Investing in Education: How Gifts Make a Difference for Our Students

December 20, 2019 by Jennifer Nachbur

At the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, the impact of generous gifts from alumni and other friends of the College are clearly illustrated by our students, who are grateful for donor support that has afforded them the opportunity to attend and present at national conferences through travel awards, conduct research trough fellowship awards, and scholarships.

Larner College of Medicine Class of 2021 medical student Nina Dawson while in Uganda for a Global Health Program elective (Photo by Dave Seaver)

There’s a special feeling of hope and excitement in the air during the holidays, as well as a sense of profound thankfulness as we look back on the highlights of the past year.  Maybe that’s why this time of year is also known as the “giving season”—it’s a time of presenting and appreciating gifts.

At the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, the impact of generous gifts from alumni and other friends of the College are clearly illustrated by our students.

“Your generosity, investment in my education, and support for our school make it possible for me to pursue medicine at this incredible institution, and for that, you have my deepest gratitude,” said Class of 2021 medical student Matthew Tsai in a message to alumni donors. He’s the recipient of funding that allowed him to attend the Society of General Internal Medicine meeting in Washington, D.C., this past year to present a poster on his research on opioid misuse risk.

Sunny Hutson ’22, like Tsai, also received a travel award that allowed them to go to Denmark to conduct seven weeks of research, which Hutson hopes will contribute to the development of pharmacological interventions for patients.

“It was such an amazing learning opportunity, which never would have happened without alumni support,” said Hutson.

Travel awards, or the scholarship support that helped Class of 2021 medical student Christina Dawson realize her dream of attending medical school, or the anesthesiology research fellowship grant that provided Francis Mtuke ’22 with the opportunity to evaluate efficiency and productivity in the operating room, have made a profound difference in these students’ lives, and set the stage for future giving.

“I hope to be able to give back to other students in the future,” says Dawson, who worked on indigenous policy for a think tank prior to medical school, and has participated in both a Global Health elective in Uganda and on the College’s Social Justice Coalition since beginning her medical student journey.

Medical Alumni Association President, Professor of Radiology, and Class of 1981 alumna Betsy Sussman, M.D., is grateful for the important role donors play in “continuing the legacy of the Larner College of Medicine and creating more opportunities for our students to write incredible next chapters in their lives.”

Read more about Hutson’s Denmark research experience on the Larner College of Medicine blog.

Make a gift to the Larner College of Medicine.


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