Opening Doors to the Future: The Scholarship Initiative for Washington University began just shy of two and a half years ago, and the generosity shown by our donors, faculty, alumni and friends has been outstanding. By accepting the challenge of eliminating financial burden and creating an immediate impact for our students, the donors for the School of Medicine have risen to the top. The effort to create scholarships and pave the way for future medical students has created a level of excitement that has not been witnessed before.
“Our goal is to ensure that each and every deserving student has the opportunity to learn and flourish regardless of his or her financial situation,” says Larry J. Shapiro, MD 71, dean of the School of Medicine and executive vice chancellor for medical affairs. With the cost of education rising, this initiative has struck a chord with graduates, faculty and friends alike. In an amazing show of support, the school of medicine has received $17.1 million toward the goal of $25 million in annual and endowed scholarships. Donors are able to give the gift of scholarship in two ways, endowed or annual, ensuring that all deserving students are given the opportunity to learn, train and grow in one of the best medical schools in the country.
Annual scholarships are given as an opportunity to sponsor a named scholarship on a yearly basis. An endowed scholarship may be fully funded with an immediate gift, over a number of years, or through estate planning. Each of these gifts will have a lasting and permanent impression on the future of the School of Medicine and our students.
“Our goal is to ensure that each and every deserving student has the opportunity to learn and flourish regardless of his or her financial situation.” — Dean Larry J. Shapiro, MD
Many faculty and graduates feel compelled to give students a timeless and enduring gift by establishing an endowed scholarship. These scholarships are a critically important way to support the School of Medicine. An endowed gift exists in perpetuity, forever offering generations of future students an education that will prepare them to be leaders in their fields.
Emily L. Smith, MD, emeritus faculty, spent much of her career at Washington University as an assistant professor of radiology. She gave of her time and talent to hundreds of students over the years. Even after retirement, Smith continues to contribute to the education of our students by endowing a scholarship through her estate.
Marie B. Miller graduated from the occupational therapy program in 1940 with her entire future ahead of her. As years passed, she never forgot the impact the school had on her life nor the impression left by one of her favorite faculty members, Ada Wells Ford. Miller set the groundwork some 40 years after graduation to honor Ford by endowing a scholarship in her name. The Ada Wells Ford Scholarship is in permanent existence to give current students the chance to feel what Miller felt all those years ago.
Quite often, alumni are moved to support these scholarships as they reflect upon their time at Washington University School of Medicine during their reunions. When he celebrated his 50th reunion this year, Nicholas T. Kouchoukos, MD, decided to give a special gift in honor of the occasion. He and his wife, Judith B. Kouchoukos, gave an endowed scholarship that will be awarded to a student during the 2012–13 school year, and every year thereafter.
By providing a scholarship, annual or endowed, donors help to lessen a heavy debt burden on many of our students, who will be given the opportunity to choose a profession based on passion and not on potential income. Over the next two and a half years, Opening Doors to the Future: The Scholarship Initiative for Washington University will continue creating excitement among our donors and friends while continuing to give our students a bright future.