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Jul 25, 2014 05:59 AM EDT

GSU Alumnus Donates $5 Million to Nursing School

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Kenneth D. Lewis, a Georgia State University alumnus, has gifted $5 million to the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions. The nursing school is named after Lewis' mother, who served as a bedside nurse for 46 years.

The donation will be used to support three chaired professorships and awards to recognise faculty achievements.

"I know firsthand how hard nurses work and how important they are to their communities," Lewis said in a statement. "The many excellent caregivers, therapists and scientists who've earned degrees from Georgia State are making that legacy stronger every day. I'm proud of what they're accomplishing. I'm proud of what they're accomplishing, and I know my mother would be, too."

Lewis, a 1969 graduate, said that Georgia State provides opportunities to working and low-income students to succeed in their lives.

Margaret C. Wilmoth, dean of the Lewis School, said that the gift will help them to recruit and retain renowned faculties. She also assured that the nursing students will continue to receive latest and comprehensive education that will render a noticeable difference in nation's health.

Lewis earned his degree in finance from Georgia State's business school and rose swiftly through the corporate ranks to become president, chairman and CEO of Bank of America.

Georgia State President Mark P. Becker was grateful for the donation and being a well-wisher of Georgia State's mission for more than 30 years.

"We're tremendously fortunate to have a friend like Ken Lewis who sees the uniqueness of what we do here and is passionate about sustaining it," Becker said.

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