Florence Smith and her continuing legacy in medicine
Scholarships change lives. And, scholarship donor Florence Smith proves that. It's impossible to count the lives Florence Smith's scholarships have changed – and saved. And Florence is nowhere near finished even though she passed away in 1952.
Florence was the daughter of Julia Smith and Dr. Hy Smith, a Civil War surgeon who treated Norfolk Yellow Fever victims in the 1800s before opening a medical practice. He passed away in 1915 and his wife in 1928.
Florence, who never married and had no heirs, left a $460,000 bequest in her will to her community foundation -- a huge amount at the time. She directed us to provide scholarships for long-time Virginians planning to become physicians like her father. And, we have been doing that ever since.
Florence Smith's bequest has provided more than $2.5 million in scholarships that have helped 750 Virginians become doctors. Today there are 15 Smith Scholars in medical school. And, because Florence's scholarship fund is an endowment worth more than $2.1 million, she will provide medical scholarships forever.
But who really benefits? The scholarship recipients, of course. But, just think how many infants, adolescents, teens, new mothers, cancer patients, people with mental health needs, surgery patients and senior citizens Smith Scholars have already served.