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Donation to help fund new building
Family of Oxford alumnus gives $100,000 to college

OXFORD - John Bostwick III graduated from Oxford College in 1962 and died in 2001, but thanks to his family, his legacy will live on and help the college on a future project.

Jane Chambers Bostwick, his widow who lives in Atlanta, recently made a $100,000 gift donation to Oxford College in honor of her late husband, who was serving as director of the Emory plastic surgery program and chair-elect of the American Board of Plastic Surgery at the time of his death.

"He was a world-renowned surgeon," said Kevin Smyrl, assistant dean for Development and Alumni Relations. "We are proud to have him as an alumnus."

Jane wasn't available for comment, but she decided to make the donation toward the funding of a new 72,000-square-foot science and mathematics facility at Oxford College that is still in the planning stages.

"We are very grateful for this gift from the Bostwick family that will help to get the fundraising rolling" for the building project, said Oxford Dean Stephen Bowen.

Smyrl said the donation is the largest single gift to date for the building fund since the campaign started in April. So far, the school has collected about $175,000 for the anticipated $35 million project in addition to the half that Emory University will match.

Eloise Carter, professor of biology at Oxford College, said the new building will have high tech labs and enough space for teams and projects that will allow students to practice new science techniques and research.

"The building we have now was built in the early '60s," she said. "We're making do right now, but to have the freedom to work in that way will be amazing."

College officials said this new building, which is expected to be environmentally friendly, will better prepare students for their fields of study at Emory University and in their careers. Carter also said it will be a unique building of its kind in Newton County that both students and residents will want to explore, as well as visit for its beauty - it's expected to feature an imaging theater, a greenhouse and gardens that back up to the current nature trail and an astronomy observation deck.

"Oxford College has a well-established tradition of producing some of the best young physicists, chemists and biologists to receive their degrees from Emory University," Bowen said. "The design of this new science building is very imaginative and will amplify that tradition and extend it to many more students."

Carter said the college plans to bring in architects for the project in the near future and is currently researching grant possibilities to help with the funding. Smyrl said once funds are secure for the building project, the college will be able to move to the next steps of constructing the building.

Carter said the building is expected to replace two dorms on the northwest corner of the campus quad which have already been replaced by new dorms that were completed over the summer. Smyrl said the campaign is expected to end by 2012.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.