OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University’s acclaimed pre-med program has received $2 million in funding, thanks to a generous gift from a private donor.
The program will receive $500,000 annually for the next four years.
As part of the agreement, the program will be known as the Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke Family Pre-Medical Program. Dr. Dumke’s name has a familiar ring on campus, as WSU’s College of Health Professions also is named in his honor. The name change was approved by the Weber State University Board of Trustees at its monthly meeting, held Nov. 14.
Housed in WSU’s College of Science, the pre-medical program has earned a reputation for doing an outstanding job of preparing students for the rigors and challenges of medical school.
The funding is the result of a generous donation from Martha Ann Dumke Healy, an Ogden native and daughter of Dr. Dumke. Healy, a granddaughter of Ogden industrialist E.O. Wattis, has strong ties to the region and has supported several projects and programs at WSU, including the Dumke College of Health Professions and Kimball Visual Arts Center. Healy said having her father’s name associated with WSU’s pre-med program would be a fitting way to recognize her father’s contributions to the field of medicine.
“This wonderful gift will be tremendously helpful in growing our exceptional pre-medical program,” said Dale A. Ostlie, dean of WSU’s College of Science. “The funds will be used to enhance student opportunities for undergraduate research, which is so critical for student success in application to medical programs.”
Ostlie said the funding also will help the program purchase state-of-the-art laboratory equipment used for training students and provide financial support for WSU students in the form of scholarships and fellowships.
The Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke Family Pre-Medical Program has earned a reputation for outstanding preparation of students at the undergraduate level. As a result, the program consistently achieves high placement rates for its graduates at prestigious medical schools across the nation. In 2003-04, the program had an astonishing 78 percent placement rate, well above the 45 percent placement rate of pre-med programs nationwide.
WSU’s pre-med program continues to build on the success established by zoology professor Kent M. Van De Graaff, an alumnus of Weber State who was known as an exceptional teacher, mentor and friend to students, in addition to being a world-renowned textbook author on anatomy. Van De Graaff passed away in December 2005. His commitment to providing personalized attention and outstanding preparation for pre-med students lives on under the leadership of assistant zoology professor Barbara Trask, who serves as the pre-medical professional advisor. At the current time, nearly 60 percent of WSU’s pre-med class of 2007 already has been accepted to medical schools across the country, including The Ohio State University, The University of Virginia and George Washington University.
Born in Wisconsin in 1886, Dr. Dumke was educated in Denver before moving to Ogden in the 1920s. Dr. Dumke founded the Ogden Surgical Society. He went on to be one of the key architects behind the old St. Benedict’s Hospital, located at 30th St. and Polk Ave. in Ogden. Dumke married Edna Wattis, and raised three children, sons Edmund W. and Ezekiel “Zeke” R. Jr., and daughter Martha Ann. Dr. Dumke passed away at the age of 74 in 1961.
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