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IinI AlumniCampaign30M 275x275School of Medicine leadership and donors to its Alumni Campaign gathered at the 2017 Medical Alumni Weekend to celebrate achieving a milestone of $30 million in gifts.What does it take to raise $30 million dollars in fewer years than it takes to complete medical school and residency training? An extraordinary group of School of Medicine alumni devoted to giving back helped accomplish this milestone for UAB. From funding medical student scholarships to advancing research through philanthropy, School of Medicine alumni have put their money where their hearts are by giving to the people and programs across UAB that mean the most to them. And they’re only getting started.

Michael Vaughn, M.D., a 1981 School of Medicine alumnus, gave one of the recent gifts that helped the School of Medicine reach the $30 million milestone. He made a gift to the Crittenden-Larson Endowed Medical Scholarship to help honor his late colleague Richard Crittenden, M.D.

“Supporting the School of Medicine and this scholarship is meaningful to me, because it honors Richard’s hard work and dedication,” says Vaughn. “I’m happy to give this gift in his honor.”

David Chestnut, M.D., a 1978 alumnus, also gave to the school to memorialize loved ones. In 2007, he and his wife, Janet, established the Fred and Bessie Mae Chestnut Endowed Medical Scholarship in memory of his late parents. “I wanted to honor their example,” says Chestnut, former chair of the UAB Department of Anesthesiology. “They were part of the Greatest Generation—humble backgrounds, a lot of hardship, and called to their work.” The Chestnuts have made additional gifts to the fund through The Campaign for UAB, and have also included it in their estate plan.

Gerhard Boehm, M.D., FACS, a 1971 alumnus, is still called to his work after more than 40 years. As a practicing general surgeon in Mobile who was shaped by his training here, he wanted to establish the Gerhard and Linda Boehm Endowed Medical Scholarship with his wife to ease the burden of the cost of medical school for today’s medical students.

“I hope it helps many students focus on what they want rather than have to worry about how they are going to pay back the loans they have to take out,” says Boehm. “I think that helping students relieve some of their debt will allow them to pursue the specialties they want to without worrying about entering into specialties solely for financial reasons.”

To learn more about the Alumni Campaign for the School of Medicine, visit uab.edu/medicine/alumnicampaign, or contact Erica Hollins at 205.996.6839 or ehollins@uab.edu.

By Emily Henagan