University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations


January 29, 2004
Contact: Keith Ayers, 460-6211,

Retired Baldwin Physician, Wife make $3 Million Gift to USA

MOBILE -- The University of South Alabama has received a multi-faceted gift valued at more than $3 million from a Baldwin County couple, one of the largest single gifts in the University’s history.

The gift from Dr. Jack Hays, a retired physician, and his wife, Courtney, will support USA’s programs in health care related fields. Hays practiced medicine for 54 years, making him one of the oldest working doctors in Alabama upon his retirement last year. He was an ophthalmologist, an ear, nose and throat specialist, and an allergist.
Dr. Jack Hays, left, and wife Courtney visit with USA President Gordon Moulton on the property they are donating to the University.
“The University of South Alabama is thrilled to receive this generous gift from a family that has made a lifetime commitment to health care,” said USA President Gordon Moulton. “This gift is one of the largest in USA history, and will certainly enable us to continue to build on our margin of excellence in our health related programs.”

Under the terms of the gift, the couple is selling their 12-acre bayside property near Fairhope and Montrose to the University for $1.3 million. This figure is nearly $3 million less than the $4.2 million appraised value. The University will allow the couple to live on the property until they no longer desire to do so. At that time, the property will be sold and the funds used to create the “Courtney and Jack Hays Endowment Fund for Excellence in Medical Sciences” to support USA’s health related programs in the colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions. The University will have discretion over how the funds will be used.

“They can set it up any way that can help the students best,” said the 86-year-old physician.

The couple has also stipulated that the University’s College of Medicine will receive a significant portion of the remainder of their estate upon their deaths. Those funds will be used to create the “Courtney and Jack Hays Endowment for Excellence in the College of Medicine.”

Throughout his career, Hays made more than 40 medical missionary trips to underdeveloped countries such as India, Africa and Puerto Rico, usually accompanied by his wife. The couple plans to continue these medical missions during their retirement.

Mrs. Hays, 81, said the USA gifts reflect their personal philosophy of philanthropy.

“We want to help people,” said Mrs. Hays. “That is what’s important to us.”

Dr. Joseph Busta, vice president of development and alumni relations, praised the donation as the type of transforming gift that will propel USA into the future.

“They believe in the University strongly enough to commit a large amount of money to it,” Busta said. “They are willing to go to great lengths to significantly enhance the quality of programs within these three colleges.”

The gift comes on the heels of a highly successful year for private giving to the University, with USA receiving $5.5 million in private donations in the 2003 fiscal year, one of the largest annual totals on record.

For more information contact Keith Ayers, (251) 460-6211.

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