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$1.6 Million Gift to Virginia Tech to Make Medical Education Affordable


Virginia Tech’s Carilion School of Medicine has received a $1.6 million gift to provide scholarships to its medical students, the university announced in a release.

The gift, donated by the legacy estate of orthopedic surgeon Robert Bowen, who passed in 2013, and his wife Rebecca Bowen, who passed in 2018, will create the Dr. and Mrs. Robert R. and Rebecca Bowen Memorial Scholarship Fund which will cover the educational expenses of students pursuing a medical degree at the school.

Robert received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 1950 and his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia. He practiced orthopedic surgery for 40 years in Lynchburg, Virginia.

“My Aunt Rebecca wanted to leave a bequest to each university that shaped her husband into the accomplished man and surgeon that he became,” Mary Dunn Conover, the niece of Robert and Rebecca Bowen and one of the trustees of their estate, said.

“Although Virginia Tech did not have the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine when he was a student there, Uncle Bob dedicated his whole career to learning and to the practice and advancement of medicine and science. His Virginia Tech collegiate education was the beginning of an extraordinary journey, so Aunt Rebecca felt that this was an appropriate tribute.”

Officials say the gift will help the school attract and retain competitive students, while making a medical education more accessible and affordable for all.

“This generous gift from the Bowen family will provide valuable financial support for our students,” Daniel Harrington, interim dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, said.

In the past, the Bowens have supported various initiatives including support for new clinical spaces to scholarships for nursing students or physicians to continue their education.

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