HATTIESBURG — William Carey University (WCU) has received a $1-million grant toward construction and operation of the proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) from the Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg.
“This generous gift from the Asbury Foundation is not only a gift to Carey, but to the people of South Mississippi who will eventually reap the rewards of newly trained doctors who will study and work in this area,” said Dr. Tommy King, president of WCU.
WCU received pre-accreditation for the COM in this month. The private university is in the process of submitting all documents to advance to the provisional accreditation. Vice president and dean Michael Murphy is in the process of obtaining affiliation agreements with hospitals and recruiting faculty for the COM.
The official ground breaking for the WCU-COM was held May 7. Phase I will include anatomy and physiology labs, storage area for cadavers, student showers and bathroom facilities, classroom space and additional storage. Two other phases will be constructed in the future.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mississippi has awarded a grant of $100,000 for the COM. Two other anonymous pledges of $100,000 each have been received, bringing the total pledges to $1.3 million.
The WCU-COM, which is proposed to open to students in the fall of 2010, will be the 30th college of osteopathic medicine in the United States.
In a separate item, WCU broke ground for a new theatre June 5 on the Hattiesburg campus. The new black box theatre will replace the current one located on the first floor of Tatum Court.
The private university said a “very significant” lead gift initiated a campaign to raise the funds for this project, and many additional gifts have been received to make it possible.
The new theatre will be located on the west end of the Quad near Thomas Business Building. Designed by Landry and Lewis Architects, the new theatre will be constructed by HANCO Inc. It will feature larger audience capacity and taller ceilings for additional set design options.