A couple from St. Louis received a standing ovation from the University of Missouri this afternoon. Gary Savill and Barbara Stampfli-Savill made an estate commitment of $2.5 million to MU's College of Veterinary Medicine.
The couple says the gift will fund scholarships for vet students in underrepresented ethnic groups that will cover 50 percent of all tuition and fees each year. Those receiving the scholarship will be required to complete volunteer work in return.
Barbara's father died from a rare form of cancer two years ago. Though the couple has no prior affiliation with the University, they hope the gift will lead to cures to common diseases in both animals and humans.
Barbara Stampfli-Savil started to say, "...and if there's something that our endowment can do to further find treatments...," but she began to cry.
That's when Gary Savill spoke up, "Like they say, it's this one medicine, one health methodology here. What they do with animals here can so easily cross over into the human medicine side."
The couple, who owns a motorcycle business in St. Louis, also donated a custom-built motorcycle to be raffled off as part of the college' annual "Gentle Doctor Benefit" to be held on April 5. Only a thousand raffle tickets are being sold at $100 each. Visit gdb.missouri.edu/motorcycle-raffle for more information.