Campus News

Former UGA provost’s gift creates professorship and graduate fellowship

Holbrook gift CPH Karen Holbrook and Phillip Williams
Karen Holbrook

The UGA College of Public Health has received a $500,000 gift to create the Karen and Jim Holbrook Distinguished Professorship and an endowed fellowship to support graduate students in the global health field.

Karen Holbrook served as UGA provost and senior vice president for academic affairs from 1998 to 2002 before being named president of The Ohio State University. Jim Holbrook is a retired oceanographer and past deputy director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Research Laboratory in Seattle.

The gift reflects the Holbrooks’ lifelong commitment to higher education, the health sciences and global collaboration as well as their strong affection for UGA. The UGA Foundation is providing an additional $250,000 for the distinguished professorship in recognition of Holbrook’s transformative tenure as provost at UGA and to honor her remarkable service record in higher education.

“In addition to her enduring contributions at UGA as provost, Dr. Holbrook has served as an intellectual and administrative leader at some of the most prominent public research universities in the country,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “She has remained a close and supportive friend of the UGA community throughout her career, and we are deeply honored that she and Jim have decided to make this generous gift to UGA at this time.”

Together, the Holbrook Distinguished Professorship and Graduate Fellowship will build upon existing strengths in global health research, increase international collaborations and expand experiential learning for students.

During Holbrook’s tenure as provost, she advocated for new programs in the biomedical and health sciences, which eventually led to the creation of the College of Public Health. Throughout her career, she has served as an advocate and catalyst for international research collaboration, and she continues to build relationships between institutions of higher education.

“I was very fortunate to work with colleagues at UGA during a time of real transformation and expansion into new program areas,” Holbrook said. “It is so gratifying to see many of those ideas have taken root. Now seems like a good time to invest in realizing more of the college’s potential for conducting meaningful international research and to emphasize the impact this activity can have for students.”

The first Holbrook Professor is expected to be named by January 2017.