Turners establish endowed fund for student scholarships

By Brittany Lebling

Dr. William W. Turner and his wife, Rosemary (Toni)

Dr. William W. Turner Jr. and his wife, Rosemary (Toni), recently joined The Heritage Society and announced a bequest to establish the William and Rosemary Turner Endowed Fund at Southwestern Medical Foundation. This fund will support scholarships at UT Southwestern Medical School, where Dr. Turner completed his general surgery residency in 1977.

Dr. Turner, a Professor of Surgery in the Division of General and Acute Care Surgery, has been a member of the UT Southwestern faculty for more than 27 years. Dr. Turner is also the Master of Sprague College within the UTSW Medical School, a leadership position that oversees the 11 faculty who serve as student mentors. He and his wife believe deeply in supporting future generations of students pursuing the best medical education.

“You never know what’s going to excite a medical student or draw him or her to a certain area of study, and you cannot identify their potential by socioeconomic status. To us, it’s important that those who work hard have every opportunity possible to join UT Southwestern Medical School. We want the best and the brightest, no matter their circumstances,” Dr. Turner said.

“Dr. Turner is a wonderful teacher and educator, deeply committed to learners, inspiring and motivating them to reach their fullest potential,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. “He and Toni are strongly invested in UT Southwestern’s educational mission, and their gift will not only benefit the students who receive scholarships from the Turner Endowed Fund, but it will impact as well the countless patients these students will treat over the course of their years as physicians.”

Before Dr. Turner came to UT Southwestern for his general surgery residency, he and his wife considered two other options. “I knew within the first 10 minutes that UT Southwestern was the place I wanted to be,” he said. “Here were enormous opportunities for me to grow and learn.”

Dr. Turner is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, having served five years in the Reserve Medical Service Corps and two years in the Active-Duty Medical Service Corps. Following his medical training, he spent 18 years of his academic medical career in Dallas while Mrs. Turner built a career with Delta Air Lines. Their love for the city’s vibrancy grew over time. After moving to Indiana and Mississippi for new leadership opportunities, the couple returned to Dallas and UT Southwestern in 2007.

The Turners believe that within the U.S. and worldwide, opportunities to improve the future are plentiful. They feel reassured that their gift to UTSW has great impact and stirs something profound and inspiring.

“We have the responsibility to be more than takers from society. I can’t think of anything more worthwhile than helping people get educated and develop their careers in medicine,” Dr. Turner said.

“This beautiful gift is one that signals a commitment to the future,” said Kathleen M. Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “Our community, and UT Southwestern faculty especially, share a deep conviction in the quality and fruit of their investments in education at UT Southwestern. We are honored to partner with Dr. and Mrs. Turner in growing and endowing medical education.”

Dr. Podolsky holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.

Dr. Turner holds the Alvin Baldwin, Jr. Chair in Surgery, and the Carla and Paul Bass Professorship in Medical Education Honoring Charles C. Sprague, M.D.

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