Modern libraries are more about access to technology and collaborative space than bookshelves and vast collections of text.
No one knows this fact better than some of the brightest future health care leaders in the country, who now have access to a collaborative, technologically advanced space thanks to a generous VCU alumnus.
The Paul A. Gross library was established in 2021 to serve students in the VCU College of Health Professions Department of Health Administration, which is consistently ranked in the top 5 programs of its kind nationally.
“This department trains students to be leaders in the health care industry,” said Paula Song, Ph.D., the Richard M. Bracken Professor and Chair of Health Administration at VCU. “One of the things that our program really prides itself on is team-based learning. Our courses and experiences are based on collaboration and working together, and the Paul Gross library is an extension of that idea.”
Paul Gross earned his master’s degree in health administration in 1964 from what is now the VCU College of Health Professions and retired after 20 years as the president of Humana’s hospital division.
His influence is known across the MCV Campus. His support has stretched from the MCV Alumni Association of VCU to the College of Health Professions and the School of Nursing. Gross is also a lifetime member of the MCV Foundation Board of Trustees, emeritus faculty at the College of Health Professions, and a 1995 recipient of a VCU Presidential Medallion. In recognition of his extraordinary service and contributions, he received the Wayne Medal at VCU’s May 2019 commencement.
“Throughout the many discussions I’ve had with Dr. Song, there’s been one consistent thread of curricula and academia,” Gross said. “That is the value of a library that will not only sustain its value over time, but in addition create a milieu of surrounding culture for students and faculty to gain the best through its presence. That’s been my motivation in academic philanthropy — to add value, thereby enhancing student and faculty excellence.”
And the excellence found through this space begins with connection. Technology connects students and colleagues to peers around the globe, and it is a place for those within the department to connect face-to-face to contemplate the complex challenges that confront the health care ecosystem, both known and not yet imagined.
“Health care is changing at a really rapid pace,” Dr. Song said. “In the future, the question is, ‘How do we take what we’re doing and be better and be innovative? And how do our students and our alumni help at the forefront of that change?’”
If you are interested in supporting students at the VCU College of Health Professions, contact T. Greg Prince, Ed.D., CFRE, at firstname.lastname@example.org.