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Bequest to Help Support Tuition-Free Medical School at Northwestern

Earl and Lovie Beard Scholarship Fund will be established

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May 27, 2014 | by Marla Paul

CHICAGO --- A transformational gift from Dr. Earl and Mrs. Lovie Beard will endow the Earl and Lovie Beard Scholarship Fund at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  

Once received, the bequest commitment will directly support Feinberg’s goal to create a tuition-free medical school. The Beards, who live in Houston, Texas, have embraced this tuition-free vision, which is one of the top philanthropic priorities of the medical school and Eric Neilson, M.D., the vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean.

“At Feinberg, we have an aspiration to become tuition-free and the top choice for the most gifted and promising students, regardless of ability to pay,” Neilson said. “Scholarships such as the Beard gift allow Feinberg students to choose a career path that truly interests them without the worry of looming debt.”

The goal, Neilson said, is to create an endowment that will ultimately provide full scholarships for all medical students at Northwestern. This year alone the medical school has raised $19 million toward the tuition-free goal. In recent years, more than half of Northwestern’s medical students have received some level of scholarship support.

Earl Beard is a medical school alumnus (class of 1948) and was a cardiologist during his career. After working with the U.S. Air Force for several years, he joined the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston, where he served as chief of cardiology for more than 60 years. Lovie Beard, a nurse, also spent the early part of her career working with the U.S. Air Force prior to a 32-year career at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“I was thrilled to attend Northwestern’s medical school—it propelled me into a wonderful future and career,” said Earl Beard. “We are happy to provide the opportunity for students in need to attend medical school by including Northwestern in our estate plans. We feel very fortunate to be able to do this.”

This gift comes at a pivotal time for Northwestern. On March 14, the University announced its $3.75 billion fundraising campaign, We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, to address society’s critical challenges and prepare global leaders. The University-wide, multi-year effort will support initiatives across Northwestern. The Campaign goal for Northwestern Medicine is $1.75 billion, which is part of the University’s overall Campaign. More information on We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern is available at wewill.northwestern.edu. Further details on Northwestern Medicine initiatives can be found at www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/giving.