Medical Properties Trust, Inc. has donated $1 million to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to serve as a lead gift in funding a new state-of-the-art building for the Collat School of Business and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The gift will support the construction of the facility’s auditorium, an anchor of the new building. Birmingham-based Medical Properties Trust is a real estate investment trust specializing in hospitals, which has built a $3 billion portfolio of 119 properties across the United States and in Western Europe over the past decade.
“Giving back to the community is extremely important, and we cannot imagine a better place to do that than in Birmingham and at UAB,” said Edward K. Aldag, Jr., founder and CEO of Medical Properties Trust. “When deciding where to establish our corporate headquarters as we launched the company in 2003, we chose Birmingham because we believed in its future.
“We believed we would be able to recruit people from all over the country to work here, and we wanted to be based in a city well known for healthcare,” Aldag added. “Birmingham certainly fit the bill — thanks in great part to UAB.”
The new building will be located at the corner of University Boulevard and 13th Street South, enhancing the exposure and presence of the Collat School of Business and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“This is a great example of how local business can serve an integral role in helping UAB continue to advance and grow for the betterment of our city, region and beyond,” said UAB Vice President Shirley Salloway Kahn, Ph.D. “This generous gift will have a meaningful impact.”
UAB’s vision of this facility is to create a formalized structure that leverages tremendous knowledge across campus, from business expertise and entrepreneurship to world-class medicine, dentistry, engineering, optometry, and healthcare leadership.
“We are grateful for this gift that will support our strategic plan and advance several pillars of our mission,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “This building will be home to key initiatives in education, research and economic development. It is inspiring to see that business leaders in Alabama believe in our plan and share our priorities.”
This new facility will attract and support the next generation of college and graduate students where open common space is optimal for student engagement inside and outside of the classroom. It will also allow the Collat School of Business to attract top-notch students and faculty, as well as businesses to hire students and graduates.
“This lead gift from Medical Properties Trust is a wonderful example of the tangible fruits born from mutually supportive relationships developed over many years with our business community,” said Eric Jack, Ph.D., dean of the Collat School of Business. “This new facility will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment and the technology infrastructure that will enable us to competitively recruit top faculty and staff dedicated to preparing the next generation of business leaders.”
Longtime UAB supporter and Collat School of Business namesake Charles Collat views the Medical Property Trust gift as one likely to influence other potential donors.
“My hope is that commitments like these will continue to inspire others to support UAB,” Collat said. “UAB gives so much to our local and global community, and it is tremendously rewarding to be a part of that.”
Aldag and Medical Properties Trust have been longtime supporters of UAB and the Collat School of Business, with an endowed scholarship in honor of retired professor Robert Holmes, Ph.D. and his wife, Diane Holmes. Aldag also serves as a member of UAB’s President’s Campaign Leadership Cabinet.
“We are proud to help underwrite the new building for UAB’s Collat School of Business because we also believe that education is the true foundation for community growth,” Aldag noted. “As UAB continues to grow, that will only enhance our position in the healthcare industry — and Birmingham’s as well. We hope many others in the community will join us in supporting UAB, the main turbine powering the economy of the Birmingham region.”
For more information about how to support the Collat School of Business and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, visit uab.edu/business or contact, David I. Allen, director of development, at (205) 996-5399 or firstname.lastname@example.org