Twin $50K gifts push Pitt scholarship program over $2M mark |

Twin $50K gifts push Pitt scholarship program over $2M mark

Twin $50,000 donations by distinguished University of Pittsburgh medical alumni have pushed the school’s diversity scholarship program over the $2 million mark.

The gifts from Drs. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and Vaughn Clegette, founder of Georgia’s Tanner Intensive Medical Services, were announced Sunday at the African American Alumni Council’s Sankofa Homecoming Weekend Fellowship Brunch in Grand Pittsburgh Downtown.

Larkins-Pettigrew graduated from Pitt’s nursing and medicine programs before earning a doctorate in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. She co-chairs the African American Alumni Council’s scholarship committee.

“We have been very well supported by Pitt’s development team. We have a dedicated committee that meets regularly and is made up of people from many different professions and backgrounds,” she said. “The challenge is to make sure we maintain momentum and continue to educate, so the people really know the good that the donations bring.”

Clegette received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Pitt and now is chief operating officer of HGA Hospitalist Consultants in Atlanta. He encouraged other Pitt grads to help out.

“We give every year,” Clegette said. “My wife is a graduate of Pitt, and I’m from Belle Vernon, so I think it’s very important to give back. We think of it as an obligation, and our relationship with the university has been very rewarding.”

Pitt is only a year into a fund drive that aims to raise $3 million to endow more than 120 need-based scholarships and program support for deserving students.

The pledges from Larkins-Pettigrew and Clegette are earmarked for a new fund designed to aid financially strapped medical students. It honors Larkin-Pettigrew’s husband, Chenits Pettigrew Jr., the medical school’s director of diversity programs since 2006.

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