AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Lee Spruiell, an Auburn University alumnus and health care professional, has donated $500,000 to establish the Lee Spruiell Annual Fund for Excellence within Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts’ Health Services Administration Program.
The annual fund will be used to expand international internship opportunities for students in the program. It will also provide support for research and for faculty and student travel to professional meetings, as well as necessary programming for the advancement of the Health Services Administration Program. Students also will receive support from the annual fund to attend and participate in the Spruiell Smart Training Lab at Baptist Medical Center in Montgomery.
Spruiell graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in health services administration in 1983 and an MBA in 1987.
“Auburn University and the health administration program provided me with an excellent foundation for my success,” Spruiell said. “I hope that my gift enhances the educational and experiential base for current and future graduates allowing them the opportunity to pursue their own excellence in a dynamic, global economy.”
Spruiell recently retired as the senior vice president of field operations for XLHealth in San Antonio, Texas. He also worked as general manager and senior project manager for Aetna and as senior vice president for Coordinated Care Solutions.
The Lee Spruiell Annual Fund for Excellence in the College of Liberal Arts’ Health Services Program will also be used to establish a health administration certificate program.
“Mr. Spruiell’s gift is transformational for this program,” said René McEldowney, director of the Health Services Administration Program. “His remarkable generosity is going to enable us to move health care administration education in a totally new direction and offer our students the opportunity to gain a true firsthand perspective in global health care management.”
Since 1971, more than 2,000 students have earned the health services administration degree from Auburn University. More than 80 percent of those students are employed within three months after graduation. According to U.S. News and World Report, the health care industry is one of the few career fields that, despite economic woes, is consistently hiring. Health care jobs are expected to grow faster than any other industry – roughly 22 percent, or 3.2 million new jobs, by 2018.
The Auburn University Health Services Administration Program is fully certified by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration and was the first in the state of Alabama to receive this accreditation.
Alumni and friends may make charitable gifts in support of the fund for excellence or create similar funds to support academic programs of their choosing. Since the Auburn University Foundation receives them on Auburn’s behalf, such donations are tax deductible. Donors can give online at www.auburn.edu/giving or through any of the other giving opportunities outlined at https://develop.auburn.edu/how/.
(Contributed by Vicky Santos.)