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School of Medicine Class of 1972 Alumni Endow Community Health Scholarship

School of Medicine Class of 1972 Alumni Endow Community Health Scholarship
Taplin and Morrison

Drs. Geraldine Taplin and John Morrison, who met during medical school and have been together for 48 years, are part of the Class of 1972, the very first UCI School of Medicine graduates.

After medical school, Taplin completed an infectious disease fellowship at UCI and Morrison taught in the Pulmonary Division of the UCI Department of Medicine for three and a half years. The couple then moved to Monterey County, where they both practiced medicine for over four decades.

Last year, Taplin was instrumental in the committee that organized the Class of 1972's 50th reunion. Because the reunion took place in the wake of the pandemic, they focused on public health messaging and education. The MD Class of 1972 presented the School of Medicine an endowed scholarship in support of future students in the MD/Master in Public Health dual-degree program. Taplin and Morrison kickstarted the fundraising and classmates joined in.

"Unfortunately, the pandemic politicized science and further divided the nation," says Morrison. "So we felt strongly that the class gift might help. We want to support people going into the public health subspecialty with a science background - a physician as opposed to a politician - involved in health communications to the public."

During the reunion festivities, Taplin and Morrison reconnected with the university, toured new facilities and talked with current medical students. They were delighted with the changes they observed, especially the medical school's progressive instruction and ability to offer students early hands-on clinical experiences. The couple, who have five UC degrees between them conferred by UC Berkeley, Davis and Irvine, planned to leave a large portion of their estate to the University of California.

A bequest is one of the easiest and most tangible ways to have a lasting impact on the people and projects that mean the most to you at UCI. With our sample bequest language and the help of an advisor, you can include verbiage in your will or living trust, specifying a charitable bequest to support an area of your choosing. Making a bequest through your will or living trust offers flexibility and gives you the immediate fulfillment of creating a lasting legacy that ensures the future of UCI.

But now they've decided that their final gift, like the '72 class gift, will be devoted specifically to UCI School of Medicine scholarship endowments that focus on alleviating the financial burden that might prevent some medical students from pursuing public health. The gift expresses what they truly want to change in the world.

"The health of populations is what medicine should be about - not just caring for individuals who have enough money to get insured," says Taplin.