A $39,000 gift from the Ralph I. and Julia Winter Cohen Memorial Fund has nearly doubled the endowment base for the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine’s Lucy Oxley Scholarship Fund.
"We hope this will push the scholarship fund father ahead in benefitting students,” says Marilyn Winter-Tamkin, who, along with her sister Susan Winter Ward, made the gift on the behalf of the Cohen family.
The Cohen family legacy of financial support to higher education—which began in the early 20th century with the sister’s grandparents, philanthropists A.B. and Dolly Cohen—is evidenced across the UC campus, but this is the first gift to the medial campus.
The Oxley Scholarship fund was started in 1999 by Kenneth Davis, MD, a professor in the medical college’s department of surgery, and his wife, Johnie, with $10,000 of their own money to honor Lucy Oxley—the first African-American to earn a medical degree at UC (1935). Through additional donations the endowment fund reached $50,000 in 2011, and in turn produced sufficient earnings to make a $3,000 scholarship award to first-year medical student Armani Driskall in 2012.
"I felt honored and humbled,” says Driskell, adding that as an African-American she wanted her medical school of choice to be one that included some focus on the culturally competent physician—meaning a curriculum that equips physicians with awareness, knowledge and skills to better treat the increasingly diverse U.S. population.
The Oxley Scholarship, she says, made it apparent that UC was looking toward the future of medicine and its physicians.
It is the same mission being asked of medical schools across the country, says William Harris, program coordinator in UC’s Office of Diversity and Community Affairs.
The Oxley Fund is an endowment fund within the Marilyn Hughes Gaston Scholars Program at the UC College of Medicine and was established to provide scholarships for admitted students at the college who come from a population traditionally underrepresented in the community of physicians. The scholarship is awarded to medical students with financial need who have shown an interest and desire to practice medicine where populations are underserved.
The Oxley Scholarship, Davis says, "Makes a strong, clear statement about the UC community’s belief in and commitment to diversity,” with diversity being the pathway to a physician workforce that is best suited to address health disparities and to ensure quality health care for everyone, everywhere.
UC’s commitment to diversity was recognized recently when the Academic Health Center was named one of five urban universities in the country charged with researching what kinds of student recruitment and education practices could help to ensure diversity among future health care workforce.
For more information about the Oxley Scholarship or other scholarship opportunities in the College of Medicine, please contact Bernard Wells, director of development, at 513-556-7723 firstname.lastname@example.org.