New Scholarship Honors the First Black Graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

A new scholarship program has been established at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine to honor Levi Watkins Jr. Dr. Watkins, who died in 2015, was the first African American graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1970.

A native of Parsons, Kansas, Watkins moved to Alabama where his father was president of historically Black Alabama State University. He attended the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor. Watkins was the valedictorian of his class at the Alabama State Laboratory High School and then graduated from Tennessee State University in Nashville, where he was active in the civil rights movement. He entered the medical school at Vanderbilt in 1966.

After graduating from the Vanderbilt medical school, Dr. Watkins was associated with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for 43 years, first as an intern and then as a faculty member until his retirement in 2013. In 1980, Dr. Watkins was the first surgeon to implant an automatic heart defibrillator in a patient.

The new scholarship at the medical school was made possible by a gift from Annie Marie Garraway, the sister of Dr. Watkins. Dr. Garraway holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Three African Americans Appointed to New Academic Positions

Leon Prieto, Kofi Afrifah, and Andrea Moore have been appointed to new academic positions at Clayton University, Bowie State University, and Savannah State University, respectively.

Historic HBCU Landmark Revitalized Through National Park Service Grant

Through three restoration grants totaling $2 million, the Rosenwald Practice School and Principal House will be fully restored, becoming the new home for the Northeastern North Carolina African American Research and Cultural Heritage Institute.

Five Black Leaders Appointed to Administrative Positions

Here is this week’s roundup of African American who have been appointed to new administrative positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States. If you have news for our appointments section, please email the information to contact@JBHE.com.

North Carolina A&T University Establishes Research Partnership with Collins Aerospace

“There are direct relations to the research we do in the College of Engineering and the mission purpose of Collins Aerospace,” said Stephanie Luster-Teasley, interim dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. “Being able to partner with Collins really gives our students the opportunities for hands-on research at each level – undergraduate and graduate.”

Featured Jobs