Service to the school where he received his start has been a way of life for George Stoneman ’65, associate clinical professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. That service recently took the form of a $50,000 pledge to support the full endowment of the Keck School Parents Association Endowed Scholarship Fund.
In his nearly 50 years in medicine, Stoneman has been a tireless worker as an alumnus of the Keck School, including the founding of the Parents Association of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, despite his busy private practice. Last year, he was recognized as a 2011 Volunteer Recognition Awards recipient for his loyalty, support and dedication to USC.
“I was inspired after sitting on the board of governors of the USC Alumni Association to start the Keck School Parents Association,” said Stoneman, who performed his residency in otolaryngology at the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center. “The goal for our own scholarship fund was to make it fully endowed at the $100,000 level.”
The fund was halfway there when Stoneman had a fortuitous meeting with his friend and Stanford University fraternity brother Rafael Mendez — a recipient of scholastic support while receiving his own education.
“We were out together with our wives one night, and I talked about the scholarship fund and our goal of at least $100,000,” Stoneman recalled. “Afterward, he just said, ‘Then, I’ll help you.’ I told him I’d match whatever he decided to give.” Thanks to that meeting, Mendez made a donation; Stoneman matched the donation and added to it to fully endow the fund.
Mendez, who recently retired as a professor of urology at the Keck School, specialized in kidney transplantation and has participated in or performed more than 5,000 kidney transplants since 1970.
In 1984, in affiliation with the Keck School and the Daughters of Charity Health System, Mendez and his twin brother Robert Mendez, formed the Los Angeles Transplant Institute, now known as the Mendez National Institute of Transplantation.
For Stoneman, the gift is a way for him to see students receive the financial assistance they need and to help parents realize how much they can help all medical students.
“When I spoke to the incoming students at the 2012 White Coat ceremony, I told them that their parents are also a part of the Trojan Family,” Stoneman said. “A lot of them support their own child, but when they’re able to, they could also help others. The scholarship fund is a way for them to offer their support; it’s like family helping family.”
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