Meharry Donors faces of generosity

Two years after his graduation from Meharry Medical College and, in honor of his parents, Jonathan Ashley Collis Johnson, M.D. '06, MBA created The Collis and Marsha Johnson Scholarship Endowment Fund. Each year, a scholarship is awarded to an outstanding, third-year dental student chosen by the dean of School of Dentistry.

Dr. Jonathan Johnson's father, Collis Johnson Jr., D.D.S. '73, started gifting to Meharry in 1983 and now, also gives toward the scholarship his son founded. He believes, "finances should not hinder [students], so if scholarships can, in some way,

reduce the level of stress, then I feel it a privilege and honor to pay it forward." Dr. Collis Johnson Jr. remembers struggling himself during his dental school years and feels a responsibility to his alma mater and to the young people who will be future health care leaders.

"Meharry has been one of very few certified institutions that
have generated high quality, outstanding and much noted African Americans, as well as other minority students, to pursue their careers in medicine, dentistry, research and other professional careers," said Dr. Collis Johnson Jr. "We, as seasoned alumni, should commit a portion of our time, talents and finances to ensure that future generations can depend on our support, encouragement and finances so they too, will realize their expected commitment to the school, to our people and to our society. Meharry was a gift to my future and it should be passed to the next generation of believers and achievers." Both feel that today's Meharry students are hardworking, dedicated and ready for the world of health care.

Dr. Collis Johnson Jr. is the owner and principal of Solo Practice of Family Dentistry in Denver. His son, Dr. Jonathan Ashley Collis Johnson, is the Mid-Atlantic surgical director for Advantage Wound Care Surgical Group and is based in Maryland and Washington, D.C.