News

3.15.2017

Event Brings Donors and Scholars Together

The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine was Nikesh Doshi’s first choice for medical school, particularly after completing his undergraduate studies as a ’Cane. He loved the University’s rich diversity, welcoming student body, and dedicated faculty, but he knew he needed a critical financial component to ultimately make his dream come true.

The third-year Miller School medical student, who is pursuing a career in internal medicine, says his education might not have been possible if not for the funding he received through the Jeannette Newton Scholarship,’94.

Doshi, an M.D. candidate with the Class of 2018, spoke at the Medical Education Donors and Scholars Luncheon, which was held March 4 at the Coral Gables Country Club.

“It’s so nice to put a face to the people who made my scholarship possible,” said Doshi, who also serves as co-director of the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Department of Community Service (DOCS). “It is a way for the donors to see the impact they have on us, the students, and for the students to express their gratitude firsthand to the donors.”

More than 130 people came out for the luncheon, which is designed to bring grateful students together with alumni and major donors of endowed Miller School scholarships, so they can become better acquainted.

“Today is my one chance every year to come and say ‘thank you’ for my education,” said Christie McGee, a third-year M.D. candidate and a Ronald J. Trapana Scholar. “Because, in all honesty, without the scholarship, I would not have come here because I don’t think I would have been able to fund it.”

Interim Dean Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., MACP, thanked the donors for their ongoing support.

“I cannot tell you how important the support of scholarships is,” Gardner said. “It doesn’t just allow us to attract the kind of students, and future physicians, that we want at the Miller School. It allows the students progressively more freedom of career choice. We free them up from having to make decisions related only to salary and more to the type of careers they would like to pursue.”

Gardner also made an appeal to the Miller School alumni to take part in the University’s Madness in March campaign, which pits the different schools and colleges against each another in a month-long giving challenge that could ultimately lead to new scholarship dollars. He played a video featuring himself and Alex Mechaber, M.D. ’94, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, spoofing their long competition with the School of Law.

Maria Victoria Egusquiza, M.D. ’87, spoke on behalf of the UM Miller School of Medicine’s Medical Alumni Association (MAA), which promotes the school’s relationship with its alumni and students.

“This relationship is vital because scholarship support is one of our most important focus areas of interest,” said Egusquiza, who is the MAA president. “Over the years, many alumni have given generously to medical scholarships, particularly to the John K. Robinson Fund (JKR). Our success is also due to alumni who are actively working with the Medical Advancement staff to increase the annual pool of scholarship funds by creating class endowed scholarships and increasing contributions to the JKR Fund.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Mechaber, who was also a scholarship recipient as a student at UM and knows the difference philanthropy makes in a student’s life.

“I hope that you, too, will one day be inspired to continue the wonderful example set by our donors, so that, like you, future generations of students can have access to a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine education,” he said.

Some of the donors who were in attendance at the luncheon:

• The Rotary Club of Miami: President Oliver Alan Ruiz, and members Jay Almeida, Marcia Brod, Ted Eldredge, Tina Moore, and Shirley Pardon.
• Ronald Trapana, M.D. ’77, and his wife, Maryrose, who have made a generous gift toward increasing the pool of scholarship funds.
• Jerome Sheldon and Gerald Pinnas, both M.D. ’64, and representatives of The Medical Class of 1964 Peter Lake Memorial Endowed Scholarship.
• Ruth Schobel and Steven Chavoustie, both M.D. ’81, and representatives of the Class of 1981 Endowed Scholarship Fund.
• Kristin Podack, a representative of the Medical Faculty Association.
• Bob and Laura Nichols, who have generously contributed to the Miller School of Medicine General Scholarship Fund.
• Bernie Stein and his wife, Lyn Pont, Ph.D., as the attorney representing the estate of Jeannette Newton. Stein was able to secure a gift of more than $1 million to support medical scholarships.
• The contributors to the John K. Robinson Fund.

To watch the Madness in March video, click here: https://vimeo.com/205980678/620c822cde

To learn more about the Miller School of Medicine Medical Alumni Association, visit http://alumni.med.miami.edu/

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