Press Release for Friday, March 18, 2005

Gift to the UNF College of Health

Contact Sharon Ashton
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2115

Retired U.S. Navy Commander Betty Lawson will announce her generous gift to the University of North Florida College of Health in a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. today, Friday, March 18, at the UNF University Center.

Lawson’s gift of $100,000 will be used to endow physical therapy fellowships with Baptist Hospital. Lawson is both a nurse and a physical therapist. She has made a lasting impact on the physical therapy profession internationally, having introduced the specialty in Japan and being the founding director of the School of Physical Therapy at the University of Tokyo.

The State of Florida will match the donation with an additional $50,000.

“Betty was a leader in the medical community and in the military, an uncommon occurrence for women at the time,” said Dr. Pam Chally, Dean of the UNF College of Health. “This donation is really a way of leaving a legacy to the institutions she holds in the highest regard.”

Lawson worked at Baptist Medical Center for more than 20 years. She was instrumental in establishing the Physical Therapy program at UNF. She is also an active on the Arthritis Foundation Board, and lobbied to build the UNF swimming pool in an effort to help people with arthritis.

-- UNF --