Chestertown, MD, March 5, 2001 — A gift of $400,000 from the Irma S. Heck Trust will be used to establish a scholarship for Washington College premed students. The scholarship will be named in honor of Dr. Leroy Savin Heck, a 1925 graduate of Washington College and former chief of staff of the Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mt. Kisco, NY. The gift will be doubled by the Hodson Trust Challenge, matching gifts to endowments over $100,000.
Over the past 10 years, the College has had 90 percent acceptance rate for its premed graduates, many who have gone on for medical degrees from Johns Hopkins, the University of Maryland, Georgetown University, George Washington University and other medical schools in the region.
"My father believed that education was the way to realize one's dreams," said Dr. Heck's daughter, Susan Heck, of Pasadena, CA. "As a young man of modest means from Baltimore, he knew he was lucky to be sent to college. He and my mother would be gladdened to know that their work over the decades will now help other young people on their journey."
After graduating from Washington College in 1925, Dr. Heck pursued a degree in pharmacy from Baltimore City College and a degree in medicine from the University of Maryland. He joined the staff of Northern Westchester Hospital Center in 1930 as a general surgeon. He was director of surgery and chief of staff from 1945 to 1963 and was made honorary director of surgery in 1964. He continued practicing until his retirement in 1980. While on staff at the hospital, he also served as medical director for the Reader's Digest Association.
Dr. Heck was a founding member of the University of Maryland Surgical Society and a former member of the Medical Advisory Board of the American Red Cross, Planned Parenthood and the Advisory Board of Manhattan Savings Bank. As founder of the Mt. Kisco Ambulance Company, he was named the Mt. Kisco Citizen of the Year in 1975.
"Washington College was central to my dad's life," said Heck. "There were enough trips back to Washington College, enough gatherings with college friends over the decades, and enough young people encouraged to consider the College that you knew it was important to him. And when the only place to which he ever considered moving after he retired was Chestertown, you knew the roots ran deep indeed."