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Column: Woodruff Foundation gift will help remake Agnes Scott building

By Maria Saporta
Published in the ABC on Friday, July 20, 2012

Agnes Scott College has received a $6 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation to bring new life to Campbell Hall, which has been vacant since 2003.

“We are very excited,” said Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott College. “We have these beautiful historic buildings, and some of them have been in need of tender love and care. Campbell Hall was the biggest target of opportunity. We wanted to create spaces that are 21st Century living and learning spaces.”

Campbell Hall served as the science center for the women’s college from 1951 to 2003 — the year that the Mary Brown Bulloch Science Center opened.

The renovation will create “state-of-the-art” academic and instructional facilities on the ground and first floors and suite-style rooms for up to 96 students on the second and third floors.

The 47,000-square-foot building also has auditoriums, which have been needed on campus, that can serve several uses, including for film series and speaker series.

“It will be a vibrant new building right in the heart of our campus,” Kiss said. “When ideas and discussions flow from classrooms to dorm rooms, you have a truly vibrant living and learning community. That’s what a residential liberal arts college is all about, and this extraordinarily generous gift will help us take it to a new and higher level.”

The Campbell Hall renovation will cost $12 million, and the college already has raised $8.9 million, including the Woodruff grant. Kiss said the goal is to raise the remaining $3.1 million by May. That way, the new Campbell Hall could open by the 2014-15 school year — when Agnes Scott will be celebrating its 125th anniversary.

Agnes Scott also received an $80,000 from the Kresge Foundation for the renovation to be designed to meet the standards for LEED Silver certification for green building design.

The Campbell Hall renovation is a “centerpiece” of Agnes Scott College’s comprehensive campaign, which is now in its quiet phase.

“This is a huge shot in the arm for our comprehensive campaign, which is going very well,” Kiss said, adding that plans are to launch the public campaign in October.

“The Woodruff gift gets us a long way to getting there.”

Clyde Tuggle, a Coca-Cola executive who is chair of Agnes Scott’s board of trustees, said the Woodruff Foundation, throughits gift, “has shown a significant vote of confidence in Agnes Scott’s future and its importance to metro Atlanta and the wider world of higher education.”

Under way at United Way

So far, so good.

Kevin Greiner, president and CEO of Gas South, who is chairing the 2012 metro Atlanta’s United Way campaign, has been encouraged in his conversations withexecutives of some of the region’s largest companies.

“We definitely want to see the campaign increase in size, and we are certainly focused on making that happen in 2012,” Greiner said. “The initial conversations we have had make us feel really good. I have been delighted with the response from leading executives.”

The 2011 campaign headed by Delta Air Lines’ CEO Richard Anderson met its fundraising goal of $80.4 million. Greiner said the cabinet is still deciding how much the goal should be for the 2012 campaign, which will be launched on Sept. 6 at an event at Turner Field before the Braves game against the Colorado Rockies.

Greiner, however, said he has reorganized and consolidated his cabinet team to improve the campaign’s focus and broaden its base.

The campaign also is benefiting from the help of two loaned executives. One will provide sales training for cabinet members to help them when visiting Atlanta business leaders. The other executive will help companies establish employee-wide campaigns for the first time.

The plan is to complete the visits with executives from metro Atlanta’s 60 largest companies or United Way donors by the end of August.

Lending a hand

The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations has named Atlantan Andy Schneggenburger to its board.

Schneggenburger is executive director of AHAND, which supports community development and quality housing. It represents a coalition of more than 30 Atlanta-based community organizations dedicated to revitalizing and empowering distressed communities.

The National Alliance is a membership organizationthat represents 33 states and metroareas as well as 4,000 community-based organizations.

Frank Skinner to be honored

The Turknett Leadership Group has selected retired BellSouth executive Frank Skinner as its first Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

Skinner was president of Southern Bell and CEO of BellSouth Telecommunications, but he is as well known for his dedicated work in the community throughout his career. The award recognizes leaders who exemplify the highest standards of character and integrity over a lifetime of service to a firm and to the larger community.

Skinner was selected by Oz Nelson, retired chairman and CEO of United Parcel Service; Conchita Robinson, president and CEO of C. Robinson Associates; Betty Siegel, president emeritus at Kennesaw State University; and Tom Crawford, retired chairman and CEO of Crawford & Co.

He will be honored on Sept. 19.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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