The Covid-19 pandemic hit home for several UAB School of Dentistry students the past couple of years. One student was greatly impacted when her father passed due to COVID and her mother was also hospitalized for several weeks. Subsequently the family and the student suffered financially. The student, and others, who had financial hardships last year, were aided by the School of Dentistry Alumni Association’s Joy White Fund. All told, the association awarded $8,000 in emergency aid to four students.

School of Dentistry BuildingSchool of Dentistry BuildingSince establishing the Joy B. White Benevolent Fund in 1988, the Alumni Association has been able to assist numerous students and their families who face crisis situations and emergencies. The Fund is named in memory of Joy White, who passed away while she was a student at the UAB School of Dentistry.

A student can receive a maximum of $2,500 with a lifetime cap of $5,000. He or she can apply for assistance through the School of Dentistry Office of Student Affairs. A faculty or staff member or another student may also report a situation for consideration. The fund helps ease and sometimes eliminate the burden of extra expenses related to a catastrophe or medical situation. For example, insurance coverages have been reduced and co-pays and deductibles have increased, and the Joy White Fund has become more helpful to some very needy students.

"So many of our students are struggling with really tough, heartbreaking circumstances," said Carly McKenzie, PhD, assistant dean of admissions. "Dental education is extremely challenging and exponentially more so if a student does not have the funds to reliably meet basic needs, access dependable transportation, or weather an unexpected crisis. Life happens and our students often have very little cushion with few options for earning additional income. The Joy White Fund has been a tremendous resource for UAB SOD students in dire need and I am so grateful for its existence."

The Joy White Fund can be replenished through contributions by alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the School of Dentistry. The Fund has less than $20,000 and your contribution, whatever the amount, will help. Please click here to make your contribution or contact J. Scott Huffman, CFRE at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (205) 790-2802 for more details.