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Blankenship funds medical school scholarships

Oct. 10, 2012 @ 11:40 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Ten Marshall University students in the School of Medicine will receive $10,000 scholarships from a newly created pledge by former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

Blankenship, a 1972 graduate of Marshall, committed $300,000 over a three-year period in honor of his mother, Nancy Marie McCoy, who died in 1995. The first $100,000 was received in September.

The scholarships are available to 10 second-year medical students who meet the financial scholarship requirements and exhibit high academic achievement. The awards will be renewed for each student annually for two years, pending satisfactory academic progress.

"The demographics of southern West Virginia mean that there will be a continuing and increasing need for high quality local doctors," Blankenship said. "I am fortunate to be able to contribute in a small way toward fulfilling this need, while at the same time honoring my mother's memory, helping my alma mater, and helping these gifted students to achieve their dreams of becoming doctors."

Receiving the awards will be James T. Buchanan Jr., Chester, W.Va.; Rudolf Burcl, Huntington; John M. Davitt, Washington, D.C.; Aaron M. Dom, Wellersburg, Pa.; Jessica A. Layne, Milton; Andrew S. Martin, Huntington; Joseph V. Russo, Huntington; Jonathan S. Seibert, Harrisburg, N.C.; Stephanie L. Taylor, Cumberland, Md.; and Adam J. Van Horn, Huntington.

Blankenship is a recipient of Marshall University's Distinguished Alumnus Award and was inducted into the College of Business Hall of Fame in 1999.

Blankenship retired in December 2010 after an explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 people in April of that year.