New Heersink gift to UAB will benefit students in the Wiregrass

$2.3 million will establish 3 endowed scholarships

Dr. Marnix E. Heersink and Mary Heersink at home in Dothan. Photo courtesy of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

A $2.3 million gift from University of Alabama at Birmingham benefactors Dr. Marnix E. Heersink and Mary Heersink will establish three endowed scholarships.

Those scholarships will support health professions, optometry and pre-optometry students.

The pledge includes $1.04 million to the School of Health Professions – the largest scholarship gift in the school’s history – to establish the Heersink Family Foundation Endowed Scholarship in Health Professions. The gift will be used to assist students from southeast Alabama, with preference given to students who accept internships in the southeastern Alabama region.

A $936,000 gift creates the Heersink Scholars Pathways to Optometry Endowed Scholarship in the UAB School of Optometry, with priority given to students from the Pathways Programs at Wallace State Community College-Dothan, Troy University and/or the UAB College of Arts and Sciences.

A $316,000 gift establishes the Heersink Wiregrass Pathway to Optometry Endowed Scholarship, benefitting students from southeast Alabama enrolled in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences who have declared the UAB pre-optometry route.

- Sponsor -

“Mary and I have had the privilege of living in the wonderful southeastern Alabama community of Dothan for 46 years,” said Marnix Heersink, whose family has pledged more than $100 million to UAB. “During that time, we have realized and understood that the future of health care and our area depends on training, motivating and empowering students to return to the Wiregrass to serve our area. Our goal is to provide a means, and a pathway for local students to continue their education at the next level, and then have an opportunity to become health professionals, including optometry.”

The latest Alabama business news delivered to your inbox