University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

October 9, 2007
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman , USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

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Joy and Jimmy Grodnick Give to Mitchell Cancer Institute, Mitchell College of Business

Mobilians Joy and Jimmy Grodnick have given $100,000 to the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute and the USA Mitchell College of Business.

Their $50,000 gift to the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute has created the Audrey Joyce Grodnick Breast Cancer Research Endowment Fund. It honors Jimmy Grodnick’s mother, who fought and eventually died from breast cancer. The fund provides additional resources for research and treatment by USA Mitchell Cancer Institute doctors.

The couple also made a $50,000 gift to the Mitchell College of Business. It is being used for the refurbishment of an office suite in the Mitchell College of Business. The suite will house the Center for Real Estate Studies, as well as offices of director Dr. Don Epley and several other positions. The suite will also serve as home to the MCOB’s office of career and corporate relations. Joy Grodnick is a daughter of the late USA Trustee Mayer Mitchell and his wife, Arlene. The college is named after Mayer, Arlene and Mayer’s brother, Abraham Mitchell.

“Our parents set such wonderful examples for us in philanthropy,” Jimmy Grodnick said. “Now, it’s our pleasure to honor my mother with the endowment for breast cancer, and we want to encourage business students to receive their education here at home. We were taught about the importance of philanthropy from our parents, and we hope to teach our children about philanthropy through these gifts.”

The Grodnick gifts are part of Campaign USA, the University’s first comprehensive fund-raising campaign that seeks to raise $75 million for USA programs, faculty, students and construction over three years. Campaign USA was launched in March 2006 and, to date, has raised $58.6 million. The Campaign USA Leadership team is comprised of local civic, business and national leaders, many of whom are alumni. Jimmy Grodnick serves on the leadership team.

USA Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr. said the Grodnick gifts are another example of the tremendous community support behind Campaign USA.

“The gift from Mr. and Mrs. Grodnick is special because it provides significant resources for two major campaign priorities,” Busta said.

Dr. Michael Boyd, executive director of the Mitchell Cancer Institute, said the gift helps the Institute move forward on one of its top missions.

“The Grodnicks' generous gift provides additional resources and enhanced visibility to one of the Mitchell Cancer Institute's highest priorities: research to improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of breast cancer.”

Mitchell College of Business Dean Dr. Carl Moore said the gift would make a real, positive difference to the educational experience for USA students.

“The gift to the Mitchell College of Business from Mr. and Mrs. Grodnick will provide for the completion of new offices for the new Center for Real Estate Studies and the Office of Career Services and Corporate Relations,” Moore said. “Both of these facilities will enhance the academic programs of the college and will assist our students as they prepare to begin their business careers. On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of the Mitchell College of Business, I want express our appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Grodnick for this wonderful gift.”

Campaign USA will enrich all aspects of USA, from its academic colleges and schools to its hospitals, athletic programs, libraries and campuses. The money raised will be used to fund such items as undergraduate and graduate scholarships, professorships, classroom and laboratory equipment, and health care innovations. Funds will also be used for capital enhancements to USA’s track and soccer programs, a University archives building and campus bell tower.

For information on Campaign USA, go to or call (251) 460-7032.

The University of South Alabama

Since its founding in 1963, the University of South Alabama has been one of Alabama’s fastest growing universities, currently enrolling more than 14,000 students in a wide range of academic programs in Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Mitchell College of Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Continuing Education and Special Programs, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The University has awarded 60,000 degrees.

In addition to teaching and research, USA is one of the largest health care providers in the Mobile region, with its faculty physicians and two hospitals – Children’s & Women’s and USA Medical Center – involved in more than a quarter million patient encounters annually.

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