Since 1968, the Smith County Medical Society Alliance has raised more than $1.2 million through its Annual Book Fair fundraiser, with proceeds benefitting healthcare scholarships at TJC and UT Tyler.
During their 52nd annual Doctor’s Day Celebration on Tuesday night, the SCMSA Board of Directors announced the sale of their building, with the $290,000 proceeds divided equally between with TJC and UT Tyler.
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 $72,500 to their Endowed Presidential Honors Scholarship.
Both endowed funds offer scholarships in perpetuity 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.
Mitch Andrews, TJC vice president of institutional advancement, said, “Since 1985, the SCMSA has provided generous scholarships to TJC students pursuing healthcare careers. The College and Foundation are grateful to them for their continuing leadership and support.”
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.”
TJC President Dr. Juan E. Mejia said, “On behalf of the Tyler Junior College District, I share wholeheartedly the most sincere appreciation to Joi Smith, the entire Board, and to all supporters and friends of the Smith County Medical Society Alliance. 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 added, “The generosity by the SCMSA inspires us all to a higher level of caring.”