Since 1993, the J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation has provided scholarships for hundreds of medical students at Georgetown University. The late J.T. Tai, a Shanghai-born antiques dealer, started the foundation, and today, YC Chen, his friend and business partner for more than 40 years, maintains and oversees the daily operations.
According to Chen, the now-deceased Tai always recognized the high costs associated with medical education and saw scholarships as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people hoping to pursue careers as physicians. The foundation, she said, has always had a special interest in supporting the medical field because Tai believed scholarships are "an important and effective way of helping people."
"He also understood that whether you're old or young, rich or poor, everyone gets sick. Helping the next generation of doctors is something he was very passionate about doing," Chen explained.
Having supported so many students over the years, she has also formed close relationships with a number of current and former students. These relationships, Chen said, are the most rewarding part of her work with the foundation.
"Students come and visit, and we meet for lunch or have coffee," she added. "They will tell me about their lives, and I love that." Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., Dean for Medical Education is grateful for the generosity shown by the foundation over the years. "The Georgetown educational experience is centered in cura personalis—care for the psychological, spiritual, social, as well as physical, well being of the person. Their support allows students to focus more on careers of service and less on medical school debt."
Making Georgetown accessible to the very best students, regardless of finances, is integral to the university's mission and the highest priority of the For Generations to Come campaign.