Estate gift supports diabetes, cancer research

Friday, May 13, 2016
Contact:  Sheanna M. Spence, Assistant Director, Alumni Affairs and Community Relations, 304-691-1639

Estate gift supports diabetes, cancer research

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has announced a $44,000 estate gift from Mary Jean Zimmerman to support diabetes and cancer research.

Zimmerman died Feb. 4, 2015, at the age of 85, and was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford A. Zimmerman. A Huntington native, Mary Jean Zimmerman was an accounting clerk for CSX Railroad in Baltimore, Maryland. After retirement, the couple had returned to Huntington.

“With no children of her own, she wanted to leave her estate to several worthwhile causes, such as the School of Medicine, and her nieces and nephews when she made her will out several years ago,” said Donald Bays, Zimmerman’s 

nephew and executor of her estate.

The Marshall School of Medicine was near and dear to Mrs. Zimmerman’s heart, Bays said. Her niece, Melissa (Bays) Porter, M.D., graduated from the School of Medicine in 2000; her nephew, S. Elliott Dorse

y II, M.D., graduated in 2001; and her personal physician was School of Medicine graduate Janet Wallace, M.D., class of 1992.

Zimmerman’s planned gift has been invested into an endowed research fund to support the diabetes and cancer research already underway at the Marshall School of Medicine. Ongoing and new research, along with clinical trials to determine links between diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cancer, are in progress at the School of Medicine. To learn more, go to

“From patient care to medical education to clinical research, it is always amazing how the School of Medicine touches so many people,” said Linda S. Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs at the School of Medicine. “We are privileged and humbled to be remembered by the Zimmermans in their estate plans.”

For more about making a planned gift or supporting research initiatives at the School of Medicine, please contact Holmes at 304-691-1711 or


Date Posted: Friday, May 13, 2016