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Building renamed to honor Harry Lester

Story Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 15:08:00 EDT

The building that stands as the most visible sign of Harry Lester’s accomplishments during eight years as EVMS President now bears his name.

The Education and Research Building has been officially renamed Harry T. Lester Hall.

“We owe Harry a debt of gratitude for his visionary leadership and tireless efforts,” says Anne Shumadine, Rector of the EVMS Board of Visitors. “He has truly left his mark on EVMS. The Board of Visitors can think of no more fitting tribute than to make that mark permanent.”

The building, completed in fall 2011, benefitted from $59 million in state support. It was the first time the General Assembly had granted majority funding for a capital project at EVMS. That success, combined with achieving parity with other Virginia medical schools in terms of state support for educational programs, signaled that Mr. Lester had succeeded in forging a stronger relationship with state officials, a longtime goal for the school.

Other accomplishments during his tenure include record levels of philanthropic support, across-the-board enrollment growth, stronger relationships with key partners — such as Sentara Healthcare and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters — and development of the school’s first comprehensive strategic plan.

Earlier in the week, the Board of Visitors designated Mr. Lester President Emeritus in recognition of his 13 years of service to the school. He served five years on the Board of Visitors — including two years as Rector — prior to becoming President in 2005.

“During that time, he drew on his capabilities as a businessman and admired community leader to strengthen relationships with a number of strategic partners to benefit the school’s educational, research and patient care missions. … His exemplary efforts have brought the institution to a new level of excellence and resulted in increased recognition of EVMS and its value to the commonwealth,” states the resolution approved at the Board of Visitor’s April 9 meeting. The Rector presented Mr. Lester with a framed copy of the resolution, along with the presidential medallion he wore during formal school ceremonies.

Also, the EVMS Board of Trustees voted on Thursday to donate $100,000 to EVMS’ endowment in honor of Mr. Lester.

Mr. Lester leaves EVMS April 15 and will be succeeded as President by Richard Homan, MD, who will continue to serve as EVMS Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine.