Impact Report

From Local Engagement to Global Innovation

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From the President

Measuring Impact,
beyond the numbers

In 1915, Emory received a charter to establish a university and campus in Atlanta, made possible by a donation from Asa Candler, chair of The Coca-Cola Company, of $1 million and 75 acres in DeKalb County’s Druid Hills community. The ambition and investments of our early supporters launched Emory on its path to become a national research university with a global reach and influence. Paralleling Emory’s growth, Atlanta today is truly an international hub. We are proud of the university’s contributions in making our city and state a thriving, vital place to live and work. 

Emory’s mission is to “create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity.” In fulfilling that mission, we make a commitment to bring together the expertise, talent, and passion of our faculty, students, staff, and alumni for the common good. 

Our health care system has a breadth and depth unmatched in Georgia and offers world-class care to our citizens. Our interdisciplinary approach to research and innovation attracts highly competitive federal and private grants, leading us to groundbreaking discoveries. Our faculty and students come from throughout the United States and across the world to form an academically rich and diverse campus whose thought leaders and creative thinkers solve some of today’s biggest challenges. Our local partners, whose reach is global, help us extend this impact to do good where it is most needed.

In this report, you will find many indicators of our impact on the region and beyond. Those measurements are important, but they are just a slice of the transformative contributions that this university makes. We also show the immeasurable ways that we strive to serve humanity—beginning in Atlanta and extending through the state, region, nation, and world.

Claire E. Sterk

Emory University is a major economic engine for Atlanta and Georgia—producing a $9.1 billion economic impact and employing 30,000 workers, making it the largest employer in DeKalb County and the second-largest employer in the Atlanta region; $4.4 billion of that economic impact takes place in the City of Atlanta and Emory’s adjacent Druid Hills campus. The university contributes significantly to its immediate neighborhood and to the world at large through its deep commitment to civic engagement, academic excellence, research and innovation, and commercialization and entrepreneurship.

Community Engagement

Emory engages its community in significant and diverse ways, including tending to the health needs of the region, offering patients innovative treatments and therapies. Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center provided $400 million in overall community benefits, including $72 million of charity care by Emory Healthcare. The most comprehensive health care system in the state of Georgia and a leading academic health center nationally, Emory Healthcare last year served 600,000+ patients. This continued investment acknowledges the unbreakable link between Emory and its community.

Twenty-four percent of Emory’s students hail from Georgia, and approximately 40 percent of alumni stay in the state after graduation.

2009 Goizueta Business School alumnus Sean Belnick took a big idea and a $500 investment to launch an international company that reported more than $206 million in 2015 sales.

Amy Sykes Dosik, a 1999 graduate of Emory School of Law, serves as CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, which serves 42,000 girls in the greater metro area.

Yu-Kai Lin, a 2001 alumnus of Emory College, directs a contemporary art gallery, Kai Lin Art, in Midtown that is dedicated to promoting emerging and established artists in the Southeast and beyond.

Research and Innovation

Among Emory’s truly distinguishing features are the scale and scope of its research efforts. Its world-class assets and interdisciplinary approach afford opportunities to tackle local, national, and global challenges, resulting in medical cures and scientific breakthroughs that benefit society. Those initiatives, in turn, attract more talent and funding to Emory, thereby increasing its global impact in ways that also benefit the regional economy.

For each of the past seven years, Emory has attracted a half billion dollars or more in research awards to metro Atlanta and Georgia. Attracting $575 million in research awards in FY16 to metro Atlanta and Georgia advances knowledge to serve society, including improving and saving lives. It also supports Emory’s culture of innovation, attracts talent, and creates jobs.

Local Engagement

The Start:Micro-Entrepreneur Accelerator Program has supported 84 ventures, 94 percent of which have been minority- or women-owned

$1.2M in subsidized MARTA passes for faculty and staff

Having one of the largest transit systems in the state, Emory provided 3.4M rides to students, visitors, and local passengers — a $10M investment annually

Its shuttle fleet is 100% alternatively fueled

Regional Leadership

90,000 hours of community service

50% of Emory faculty, staff, and students commute sustainably (not in a single-occupancy vehicle)

Ranked among the top 10 “Greenest universities” in the country

The WaterHub can recycle up to 400,000 gallons per day, reducing Emory’s draw of water from DeKalb County by up to 146M gallons annually

Statewide Impact

$9.1B annual impact

64,000 jobs supported

2nd largest employer in the state

$200M in state tax revenues generated annually

Global Innovation

Emory has research partnerships in at least 159 countries, tackling such topics as HIV and Ebola

More than 1,700 active clinical trials, with more than 16,500 participants enrolled, the results of which have global implications

ECONOMIC IMPACT in Georgia $9.1 billion in the city of Atlanta and Druid Hills neighborhood $4.4 billion

JOBS SUPPORTED in Georgia 63,680 in the city of Atlanta and Druid Hills neighborhood 35,350

CAPITAL INVESTED IN GEORGIA Emory’s overall impact from capital investments translates to $1.3 billion including $750 million

COMMUNITY BENEFITS In FY16, Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences provided $400 million in overall community benefits, including $72 million of charity care by Emory Healthcare

President Claire E. Sterk

Our Impact

Capital Investment

In addition to the economic impact it generates from spending on its own annual operations, Emory also spends millions of dollars a year on a variety of capital investment projects, including new buildings, major renovations, and maintenance projects. Emory’s average annual overall impact from capital investment translates to $330 million annually, with more than $685 million in direct capital investments in new construction in the past four years. For example, as Emory Healthcare grows in prominence and size, this has been reflected in a series of large-scale construction projects that represent hundreds of millions of dollars spent in the region, with attendant ripple effects to a variety of vendors and industries throughout the state.

Opening in 2017, the $400 million state-of-the-art Emory University Hospital addition will create an integrated, welcoming, and spacious environment for patients and their families.

Academic Excellence

Emory is ranked among the top-20 national universities by US News & World Report, and its faculty have been honored with awards including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, and Presidential Medal of Freedom. Distinguished for their research expertise, 20 Emory faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 29 to the National Academy of Medicine, and 5 to the National Academy of Science.

Emory attracts bright students to Georgia, and a significant number of them choose to stay here and contribute to the metro area and state. Emory students inject an additional $136 million a year in spending into the state. In the 2015–2016 academic year, Emory leveraged financial aid dollars, contributing $274.7 million while the federal government provided $147.6 million.

Cancer Care of the Highest Order

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is Georgia’s first and only National Cancer Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center, providing access to cancer care not found anywhere else in the state. This designation, earned in May 2017, places Winship in the top one percent of all cancer centers in the United States.

With more than 250 active clinical trials, Winship is dedicated to taking new cancer treatments from the laboratory to patients, affording cancer patients and their families innovative options in cancer care.

Containing the Zika Threat

Since the worldwide onset of Zika, Emory and its national partners have been engaged in attempting to understand and fight this ongoing threat. Distinguished Emory scientists such as Mehul Suthar have made key discoveries about Zika’s effects, particularly those in unborn babies, while Mark Mulligan (above) has led the charge to discover a vaccine. Emory is one of only three centers nationally working with the National Institutes of Health to conduct clinical trials on a potential vaccine.

Emory’s Zika response is not limited to the laboratory. As part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant, the Rollins School of Public Health has been engaged with foreign governments to help provide a better programmatic response and increase overall preparedness for health emergencies such as Zika.

President Emory University