At East Carolina University, we often say that the Brody Scholars Program is North Carolina's most distinguished medical scholarship program. There are a number of reasons for this prestige, but I'd like to highlight three of them here.
The first reason is the legacy of the Brody name. Prior to — and ever since — the Brody family's generous gift in 1999 that established the ECU School of Medicine as the Brody School of Medicine, they have steadfastly supported medical education at ECU and remain among the school's most dedicated friends.
The Brody Scholars program honors J. S. "Sammy" Brody, who, along with his brother Leo, were among the earliest supporters of medical education in eastern North Carolina. Subsequent gifts through the Brody Foundation have enabled the medical school to educate new physicians, conduct important research, and improve health care in eastern North Carolina. To be associated with this legacy is a true point of pride for all Brody Scholars.
The second reason is the scholarship's enrichment of medical school experiences. It's true that Brody Scholars receive four years of tuition and living expenses. Anyone who is even considering attending medical school and the associated costs over four years is aware of the life-changing nature of this gift.
What is amazing about this award is that it also comes with support to design enrichment programs and community service projects that can include travel abroad. These are additional, unparalleled experiences that many of these students wouldn't have otherwise. They are opportunities that prepare these future health care practitioners in countless ways for effective, compassionate service.
The third and final reason for the scholarship's prominence is the competitive nature of the award and the respect earned by Brody Scholar alumni. Just 12 Brody applicants are selected to interview for the scholarship each year. Of those finalists, just a handful of recipients are named from each class. These future physicians show high scholarship ability with strong evidence of leadership, service, moral character, and a promise of distinction in medicine.
Since the program began in 1983, those selected as Brody Scholars have served as compassionate healers and community leaders who live the Brody and ECU mission of improving health in eastern North Carolina.
It's difficult to overstate the impact that the Brody family has had on our institution. If you consider the impact of this scholarship on the more than 130 students who have earned it — and by extension, the health of the people of our region — you can see why we at ECU say that the Brody Scholars Program is a singular mark of distinction we are honored to call our own.
Nicholas Benson, MD, MBA
Interim Dean, The Brody School of Medicine
Interim President, The Brody Foundation Board