Vickers BookcaseAs a recipient of a medical school scholarship myself, I can testify to the indelible impression such a gift leaves on a medical student. Not only does it relieve some of the heavy education debt burden most medical students graduate with today (averaging $190,000), it can also be a source of confidence for a young person to know that the donor believes in them and is rooting for their success. (This is an especially potent feeling if the donor is an alumus, because the scholarship connects the student to those who walked the same path before them.)

On October 27, our scholarship donors and student scholarship recipients gathered for the School’s annual Scholarship Dinner. This is a chance for donors to dine and spend time with the medical students whose lives they are impacting so profoundly. This year’s event featured remarks from a number of medical students; SOM alumnus and former scholarship recipient Kierstin Cates Kennedy, M.D., MSHA; and UAB President’s Campaign Leadership Cabinet member and donor Donald M. Hire, Jr., as well as Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education Craig J. Hoesley, M.D., who shared some of the exciting milestones we achieved in medical scholarships this year.

  • $3.71 million in scholarships distributed, an increase of 11% over last year
  • 281 students received a scholarship, a 21% increase
  • More than 35% of the entire medical student body received a scholarship this year
  • Since last year, 14 new scholarships were established in the School of Medicine, bringing us to a total of 117 active scholarship funds
  • Because of our generous donors, we distributed the most dollars ever to the most students ever

scholarship dinner 2016Among the new donors who joined us at the Scholarship Dinner were Mr. Mike Tidwell of ALFA Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation; Dr. and Mrs. Pink Folmar (Dr. Folmar is our current Medical Alumni Association president); Mr. Richard Kennamer and Mr. Seaborn Kennamer, nephews of the late Dr. Rexford Kennamer; and, Dr. Betty Vaughan and her husband Mr. John Brandon. We are immensely grateful for their investment in our students and for the continuing support of our scholarship donors.

Once again, let me thank our scholarship supporters who are making a powerful difference for today’s medical students and for the future of health care in Alabama. The scholarship I received was instrumental in making me the surgeon, educator, and person I am today.

Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS
Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean
James C. Lee Endowed Chair