St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this week officially opened its Marlo Thomas Center for Global Education and Collaboration. The 38,000-square-foot center is part of the organization’s new $200 million St. Jude facility in Memphis Tennessee.
According to St. Jude the center will be used to coordinate research, education, and treatment of children with cancer. The center includes a new medical library, two auditoriums, and several meeting rooms to support St. Jude postdoctoral and graduate fellows.
“One of the guiding principles of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has always been to share discoveries with the global research community to speed progress against childhood cancer and other catastrophic diseases,” said Dr. James Downing, president and CEO of St. Jude. “This center is a brick-and-mortar extension of that philosophy, offering researchers at St. Jude and around the world an innovative space to learn, to share, and to develop the next big advances in science and medicine.”
The center is named after Marlo Thomas, the former TV actress best-known for her role as Ann Marie in the TV show That Girl. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was founded by Thomas’ father, Danny Thomas, in 1962. Marlo Thomas has been the organization’s spokesperson since 1991 and now serves as its National Outreach Director.
“This building is the celebration of a generation and I am proud to stand as a symbol for all of us who heard the stories as children about how our immigrant grandparents came to this country and carved out a life for their families with their own hands,” said Thomas. “And how they stood shoulder to shoulder with my father as he envisioned this great hospital and became, as he called them, an army of ‘proud beggars’ for the world’s sickest children. That this new center bears my name is a tremendous honor to me, and in accepting it, I vow to continue to be a proud beggar on behalf of children around the world.”