PLU is home to many students who are pursuing a career in medicine. In 2014, Donald and Barbara Simmons established a scholarship for this group of dedicated scholars to help them as they prepare for a life of service and care. We asked Barbara for the history behind the Donald E. Simmons, MD & Barbara A. Simmons Endowed Scholarship for Pre-Medicine Students, and she was kind enough to share her story with us.
“My late husband, Don (Donald E. Simmons, M.D. 1967) was a graduate of PLU in 1967. He specifically attended PLU because of their reputation of helping many of their students to be admitted to medical school. Don had wanted to be a doctor from the age of 10. Indeed Don was admitted to two medical schools and chose his first choice, the University of Washington.
Don had a wonderful career in medicine and was much loved by his patients. When he learned that his cancer was terminal he worried that he would be forgotten. Don and I believed that establishing a scholarship is a way for a person to live on through others. When we lost our oldest daughter we established an endowment scholarship in her name. It made sense to do the same for Don. He was so grateful to PLU for the education he received that enabled him medical school admittance that he wanted to “pay it forward” to others with similar goals.”
Don’s legacy and the endowment he established with Barbara will endure for years to come. We are grateful for their support and dedication to pre-medicine students at PLU.