Longtime faculty member, physician establishes Marshall School of Medicine scholarship

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – After devoting more than a 25-year career to the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, alumna and longtime faculty member Gretchen E. Oley, M.D., and her husband, Stephen, have established an endowed scholarship to help future medical students follow their dreams.

Gretchen Oley graduated from Penn State University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and earned her Master of Arts in political science from Marshall University in 1979. She continued toward her Doctor of Medicine, graduating from Marshall in 1982 as a member of the medical school’s second graduating class. She made her home and career in Huntington, completing her internal medicine residency at Marshall before joining the School of Medicine faculty in 1985.

She served as a professor of internal medicine and the senior associate dean for clinical affairs before becoming professor emeritus in 2009. The Oleys now reside in Hilton Head, South Carolina, but she continues to serve the school as a consultant on special projects.

“I spent my career at Marshall because I cared deeply for the community and for the people--my co-workers, my patients and my students,” she said. “I would never have been able to experience the great joy and satisfaction that working as a physician brought me if it weren’t for Marshall’s School of Medicine. I have always wanted to share some of the rewards that came my way over the years in order that other people could achieve the same experiences.”

Gretchen Oley established an earlier medical school scholarship in 1997 in honor of her only sibling, Gregory VanMeter, who died in 1983 in a car accident. “I want this scholarship,” she added, “to honor my wonderful family—my husband, Steve, and our children, Allison and Kevin—who sacrificed and supported me in all possible ways throughout my career in medicine.”

The Dr. Gretchen Oley Family Scholarship is designated for first-year medical students who exhibit excellence in scholarship and demonstrate financial need, with first preference given to a student from Cabell County, West Virginia. Second preference will be given to a student from Lincoln, Mason, Putnam or Wayne counties in West Virginia; and third preference to a West Virginia resident of any other county. The award is renewable for three additional years pending normal academic progress.

For more information or to make a gift to the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, please contact Linda Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs, by phone at 304-691-1711 or by e-mail at  holmes@marshall.edu, or visit jcesom.marshall.edu/alumni

Date Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019