News of the sudden passing of School of Medicine (SOM) Dean Emeritus William B. Deal, M.D., in March 2013 brought profound sadness to the UAB SOM community. Almost immediately, friends, family, and colleagues of his began searching for a way to memorialize his long service to and passion for patient care and medical education.
The William B. Deal, M.D., Endowed Medical Scholarship was established to support the training and education of future medical professionals; Lindsay Scott Moore, a third-year medical student from Columbus, Ohio, is the first recipient. “I decided to pursue a career in medicine because I felt it offered the best opportunity to help people, give back to the community, and do something I love every day,” Moore says. “I would like to someday be a part of Doctors Without Borders to serve those in countries less fortunate than our own. I appreciate the support from the Deal scholarship on my journey to become the first in my family to practice medicine.”
“The endowed scholarship bearing Will’s name is a fitting memorial to him,” says April Deal, Dr. Deal’s widow. “Because he was the beneficiary of a scholarship, his dream of becoming a physician and his visionary work in medical education was made possible. Will valued his time and career at UAB, and he would be pleased that this scholarship will support future medical leaders.”
As dean, Deal heartily embraced the challenge of promoting UAB’s position in national rankings by implementing the “Top 10 by 2010” initiative in the school, laying a foundation for future strategic plans that have been embraced by ensuing school leadership. Deal’s enthusiasm, candor, and vision attracted many of the country’s brightest minds to the school during his tenure, including current UAB President Ray L. Watts, M.D.
Deal was instrumental in making the Huntsville Regional Medical Campus an official branch campus of the UAB School of Medicine. And his efforts resulted in the establishment of a foreign exchange program with Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan as well as the interdisciplinary Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at UAB, which has become a preeminent organization for age-related memory research in the United States. During his years of service, funding from the National Institutes of Health topped $200 million, and UAB’s research footprint grew through the construction of the Hugh Kaul Human Genetics Building and the Biomedical Research Building II.
“My hope is that this scholarship will be an investment in the lives of the recipients and those in their care,” April Deal says. “May the return on that investment produce for humanity highly skilled and caring physicians. It is a way to pay it forward.”
“Dr. Deal’s impact on the School of Medicine will be felt far into the future,” says Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., senior vice president and dean of the School of Medicine. “His genuine passion for UAB and for the practice of medicine serves as an example both to school leadership and to the next generation of physicians. I can think of no greater tribute to his years of dedicated service than an endowed scholarship that opens doors and broadens horizons for young medical students.”
For more information about giving to the School of Medicine, visit www.uab.edu/medicine.