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LSU receives land donation for North Baton Rouge Clinic

Taking part in a signing ceremony on Friday at the LSU System office, transferring a new plot of land adjacent to LSU's North Baton Rouge Clinic to the university, were, from left seated, Baton Rouge State Sen. Sharon Weston Broome; Interim LSU President William L. Jenkins; Real Estate Developer Herbert G. Brown; and Mrs. Diane Brown.  Standing were, from left, Baton Rouge State Rep. Regina Ashford Barrow and LSU Board of Supervisors Chairman-elect Bobby Yarborough. LSU System photo
Taking part in a signing ceremony on Friday at the LSU System office, transferring a new plot of land adjacent to LSU's North Baton Rouge Clinic to the university, were, from left seated, Baton Rouge State Sen. Sharon Weston Broome; Interim LSU President William L. Jenkins; Real Estate Developer Herbert G. Brown; and Mrs. Diane Brown. Standing were, from left, Baton Rouge State Rep. Regina Ashford Barrow and LSU Board of Supervisors Chairman-elect Bobby Yarborough. LSU System photo

BATON ROUGE -- With the stroke of a pen, LSU's North Baton Rouge Clinic on Friday nearly doubled its land footprint as a result of a donation by real estate developer and philanthropist Herbert G. Brown.

"This generous donation will be used to help ensure continued, quality health care services for patients in the north Baton Rouge area," LSU President William L. Jenkins said in a signing ceremony at the LSU System office. "Mr. Brown has shown a steadfast devotion to LSU for many years, a commitment evidenced in his strong support for LSU health care delivery and in his compassionate concern for helping the needy."

The 1.5 acre donated property is adjacent to LSU's Airline Highway clinic and is bounded by McClelland Drive, Glen Oaks Drive, Laca Street, and Maplewood Drive. It was recently appraised at approximately $135,000.

LSU System Director of Facilities Planning Danny Mahaffey said the land would most likely be used to facilitate future expansion and parking for clinic patients and administrative staffs.

"The additional land will be critical to accommodating the large numbers of patients who will seek care at the clinic and the new urgent care center next door currently under construction," said Mahaffey.

In addition, future construction plans include a $3.6 million, 7,500-square-foot addition that will house a radiology suite next door to the existing clinic. That expansion will include an MRI machine as well as a combination retail and chemotherapy pharmacy.

Brown is a longtime LSU benefactor. In the days following Hurricane Katrina, with commercial space at a premium in Baton Rouge, Brown donated an old Kmart in Baton Rouge for use as a triage center by LSU doctors treating New Orleans evacuees. The parking lot in front of the building eventually became the location for the $18 million North Baton Rouge Clinic opened in 2009. The Kmart building itself, meanwhile, was renovated and in October became the new administrative headquarters for the LSU Health Care Services Division that operates LSU's seven public hospitals in South Louisiana.

Brown, 89, is a native of Opelousas and a current resident of Clearwater, Florida. He is the former chairman of the Checkers Restaurant Chain and the developer of furniture stores, pharmacies and Kmarts spread throughout the Southeastern United States. He traces his love of LSU to Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium as a nine year old who attended LSU football games with his uncle, a sweet potato distributor. That affection for the university and Tiger football eventually led him to make donations in memory of his namesake H. Graham Brown Jr., who was killed in a boating accident when he was only 15.

"I try to do things in his memory and honor," said Brown, adding, "My wife, Diane, and I want to do all we can for humanity, for children, and for schools. We're just trying to dedicate our lives to helping other people."

Although Brown was unable able to attend LSU following World War II, his children are LSU A&M graduates and he has four grandchildren, who are current students at the Baton Rouge campus.