A Legacy of Gratitude and Generosity: Strickland family endows scholarships to support KCU students

By Haley Reardon Jan 17, 2024
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Two KCU doctors celebrate Strickland family scholarship made to support students

A scholarship from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) forever changed the trajectory of Darwin Strickland’s life and career. Though he had a lifelong dream of becoming a physician, financial barriers were an obstacle for the young Strickland and his wife, Suzanne. That changed the day he boldly walked into the Chicago headquarters of the AOA and asked for a chance to become an osteopathic physician. His sincerity and persistence impressed AOA leadership, who awarded a scholarship to the promising young physician. Four years later, as a member of the class of 1965, Strickland earned his DO from Kansas City University, then known as Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery. Throughout his long and prestigious career, Dr. Strickland never forgot the act of kindness and confidence that gave him his start. He has honored the AOA and osteopathic medicine by giving back to students who share the dream of becoming a DO.

Dr. Strickland knows firsthand the value of investing in students and has a deep desire to pay forward the generosity he received. He and Suzanne recently funded two additional endowed scholarships bringing the total number of scholarships generously given to KCU to 34. Each of the endowed scholarships funded by the Stricklands are named in honor of individuals whom they believe make a difference in the lives of students. Most recently, the Stricklands paid tribute to KCU Associate Professor of Internal Medicine Carol Kirila, DO, and College of Biosciences Dean Robert White, PhD by establishing endowed scholarships named in their honor.

“The Stricklands are driven by their profound sense of gratitude for the scholarship Dr. Strickland received at a critical moment in his own educational journey,’ said Jennifer Ingraham, vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement “Their generosity not only honors his alma mater, but it provides access to knowledge, unlocks potential, and creates a legacy of generosity that will impact Kansas City University for years to come.

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