Ten­nessee State sets up pro­gram in honor of pi­o­neer sur­geon

South Florida Times - - PRAYERFUL LIVING - Pope Fran­cis Dr. Levi Watkins Jr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Ten­nessee State Univer­sity is es­tab­lish­ing an en­dowed schol­ar­ship fund in honor of a renowned heart sur­geon and alum­nus of the school.

The univer­sity said in a news re­lease it's us­ing a half-mil­lion-dol­lar gift from the fam­ily of the late Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. to set up the fund in his honor to help pre-med ma­jors.

The univer­sity is also es­tab­lish­ing the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Me­mo­rial In­sti­tute, with a lec­ture se­ries and pro­grams for science, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing and math ma­jors, and pre-med stu­dents.

Watkins grad­u­ated from Ten­nessee State in 1966 with hon­ors and be­came the first African-Amer­i­can to be ad­mit­ted to and grad­u­ate from the Van­der­bilt Univer­sity School of Medicine. He be­came the first black chief res­i­dent of car­diac surgery, pi­o­neer­ing in that field and in civil rights.

He died in 2015

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF VAN­DER­BILT.EDU

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF FA­MOUS BIOGRAPHIES

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