Reunion classes support scholarships and more
Oct. 30, 2012 College News - Around the time current students are preparing to complete their academic year, groups of former medical students return to the Medical College of Wisconsin for the opportunity to reminisce and reconnect with their classmates and alma mater. They also use these annual alumni reunions as key opportunities to demonstrate their support of the College.
Alumni who celebrated reunions in 2012 gave a combined $773,340 to the Medical College in class gifts. In addition, reunion-year alumni have made planned giving commitments, such as bequests and charitable gift annuities, totaling more than $3 million this year.
“As physicians, our medical school is the launching point for our careers in medicine,” said dermatologist Kathleen S. Stokes, MD, President of the Medical College of Wisconsin/Marquette Medical Alumni Association and a member of the Class of 1987. “By offering philanthropic support to the Medical College, we can help ensure the institution’s vitality for successive generations of students. Class gifts are a great way to accomplish this.”
The Alumni Association sponsors an annual Alumni Weekend, featuring class reunions in five-year intervals, plus a 50-year reunion held in conjunction with commencement. This year, the classes of 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002 celebrated reunions. Through their charitable gifts, many alumni supported priority areas identified by their respective classes.
Technology, innovation in medical education, and the student lounge are just a few of the areas toward which these classes have directed their gifts. By far, however, the most prevalent areas of support from the classes are endowed scholarship funds.
Scholarships figure significantly into the Medical College’s ability to recruit the most talented medical students. They help these future physicians by reducing their indebtedness due to the high cost of medical education. The average debt for the Class of 2012 upon graduation, for example, was nearly $172,000.
“We persistently are striving to achieve a high level of engagement with our alumni in all areas, including teaching, service and philanthropy,” said Medical College President and CEO John R. Raymond Sr., MD. “We are very appreciative of the generosity shown by this year’s reunion classes, and the Medical College of Wisconsin will continue to depend on support from the school’s alumni to maintain our pursuit of excellence across all of our missions.”