Health Administration students receive a boost
Bequest supports Allied Health opportunities outside the classroom
Samuel "Sam" F. Lillard (M.H.A.'65/AHP) was close to his employees at Richmond Memorial Hospital, where he served in administration for 28 years. He was on a first-name basis with many, according to his RMH colleague and fellow Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus John Simpson (M.H.A.'59/AHP).
"He was well liked and respected," Simpson said. "He had an understanding of the complex business of health administration."
He also had an understanding of the needs of students and included the VCU School of Allied Health Professions' Department of Health Administration in his estate plan. After Lillard's death in January 2013, the department received a $100,000 unrestricted bequest to use however it chose.
"We spoke with his friends and colleagues and we learned that funding student activities would best represent his generosity," said Carolyn A. Watts, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Health Administration. "Because health administration is a professional program, a lot of what matters is the practical application of knowledge to the field of practice. Things go on outside the classroom for our students, such as national conferences, presentations and Leaders on Leadership sessions, where industry executives share their knowledge and experiences. Mr. Lillard's fund was created to support those opportunities. We expect to make the first awards later this year."
Bequests are a critical component of the school's fundraising efforts.
"We've all had a life-turning event, and for Sam, it was the M.H.A. program," said Cecil B. Drain, Ph.D., dean of the School of Allied Health Professions. "Bequests such as his are terribly important to us. People of his generation − and mine − have asked me how to go about remembering the school in their wills, and we're very appreciative. Sam recognized where his roots were, and that's very special to us."
Drain points out that gifts of cash, stock, insurance and more can be included in the estate plans.