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Emporia couple commit $1 million in support of KU School of Medicine-Wichita

September 25, 2019
KU alumnus Scott Smiley and Julie Smiley want to be a part of educating doctors who will care for generations of patients. To fulfill that goal, the Emporia, Kansas, couple’s gift commitment of $1 million to the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita will support the school’s internal medicine program and provide student scholarships.
Julie and Scott Smiley

Scott Smiley is a physician and alumnus of KU School of Medicine-Wichita, and Julie Smiley is a veterinarian. They both went to school for many years to earn their degrees, he said, and they understand not only the value of their education, but also how valuable private giving is because of the cost.

“Education is a priority for us,” Scott Smiley said. “Julie and I understand the importance of support, of helping encourage people and helping to defray some of the costs of medical school.”

Education is a priority for us. Julie and I understand the importance of support.

Scott Smiley, a native of Newton, Kansas, specializes in internal medicine and practices in Emporia, Kansas. Julie Smiley, who is from Warren, Pennsylvania, is part-owner of East Emporia Veterinary Clinic. Scott Smiley went to Kansas State University for his undergraduate and graduate studies in microbiology. It was there that he met Julie, who received her degree in veterinary medicine from Kansas State.

Scott Smiley’s first two years of medical school were spent at KU’s Kansas City, Kansas, campus, and then he went to Wichita. He received an excellent education, he said, and Wichita offered many small-group learning experiences.

“I appreciated that the community worked together to educate students, particularly the volunteer faculty,” Smiley said. “They understand the investment that it takes to educate doctors.”

The Smileys’ planned gift will divide approximately $1 million to establish three funds that bear their names: One will benefit the Internal Medicine Department; one will support residents in the internal medicine program; and one will fund student scholarships, with preference for students interested in internal medicine.

Garold Minns, M.D., dean of KU School of Medicine-Wichita, thanked the Smileys for including the school in their philanthropic plans.

“The forethought of Julie and Scott’s support is inspiring. We appreciate how it will give the department flexibility and assist residents and medical students interested in internal medicine,” Minns said. “Private support is crucial to help us go above and beyond in educating tomorrow’s physicians.”

Smiley pays forward the generosity showed by the doctors who taught him: He has two or three students each year who do their rural rotation with him in Emporia.

“Somebody did it for us, and so now we do it for the students who are coming through,” he said. “It takes everybody moving in the same direction to help with education.”

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.
Posted on
September 25, 2019
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