Rutgers School of Public Health Professor Emeritus George G. Rhoads has endowed a legacy professorship bearing his name

The Rutgers University Board of Governors has unanimously approved the George G. Rhoads Endowed Legacy Professorship.

Although Rhoads, a Rutgers professor of epidemiology for more than 30 years, retired in 2020, his impact on the university will endure through the legacy professorship that he has endowed at the Rutgers School of Public Health.

“While I support scholarship funds within the School of Public Health, I was looking to do more to assist in long-term structure and institution building,” says Rhoads, now a professor emeritus in the School of Public Health. “Endowing a professorship in the field of epidemiology allows me to support the field at Rutgers in perpetuity.”

The professorship is the School of Public Health’s first legacy professorship, a Rutgers’ program for current, emeritus, and retired faculty and their families to create an endowed professorship that pays tribute to their legacy.

“Dr. Rhoads has been a visionary public health leader throughout his career,” says Perry N. Halkitis, dean and Hunterdon Professor of Public Health and Health Equity at the School of Public Health. “He served as interim dean, overseeing the school’s transition from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to Rutgers. He embodies a commitment to public health scholarship, education, and service which is evident through his immense generosity and commitment to the school.”  

Rhoads earned his master’s degree in public health from the University of Hawaii and trained as a physician at Harvard. Following a prestigious position as chief of epidemiology at the National Institutes of Health, he came to Rutgers in 1989 with a commitment to teaching the next generation of public health leaders. “Being surrounded by young people keeps you young,” Rhoads says. “It helped me keep my work more broadly focused.”

Rhoads maintained an active research program in the epidemiology of childhood lead exposure and on issues in heart disease and cancer. He served as a division director at Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and supervised the work of numerous doctoral degree graduates, as well as the field work of many master’s degree students.

Rutgers Health Senior Vice Chancellor Bishr Omary, an international leader in gastrointestinal biology and medicine, in June became the first faculty member to endow a legacy professorship.

To encourage Rutgers Health faculty to endow additional legacy professorships, Chancellor Brian Strom has dedicated $4 million ($1 million a year through 2026) to encourage participation in securing legacy professorships through a matching campaign. The campaign allows each gift of $250,000 from Rutgers Health faculty members to be matched while funds are available. “Endowing professorships allows us to attract and retain the finest research and clinical leaders who will advance our health care and research initiatives,” Strom says.

To learn more about Rutgers Health legacy professorships, contact Will Green, vice president of development, at

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