Oxford College of Emory University receives $8.4 million bequest

Oxford College of Emory University receives $8.4 million bequest

Oxford College of Emory University has announced an $8.4 million gift from the estates of Emy and Duane Blair in support of student financial aid and capital improvements.

The largest individual cash gift ever to the college includes $4.2 million for student financial aid through the Duane and Emy Blair Scholarship Endowment. The remaining $4.2 million will support improvements to campus buildings and infrastructure.

Duane, who died in 2015, graduated from Oxford College ('48) and received his undergraduate degree from Emory College ('50). After medical school and residency at the Emory School of Medicine, he established a surgical practice in Decatur, Georgia. Emy was a graduate of Agnes Scott College and — before becoming the manager of Blair's practice — worked as a chemist. She died in 2017. The couple's Stone Mountain, Georgia, home featured botanically rich gardens and served as a teaching laboratory for Oxford biology students.

"We are profoundly grateful for this transformational estate gift from the Blairs," said Oxford College dean Doug Hicks. "Their extraordinary generosity, which they embodied throughout their lives, increases our capacity to offer student financial aid and supports the core of our educational mission. We will begin providing student scholarships in their name immediately."

"Duane and Emy both believed strongly in education," said the Blairs' niece, Nan Evans Vogler. "Duane truly believed his time at Emory at Oxford changed and directed his life. Now through their generous gift, his intent — which was always to help make a change, to help direct and educate the brilliant minds of the future — will become a reality. In some ways their life was like a Picasso painting: intricate, unique, very colorful, and loved by everyone. Duane and Emy's lives were a gift — well lived and an example to us all."

(Photo credit: Emory University)

"Largest individual gift in Oxford's history will have lasting impact." Emory University press release 07/07/2020.