When designing their endowment for Georgia State University, Kevin Lofton and Sabrina Shannon drew on their respective lifetimes—their professional experiences, their families’ histories and their shared commitment to social justice and health equity.
The Lofton Family Professorship in the Institute of Health Administration was created to help Georgia State attract faculty to help expand the diversity of the institution, providing assistant professors with funds for research, travel and other advancement opportunities—the kind of support not commonly available to young faculty.
“We’re focused on helping professors in their pre-tenure years build their careers,” said Lofton. “What we believe is that the best teachers offer the broadest, most diverse lenses to understanding all the factors involved in health care in America.”
Kevin Lofton (MHA ’79), a 2016 inductee to the Robinson College of Business Hall of Fame and 2017 recipient of the Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award, joined the Georgia State University Foundation Board of Trustees after a distinguished career spanning more than four decades. From 2003 until his 2020 retirement, Lofton served as CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives, and then CommonSpirit Health, the nation’s second-largest health system. Sabrina Shannon is a prominent executive healthcare coach and partner at MEDI Leadership, the nation’s largest executive coaching firm exclusively for healthcare.
The Loftons, who were married in 2016, share key commonalities in their upbringings. Both were raised by parents with exceptionally strong work ethics who impressed upon them the generationally transformative value of education, along with the expectation that they pursue advanced degrees.
“Impacting systems that limit the advancement of black people is our priority. We specifically focus in the areas of health and education. The Lofton Family Professorship hits every area important to us,” says Shannon.
In their respective careers, the Loftons repeatedly saw organizations achieve better outcomes and performance when they had people from diverse backgrounds in decision-making roles. Through the Lofton Family Professorship, they will enrich the education and range of perspectives available to Georgia State health administration students by attracting assistant professors with a demonstrated commitment to racial diversity and health equity by bolstering their career trajectories.
“The future is bright for Georgia State and I’m happy to be a part of it,” said Lofton. “I’m excited Dr. Blake is leading us and am looking forward to my continued involvement with the foundation.”