Janet Mundie's light shines for a new generation, thanks to scholarship in her name

Janet Mundie, whose former students established a scholarship in her honor, meets recipient Rachel Smith at the 2019 MCV Campus Endowed Scholarship Brunch.

To nearly 40 classes of medical students, the name Janet Mundie was synonymous with caring and comfort — an encouraging light during the often grueling days of medical school. Now a new generation of students will know her name, and her kindness and generosity, thanks to the Janet Mundie Scholarship.

Upon her retirement in 2014, Mundie's former students established the scholarship in her honor. Beloved is an understatement for the School of Medicine's one-time student services specialist, who helped more than 6,000 students find their residency matches.

"I'm especially grateful to have been awarded her scholarship as her legacy as a compassionate, caring and generous ally are qualities that I hope to emulate as a physician," says the Class of 2022's Rachel Smith. "In medicine, these gifts are often overlooked but I believe they are what truly impacts lives and her legacy is proof of that."

Smith met Mundie at the 2019 MCV Campus Endowed Scholarship Brunch in February. The annual scholarship brunch provides an opportunity for donors to the five health sciences schools to meet the scholarship recipients who are benefiting from their gifts and investments.

True to her caregiver reputation, Mundie was eager to meet Smith and offer her support.

"It's great for donors to meet and get to know their students," Mundie says. "It lets the students know we care about them."

 Upon learning Smith was from Arizona, Mundie says she wanted Smith to know she could count on her for advice and guidance even beyond medicine. "Being so far away and alone here in Virginia, I'd like to keep in touch and be there for her in case she needs other things outside of medical school."

This year, donors helped lighten the burden for more health sciences students than ever before, as the number of endowed scholarships at the MCV Foundation grew to 413 funds and paid out $2.7 million in scholarship awards.

"Being awarded a scholarship reminds me that I am not in this crazy journey alone," says Smith, who also holds an Aesculapian Scholarship, established through the School of Medicine's Annual Fund. "I have people I don’t even know who believe in my capability and gifts enough to generously donate so that I can achieve my dream of becoming a physician. It motivates me to continue to pursue excellence in my studies and makes me want to become a donor so that I can encourage and impact future students in such a powerful way."

The Janet Mundie Scholarship was created as part of the 1838 Campaign, which aims to provide meaningful scholarship support for students with financial need. The $25 million campaign will build the medical school's scholarship endowment into a resource on par with peer schools.

In the Class of 2018, only 49 students graduated debt-free. The rest carried an average debt of more than $200,000. Full- and half-tuition scholarships are most urgently needed as they are one of the medical schools best resources for recruiting and rewarding top students.