Gift to fund Clemson University health care genetics fellowship


Bettye Cecil of Pawleys Island has made a gift of $160,000 to fund a fellowship in the Clemson University School of Nursing’s health care genetics doctoral program. 
The Oliver Kent Cecil and Bettye C. Cecil Annual Fellowship in Geriatrics and Genetics will be awarded over the course of four years to a Ph.D. student who intends to specialize in geriatrics research or care. 
Bettye and her husband, the late Oliver Kent Cecil, a Clemson alumnus, founded White Oak Manor, an assisted-living and retirement home business with facilities in North and South Carolina. The Cecils have made several gifts to Clemson’s School of Nursing, including the Oliver Kent Cecil Memorial Distinguished Professorship for Architecture and Nursing and funding for the School of Nursing’s Clinical Learning Research Center. They also have contributed to the Class of 1950 Golden Anniversary Endowment Scholarships. 
“Ms. Cecil is a visionary,” said Julie Eggert, associate professor of nursing and coordinator of the health care genetics doctoral program. “She understands the field of geriatrics is its own discipline. As people age, they have different and special needs that are more than just ‘adults who have gotten old.’ For example, Ms. Cecil recognizes that our elders need a long-term care facility that is ‘home,’ where they are included in decisions, not just a place to go for food, a bed and wheelchair.”
Clemson’s health care genetics doctoral program offers an interdisciplinary degree that includes courses in genetics, health care genetics, psychology, political science and policy. Students choose an emphasis area in “bench to bedside” research, interventionist focus or ethics and policy.

The bench to bedside concentration allows students to translate studies between the laboratory and the patient and the patient’s family. The interventionist concentration focuses on issues that affect individuals, communities or populations. An ethics and policy concentration focuses on various levels of policy and legislation development, as well as ethical considerations in the field.

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