Class of 2015 leaves endowment for patient care

While the ECU School of Dental Medicine’s first graduating class was preparing for life after graduation, they were also preparing to leave a gift to the school. The Class of 2015 established the Inaugural Class Patient Care Endowment to support patient care and student learning.

The endowed gift, which received 100% participation by the 50 graduates and matching funds from the ECU Medical and Health Sciences Foundation, currently stands at $33K.

Class President Philip Cochran and Vice President Kelly Walsh presented the gift at the school’s Convocation (hooding ceremony) on May 8.

Dr. Walsh said, “The Class of 2015 takes great pride in the palpable impact that the school is already having on North Carolina, and we are inspired by our faculty’s commitment to service. Our dedication to carrying out the school’s mission and fulfilling our class pledge extends beyond our years here. It is with this in mind that we have established the patient fund.”

Kristen Ward, the school’s director of development, said, “The inaugural class has created a legacy that speaks to their exceptional commitment to service and to our school, community, and patients. This endowment will provide support for patients in need at Ross Hall clinics and broaden opportunities for ECU dental students in perpetuity.”

The Class of 2015 has been at the forefront of a unique model of dental education that gave them the opportunity to serve patients at community service learning centers in underserved areas across North Carolina.

The class also leaves behind a remarkable legacy of service. The students and their faculty mentors engaged in hundreds of hours of volunteer service to organizations including the JOY Soup Kitchen, Relay for Life, Dominican Republic Mission, NC Missions of Mercy, Give Kids a Smile, Hope Lodge, Baptist Men’s Dental Bus, and Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program.

In an earlier letter to the faculty, Dr. Cochran said, “We do not take your demonstration of commitment lightly. Our class has decided to emulate your passion for service and leave our mark on the School of Dental Medicine with this fund.”

“The Inaugural Class Patient Care Endowed Fund is just another example of how the Class of 2015 has helped shape our school,” said Greg Chadwick, dean of the ECU School of Dental Medicine. “We are incredibly proud of these new doctors, and we thank them for their generosity and for setting the bar very high in all respects for classes to follow.”

For information on contributing to this fund, contact please Kristen Ward, director of development, ECU School of Dental Medicine, at or 252-744-2239.