Alumnus and His Wife Establish Scholarship at UTMB Benefitting Students with Families
For Dr. Greg Stovall, medical school was a time of labor intensive study for day-long test taking on what was known as Black Mondays.
It was also a time spent with his young family.
He and his wife Trisha came to UTMB with two children in tow: one a toddler and the other a newborn. They had led a campus ministry program at Texas Tech in Lubbock for three years when Dr. Stovall decided to change his course and pursue a career in medicine.
At UTMB, after a long day at school, Dr. Stovall walked or rode his bicycle to his home, which was not far from campus, where his wife and children waited.
It was difficult to make ends meet even with Trisha Stovall’s part-time work. They managed to save enough spare change for a monthly outing to McDonald’s. Their finances changed for the better when an unexpected $100 check arrived in the mail. More checks soon followed.
“Throughout our years at UTMB, Walt and Leette Henrichsen sent us a check for $100 every month,” Dr. Stovall said of the missionary couple they met through a campus ministry program while he and Trisha were University of Texas at Austin students. “That helped us quite a bit.”
In 2013, the Stovalls established the Walt and Leette Henrichsen Scholarship at UTMB for medical students who have or are expecting children.
“It’s a privilege for us to be able to honor them―they were so meaningful to us,” Dr. Stovall said of the Henrichsens, whom they remain close friends with today. “They have always been very special to us.”
Their scholarship was also the chance to acknowledge the role UTMB has played in Dr. Stovall’s successful career as a longtime internist in Tyler. He and some of his UTMB classmates participated in establishing the Trinity Mother Frances Health System, where he served for 18 years as senior vice president of medical affairs. Two years ago, he returned to full-time practice.
The Stovalls also give of their time to the university through their involvement with the Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees and UTMB’s Development Board. Dr. Stovall said the same spirit of comradery exists today as it did when he was a medical student. “The uniqueness of the island is that classmates are neighbors,” he said. “The comradery was very positive and very supportive—not as competitive as it was a cooperative environment. I think that’s why we have such a strong alumni organization and alumni support.”
Trisha Stovall added that UTMB fostered lifelong friendships.
“I loved the size of the community in Galveston and the friendships we were able to develop,” she said. “We had a baby sitting co-op where I would keep someone’s kids so they could go out or they would keep ours. I don’t think I would’ve found that in a larger community. To me, that’s what made Galveston and UTMB so special.”
She still cooks dishes from the cookbook she and other medical students’ wives put together while at UTMB.
In all, the Stovalls raised five children, one of whom, Jeremy Stovall, is also a UTMB alumnus now working as an occupational therapist at the university. He’s raising his own family in a home not far from the one his parents lived in 40 years ago.