its largest ever donations.

The $100 million gift will go toward research and training at the Rollins School of Public Health, officials said. The gift from the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation is the largest in the school of public health’s history, Emory officials said.

“With this gift, it will truly be a public health school without peer,” Emory University President Gregory L. Fenves said at a ceremony announcing the gift.

About 200 full-time faculty members do work on infectious diseases, cancer, nutrition and community-based health prevention programs. Many faculty members work at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The school partnered with the Georgia Department of Public Health on coronavirus pandemic planning coordination, outbreak response and evaluation, training and placement of public health professionals statewide.

The foundation was created several decades ago. It’s named after O. Wayne Rollins, a businessman who founded Atlanta-based Rollins Inc. and controlled Orkin Exterminating Co. and other businesses. By the time the 79-year-old Rollins died in 1991, he had created an empire worth an estimated $8 billion.

The foundation has about $500 million in assets, recent federal tax records show.