CMU graduate contributes over $5.1 million to College of Medicine

New endowed scholarship honors care and empathy of students, residents

| Author: University Advancement | Media Contact: Aaron Mills

The estate of Central Michigan University alumnus Bruce E. Livingston has made a gift of more than $5.1 million to provide scholarships for students enrolled in the university’s College of Medicine. The gift, which will create the Bruce E. Livingston Endowed Medical Scholarship, is the largest in the medical school’s history and will create a lasting legacy at the university.

“CMU is honored by the generosity of Mr. Livingston,” said CMU President Bob Davies. “His gift is a tribute to the character and quality of our medical students and honors the experience he had while attending CMU as a student.”        

Livingston grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Central Michigan University in 1961, with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in both Social Science and English, and again in 1969, with a Master of Arts degree in English. Livingston’s endowment states that he felt welcomed as a CMU student and had fond memories of his time on campus. He remained in the region throughout his life, serving his community as an educator.  

Several years back, Livingston was admitted to a regional hospital for treatment and received care from CMU medical students and residents. Although he had always feared hospitals, Livingston said the students’ empathy and compassionate care lessened his anxiety and calmed his fears. Those impactful visits were the impetus for Livingston’s decision to create an endowment in support of the College of Medicine.

“I’m extremely proud of our medical students who exemplified compassion and humanism in the care delivered to Mr. Livingston. This is what I believe sets our students apart,” said George E. Kikano, MD, dean of the CMU College of Medicine and vice president of Health Affairs at CMU. “Because of this generous gift, it will be possible for hundreds of future physicians to fulfill their dreams, and for the College of Medicine to realize its mission of creating healthier, thriving communities.”

Livingston passed away in 2021. The Bruce E. Livingston Endowed Medical Scholarship, established by his estate in 2023, will support students enrolled in the College of Medicine. It will assist qualifying students with the cost of attendance and a portion is allocated for student research. Preference will be given to students who reside in Michigan.

Payton Wolbert is a Michigan resident and a member of the CMU College of Medicine class of 2026. He has been the recipient of other scholarships and knows firsthand how important financial help is for medical students. 

“Not all aspiring physicians can afford to attend medical school, including many from Michigan who wish to practice medicine in their home state,” Wolbert said. “Scholarships like this are critical because they keep students connected to the region and allow them to focus on becoming an excellent physician instead of worrying about finances.” 

Jennifer Cotter, CMU’s vice president for advancement, said Livingston’s support will have a lasting impact.

“Students will continue to benefit from his generosity for generations,” Cotter said. “CMU is honored to carry out his legacy of lifting up the next generation of compassionate physicians who will serve our communities.”

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