Impact of Longtime MLS Faculty Continues with Scholarship in Her Honor
SALISBURY, MD---In the nearly 40 years Dr. Diane Davis spent at Salisbury University, she was a driving force for countless students to achieve success. When she retired last year as director of SU’s Medical Lab Science Program, she may not have realized what a strong legacy she would leave.
She was surprised when she was invited to campus to help with a Giving Day video and instead arrived to a room full of people who had gathered to honor her – and they had an even bigger surprise: an endowed scholarship in her name.
“SU was Diane’s life,” said her husband Kevin during his remarks at the surprise event, to a room full of smiles and happy tears. “She gave blood, sweat and tears to the MLS Program so her students would have not just a degree when they graduated, but a career.”
In recognition of her contributions to the program, Kevin and their children created the Dr. Diane Davis Scholarship for Medical Laboratory Science. There to honor her were students, alumni and co-workers, including current MLS program director Dr. Christina Camillo – who is also one of Davis’ former students.
“I would not be where I am today without Diane,” Camillo said. “Her impact will be in the community and in the lab for years to come.”
In another surprise, two of Diane’s former students – Tom Polen ’96 and Dr. Herman Staats ’88 – had already come forward with $6,000 in matching gifts toward the scholarship.
Although he has already created an endowed MLS scholarship in honor of his parents, Staats thought it was important to honor Diane by giving to her scholarship.
“Diane impacted me in many ways,” Staats said. “She genuinely cared about her students and worked hard to share her knowledge with us. Her guidance provided a great foundation for my graduate training and helped me achieve my goal of becoming a university professor.”
Current MLS students were present at the luncheon to show their support as well, including seniors Rob Wygal and Alexis Hale, who will graduate this spring and already have jobs lined up. Both came to the MLS Program from different backgrounds and faced their own struggles throughout their education, but Davis made them feel at home at SU and pushed them to achieve their full potential.
“She never failed to let me know that she wanted me in the program and wanted me to succeed,” Hale said. “When I graduate, I will have the knowledge and confidence to encounter anything my profession. At the end of the day, she has prepared me for my career and my life.”
“From the very beginning, she made me feel like I was not just a number,” Wygal said. “Students who come from SU’s MLS Program are prepared for anything, and she was one of the professors who pushed us to get to this point. Because of her, I know I have a career.”
For more information about scholarships and endowments for SU’s College of Health and Human Services programs, contact Samantha Hellwege Ulrich at email@example.com.
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