Generous Scholarships Make Medical Students’ Dreams Reality
When, Archie Bowie of Tyler, Texas, was notified that he was a recipient of UTMB’s Hamman Foundation Scholarship, this enthusiastic class of 2017 medical student knew immediately that his plans would change for the better.
“My future is different now that I don’t have to make my decision based on which specialty will pay a higher income,” Bowie said. “I’ll also be able to practice in an underserved area if I choose.”
For several fortunate UTMB medical school students, the freedom to make choices like these is made possible thanks to the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation’s generosity. The scholarships total $100,000 per student and are paid out in increments of $25,000 per year for four year—allowing each student to graduate with as little debt as possible.
The Hamman Foundation established the scholarship program at UTMB in 2005. Since then, it has supported five students. A sixth awardee is soon to be announced.
The foundation is an outgrowth of a seed planted by George Hamman in 1898, when he moved to Houston to begin his career in banking, later becoming one of Houston’s most successful businessmen. Shortly after his death in 1953, his wife, Mary Josephine Milby Hamman, founded the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, using their fortune to create one of the region’s leading private philanthropies.
“The scholarship program at UTMB is near and dear to the trustees of the Hamman Foundation,” said Troy Derouen, the foundation’s executive director. “Although I personally appreciate the foundation and their wide range of funding—everything from the arts to environmental causes, medical research and welfare programs—I especially appreciate their focus on education.”
Derouen adds that he thinks highly of the students chosen by UTMB for the Hamman Scholarships over the past several years. “They have impressed me with their vision, and all were very intelligent. It’s obvious that these students have worked hard to get where they are. That’s why our trustees support them. I expect that they all will enjoy great success in their endeavors,” Derouen said.
Recipients of the Hamman Scholarships must first and foremost come from an underprivileged socio-economic background and be Texas residents, according to Dr. Bernard Karnath, chairman of the committee of four faculty responsible for choosing the Hamman Scholars.
“We also look at college GPA, college attended and overall admission score from the admissions committee. Students were in the top 20 percent of the applicant pool based on the School of Medicine admission score,” Karnath said.
Another scholarship holder and a 2011 UTMB graduate, is already beginning to live out his dream. Dr. Gabriel Mansouraty has recently started his gastroenterology fellowship at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. “I have the utmost respect and appreciation for the Hamman Foundation. Without its support, I would not have had the opportunities and resources to become the physician I am today,” Mansouraty said.
He, like Bowie, adds that he would like to continue to help the underserved.
“Once my training is complete, and dependent on life situations at the time, I hope to head back to Texas, my home. I harken back to the disparities I saw growing up in El Paso. I know I have made a difference in the lives of my patients in Galveston, then Boston and now Durham, but being able to do this back in Texas is a dream that I hope will one day become a reality,” Mansouraty said.