The Dell Medical School received a $1 million gift from University Federal Credit Union Thursday in order to expand the health initiatives at the school.
UFCU, a credit union focusing on higher education, has been working with the University for about 80 years, according to UFCU President and CEO Tony Budet. When Dell Medical School opened, Budet said UFCU saw an opportunity to partner with the school in order to ensure the welfare of its members.
“… We saw the population health initiative they’re trying to do in improving the quality life in our community, and that was just beautifully grouped with our mission here at this cooperative,” Budet said. “One thing led to another, and we think this is a great opportunity for us to be supportive of a beautiful mission they got there, and we’re hopeful that it will position them to quickly execute the things that are important to them.”
Budet said $700,000 will go toward helping the medical school repay some of its debt, which will allow the school to reallocate $250,000 that would have been spent on interest over five years. The remaining $300,000 will be divided into three separate scholarships for Dell Medical School students from underrepresented groups in medicine to help them graduate from the medical school and become a doctor in Central Texas with no debt.
“UFCU has been a leader in supporting Travis County, particularly in thinking about how to promote a strong fiscal foundation across the community,” said Clay Johnston, Dell Medical School Dean, in a statement. “But fiscal fitness and health go hand-in-hand. We’re excited to be working with UFCU, and our students and community will clearly benefit.”
John Martin, vice chairman and incoming chairman of the UFCU Board of Directors, said the scholarships provide students the opportunity to graduate debt-free and, in turn, help the community with health initiatives.
“It becomes a bit circular in its nature, where we educate people to be better caregivers of the population or caretakers of the community,” Martin said in a statement. “That, in its element, is member well-being.”
Because of the value of the gift provided by UFCU, two student lounges in the Health and Learning Building at the Dell Medical School will honor the UFCU name.