That Florence L. Smith started a scholarship fund in
1952 at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation with a gift of $436,620 from her
Since then her gift has provided more than $2.5
million in scholarships to help nearly 700 physicians attend medical
Her fund has a value of over $1.7 million.
Costs of medical school have risen from an average of
around $1,000 a year in 1952 to about $40,000 annually today, including room and board. Tuitions are $28,000 and up.
Today’s Smith Scholars graduate with an average of $139,000 in debt.
From 1952 to the 1970s most Smith Scholarships
completely covered the cost of medical education for recipients.
Today, scholarships average $5,474 a year but do not
cover the cost of a year of medical school.
Your gift can help the Hampton Roads Community Foundation increase the
amount of scholarship awards to medical students.
Smith Scholar Spotlight
Jason Franasiak dreamed of being a physician but decided to get real-life experience while an undergraduate student at the College of William & Mary. He volunteered for nearly three years as an emergency medical technician with the Williamsburg Fire and Rescue Squad and at Williamsburg Community Hospital. In the summers he worked as an emergency medical technician at Busch Gardens.
The experience made Franasiak know he was on the right track and “helped me figure out what I wanted to do.” In 2009 Franasiak, a Chesapeake native, graduated from the University of Virginia School of Medicine where he received scholarship funding from the Florence L. Smith Medical Fund. Franasiak is now living in Durham and completing a residency at the University of North Carolina. He plans a career as an obstetrician and gynecologist.
While in medical school Franasiak was president of the American Medical Student Association chapter at U.Va. He founded a campus chapter of Building Tomorrow: Destination Kampala. The nonprofit organization raised more than $12,000 to build schools in the capital of Uganda. In his senior year he was honored with an award from the American Medical Association for his volunteer efforts.