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Posted: Sunday, June 3, 2012 10:00 am
Gov. McDonnell was on hand May 29 as Marymount University celebrated the formal renaming of its School of Health Professions in honor of Fred and Marlene Malek.
“There’s going to be an explosion in the need for people trained in health professions – this school is going to do its part in graduating nurses and other people in the applied science who will go on to do great things,” the governor said at the ceremony.
McDonnell noted that both Virginia and the nation are facing a shortage of health-care professionals, and the gap between the need and the ability to meet it is expected to grow in the future.
The generosity of the Maleks, residents of McLean, is an example of their “giving generously back to bless countless generations of new young Americans who will walk through these halls and learn,” said the governor, who long has been a friend and political ally of the couple.
The Malek family has a lengthy association with Marymount – Marlene Malek is a 1979 graduate of its nursing school and a member of the university’s board of trustees – and the 600-student School of Health Professions was renamed “Malek School of Health Professions” to honor their financial support and ongoing commitment to the university.
“The Maleks have given us a name that represents commitment, compassion, leadership and integrity,” said Dr. Jason Craig, an associate professor of physical therapy at the university.
Marymount president Matthew Shank noted that the Malek School becomes the first of the university’s four schools to receive the name of a benefactor.
“Having a name creates an important distinction,” Shank said. “The recognition and respect engendered by the Malek name now belong, by association, to Marymount.”
Marlene Malek is well-known among health-care philanthropists. She is president of the nonprofit Friends of Cancer Research, served on the board of the Duke University Cancer Center and is a member of the Cancer Leadership Council at the Mayo Clinic.
Additionally, she is a trustee of the M.D. Anderson Comprehensive Cancer Center in Houston, and is a member of C-Change, formerly known as the National Dialogue on Cancer.
The endowment created by the Maleks also funds an annual Malek Lecture on health, along with a professorship.