Marshall School of Medicine Class of 2021 establishes scholarship

HUNTINGTON, W. Va.Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine’s Class of 2021 has become only the second class to endow a scholarship early in their medical school career.

The School of Medicine Class of 2021 established a $25,000 endowed scholarship in memory of Laura L. Richardson, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences, assistant dean of academic affairs and director of preclinical education. The scholarship, which is designated for first-year medical students with financial need, serves as a symbol of the students’ respect and appreciation of Richardson’s leadership, support and dedication to the School of Medicine and its students from 2005 until her death on May 18, 2018.

“Our class built a strong relationship with Dr. Richardson during our time with her,” said David E. Bartlett, class president. “Through this scholarship, we hope that the lasting impression that she made on her students and institution can live on to help future students on their journey to becoming physicians.”

As the 82 members of the class of 2021 prepared to wrap up their second year of medical school and studied rigorously for their Step 1 test exams, they finalized the details of their class scholarship.

“Student indebtedness is something that our class feels strongly about,” Bartlett said. “We felt obligated to help lift some of this burden from future students by working diligently to endow our class scholarship. Endowing our class scholarship has been a truly rewarding experience for our class. It has been a complete team effort from start to finish, and I cannot overemphasize the hard work put in by our class.”

Class scholarships were established in 1987 at the School of Medicine by the Class of 1987 as a way to create a culture of giving among medical students and help build a sense of camaraderie among classmates. To date, 34 of the school’s 39 graduating classes have established endowed scholarships and/or endowments.  

“I continue to be amazed at the Class of 2021’s leadership and willingness to make a difference for future medical students by their interest and efforts to endow their scholarship,” said Linda S. Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs at the School of Medicine. “This is truly a Herculean effort and one that sets the bar for the following classes to achieve.  I am so grateful to each of them.”

In 2018, the Class of 2020 became Marshall’s first medical school class to create an endowed scholarship well before graduation. For more information or make a gift to the school of medicine, contact Holmes by e-mail at or by phone at 304-691-1711.


Caption: From left are class officers Danny Jayasuriya, Sam Wood, David Bartlett and Hannah Datz.

Media Contact: Sheanna M. Spence, Director of External Affairs, School of Medicine, 304-691-1639

Date Posted: Monday, September 23, 2019