$3M pledge will help medical, dental students attend Case Western Reserve
Medical, dental and nursing students from Summit and Stark counties attending Case Western Reserve University are eligible for new scholarships to help pay for school.
The Ralph T. and Esther L. Warburton Foundation of Cleveland recently pledged $3 million to Case Western to establish three endowed scholarships: one each in the School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine and Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.
The scholarships are intended for students from Stark and Summit counties, with the hope of creating a pipeline of health-care providers to Northeast Ohio hospitals.
The scholarships are intended for students from middle-income families who wouldn’t quality for need-based aid, yet don’t have other family resources to cover tuition. Qualified students within the schools will be identified for the scholarships.
If no student is eligible for the scholarships from those counties, the criteria can be expanded more broadly to Northeast Ohio. Since 2015, more than 30 medical, dental and nursing students have received scholarship support.
“This gift is a transformational catalyst for interprofessional education that will make a significant impact on health-sciences education,” said Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder.
This latest gift follows nearly $3 million the Warburton Foundation committed in 2015 that built significantly on a smaller earlier scholarship gift pledged by leaders of the foundation whose parents had a long, extensive connection to the university. The overall support for these scholarships now totals $6 million.
“We feel that we’ve honored them properly by this,” said Sally Bonacker Warburton, who leads the foundation with her husband, Phillip Warburton. “I think it touches the most people we could possibly touch. We also had in mind creating a feeder system to give back to Northeastern Ohio — to continue to produce well-qualified, talented medical people for this area.”
The family’s connection to the university traces back almost 90 years: Phillip Warburton’s father, Ralph, graduated from Case Western Reserve’s medical school in 1933; Sally Bonacker Warburton’s dad, Herbert Bonacker, earned a degree in dental medicine that year.
Each of their fathers married a graduate of the Mt. Sinai School of Nursing, a university affiliate at that time.
Ralph Warburton and his wife, Esther Lewis, set up a medical practice in his hometown of North Canton. Herbert Bonacker’s wife, Elisabeth Schiltz, first served as a United Airlines’ stewardess (the title used at the time for flight attendants) as commercial air travel was just beginning.
Planes then were much smaller and prone to crashes, so United required stewardesses to be nurses—in part to calm passenger fears about the dangers of flight. She ultimately left the job and returned to Northeast Ohio to marry Herbert.
“The fact that both sets of parents, in one way or another, attended the three schools (medical, dental, nursing) is significant and probably very rare,” said Phillip Warburton, foundation president.
“My parents were very modest, humble people. They were always looking to help other people, and that’s what all these (health) disciplines should be practicing. It’s service above self, that’s what it is.”