Oxford alumnus donates gift to science building

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

OXFORD -- An Oxford College alumnus has helped move along the campus' new science building project.

Art Vinson and his wife, Laurie, have made a planned gift by designating the school as the beneficiary of a fully paid life insurance policy to support the fundraising effort for a new science building on the Oxford campus, the college recently announced without disclosing the dollar amount of the donation.

"One of the reasons we made this gift was to encourage our peers to explore and use innovative ways to give," Art Vinson said in a press release. "Oxford alumni cherish and nourish deep affections from their tenure on campus. As they become aware of Oxford's current programs, the accomplishments of students and the scope of scholarship exhibited here today, they feel an even greater sense of pride in their own degrees."

The Atlanta residents have an active interest in science and a longstanding relationship with Oxford, the college said.

"Art Vinson's leadership has been invaluable to Oxford over the years, and the couple's gift speaks volumes about their longstanding commitment to our students and our campus," said Oxford Dean Stephen Bowen in the press release. "We are so fortunate they are part of the Oxford community of alumni and friends."

Vinson, an account executive for technology company Logicalis, was a biology major at Oxford and Emory. A member of the Oxford Board of Counselors, he has been president of the Oxford Alumni Association and a volunteer for Oxford's parent and alumni recruitment networks. In 2002, he was awarded the Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Laurie Vinson, who has spent her career in the health care diagnostics industry, has joined her husband in making financial gifts to Oxford for more than 25 years.

All of the Vinsons' five children are Oxford alumni.

The couple chose to support the construction of the new science building because they feel it holds the potential for the quickest return for Oxford's future graduates, Art Vinson said.

The new building is one of Oxford's top fundraising priorities, the college said.

About 40 percent of the students who enter Oxford College are interested in studying science and medicine, and those students need more space for labs, updated technology and equipment, college officials have said.

Emory University agreed a couple of years ago to fund half of the expected $30 million science building. In September, officials still needed about $9.5 million to reach that goal.

Workers are conducting site evaluations and feasibility studies to determine the best location of the building, which hasn't been decided or approved by Emory University yet. The current science building, Pierce Hall, would remain in use for the math department and repurposed for other departments to later be determined.