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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Francis Owen and the Francis Owen Blood Research Laboratory

Dedicated in 1960, this laboratory for blood research honors Francis Owen of Durham, North Carolina, who died of leukemia at the age of eighteen. The funds to build the facility came from the Hemo-Cardiac Foundation Inc., created by her parents, Fred C. and Lelia D. Owen. The foundation also donated funds for a professorship in blood pathology. Born in Virginia, Fred Owen graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and Duke University Law School. He came to Durham in the early 1920s to work as an attorney and in real estate. Lelia Drewry Owen was also born in Virginia, where she attended Randolph Macon Women’s College and graduated from Columbia University.