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Ex-professor's gift will help generations of students


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As a physical therapy clinician, Sue McGinty changed hundreds of lives. As an educator at Sacramento State, she taught hundreds of physical therapy students who, in turn, can change thousands of lives.

“I like being that ‘pebble,’ ” she says.

Sue McGinty

Sue McGinty

McGinty retired in August after 16 years as director of Sacramento State’s Department of Physical Therapy. Her legacy is twofold: the physical therapy doctorate program, which debuted this fall, and a generous endowment fund that will grow over time and provide scholarships to low-income students in the physical therapy program.

Tuition for the three-year doctoral program is $75,663, plus the cost of books, campus fees and housing.

“It’s very expensive, and my concern was that it was going to close the door for a lot of kids who otherwise would make physical therapy a career choice,” says McGinty. “So I felt strongly about doing something to at least reduce some students’ loan debt by setting up this endowment.”

McGinty and her husband of 44 years, retired Sacramento urologist Denis McGinty, seeded the Susan Young McGinty Endowed Scholarship with a $50,000 donation. They hope to add to it over time. The idea is to generate a $2,000 scholarship each year.

The endowment will not produce sufficient revenue for an award until fall 2013, so the couple made an additional “short gift” to fund one $2,000 scholarship for next spring.

The McGintys are full partners in the endowment, although it bears only her name.

“This is her passion, her commitment,” says Denis McGinty. “The legacy had to be hers. I’m just along for the ride.”

Sue McGinty, who had chaired Sacramento State’s PT program since 1996, was instrumental in helping to secure the University’s independent doctoral program three years ahead of the deadline mandated by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy.

“She was one of the main advocates, going to the Legislature and having a bill passed that would allow an exception to the Master Plan for Higher Education, which would let the CSUs confer a doctorate in physical therapy,” says Ed Barakatt, who succeeded McGinty as director of Sacramento State’s physical therapy program.

“It lasted many years, and she explored every angle, and changing the law was the most practical way to go about it,” Barakatt says. “She really laid a great foundation, and we hope to keep building on it and making it stronger.”

Another of McGinty’s legacies is the annual McGinty Cup golf tournament, a fundraiser for the Department of Physical Therapy started by a group of her students in 1999. The idea was to engage alumni with the program.

McGinty agreed to let the tourney’s founders use her name and to hand out the winner’s trophy each spring.

“I said, ‘I’m flattered, but I don’t play golf,’ ” she says. “And I still don’t play golf.”

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.

– Dixie Reid