Virginia Glennan Ferguson of Virginia Beach left a bequest of $4 million to support Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Glennan Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, marking the school’s largest gift from an individual.
Ferguson, who died in December at age 96, gave $2 million in 1995 to the school to establish the Glennan Center. In addition to her $4 million bequest to the center, she left a gift of $250,000 to support the Westminster-Canterbury Endowed Professorship and a commitment of $1.6 million from a charitable remainder trust that will eventually support the Glennan Center.
Her total gifts at the school are more than $7 million, making her the most school’s most generous benefactor in its 40-year history.
Ferguson worked with elderly patients while volunteering in the emergency room at Virginia Beach General Hospital in the 1960s and 1970s. In the mid-1990s she was seeking a way to honor the legacies of her father and grandfather, who were leaders in the local news industry. Her grandfather worked for and bought The Virginian (the forerunner to The Virginian-Pilot) in the 1870s, and her father, Edward Keville Glennan, was editor of The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Dispatch.
She consulted with friends and decided EVMS needed a program focusing on older patients.
“Her philanthropic spirit enabled us to stay at the forefront of elder care,” Dr. Robert Palmer, director of the Glennan Center, said in a statement. “Our accredited geriatric-medicine fellowship and our combined internal medicine-geriatric medicine residency program wouldn’t have been possible without her generosity.”
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