TJC, UT Tyler get donation of $290,000 for medical scholarships


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – UT Tyler and Tyler Junior College recently received a large donation from the Smith County Medical Society Alliance.

During their 52nd annual Doctor’s Day Celebration on Tuesday night, the SCMSA Board of Directors announced the sale of their building and said the $290,000 proceeds will be divided evenly between TJC and UT Tyler.

Each school will receive $145,000. TJC’s $145,000 portion will benefit the SCMSA’s two endowed scholarships with the TJC Foundation, with half going to their Endowed Scholarship and the other half to their Endowed Presidential Honors Scholarship.

SCMSA President Joi Smith stressed the importance of helping students who are seeking to enter health professions.

“It means the most to us when you can give someone a scholarship and give them a step up, and the healthcare industry in Tyler is just booming with the incoming new medical school,” she said. “We are going to need a lot of good nurses and healthcare professionals.”

This isn’t the first time SCMSA has donated to Tyler higher learning institutions. Since 1968, they have raised more than $1.2 million through its Annual Book Fair fundraiser, giving the proceeds to healthcare scholarships at TJC and UT Tyler.

TJC President Juan E. Mejia thanked Joi Smith, the board and all supporters of SCMSA.

“We have a wonderful partnership with UT Tyler and together commit to establishing the national model of collaboration between two powerhouse institutions of higher education,” Mejia said.

Both endowed funds offer scholarships to provide well educated and trained healthcare professionals to serve the medical industry of Tyler and East Texas. The SCMSA was one of the original 100 contributors to endowed scholarships through the Presidential Honors Scholarship program.

“The generosity by the SCMSA inspires us all to a higher level of caring,” Mejia said.

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