Annual Program Honors Scholarship Donors and Recipients

The UMKC School of Dentistry held its annual Scholarship Recognition Program on Monday evening September 28, 2020. This year, the event went virtual and instead of the traditional dinner we were able to include a special treat in the mail for everyone instead! Interim Dean Russell Melchert welcomed the participants and shared a summary of the exceptional support provided for our students. This year we supported 176 students totaling $846,550.50. This is an incredible amount especially during a period of much market instability. Further program comments came from the following individuals:

Dr. David Suchman, Rinehart Chair
“Some of us tonight are receiving well deserved help and some of us are giving back. Those of you giving back, I thank you on behalf of the School of Dentistry and the students. For the honored students, congratulations and of course your time will come to also support those that have helped you get where you are.”

Marissa Soule, Dental Hygiene Student Representative
 “…I don’t just want to talk about how this impacted my future, I want to talk about how this scholarship impacted my family’s future. The financial support has not only allowed me to go to college, but my mom as well. It has assisted my whole family and given us all the opportunity to have a successful career…THANK YOU for your support of my future and my families future.”

Katie Hayes Dental Student Representative
 “…Your generous contributions allow us to focus on our studies more than our financial situations. For me, scholarships provided the financial security to focus on my studies and get involved outside the classroom…In the midst of a pandemic it means the world to receive such strong support…THANK YOU.”

Donors and students where then provided instructions by Richard Bigham, Assistant Dean for Student Programs, regarding breakout rooms for more personal conversations. This was the most important aspect of the program and provided a great opportunity for new connections, learning about student experiences and future goals, sharing of experiences from donors, and passing on the spirit of giving back. At the conclusion of the program it was great to see the excitement and camaraderie of the alumni and friends as they reconnected…all in a virtual platform.