Surprise Gift Honors Birthday, Scholarship Needs

Three women and one man standing side-by-side smiling at the camera.

For her husband’s birthday, Pat Lord, PhD, wanted to make an impactful gift to an inspiring cause. She didn’t realize, at first, just how perfect her choice would be to support a scholarship for minority medical students at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Pat teaches biology at Wake Forest, and her husband Richard Lord Jr., MD, is chair and professor of family and community medicine at the School of Medicine. Both Lords are Wake Forest medical school alumni. Their youngest son is African American, and Pat chose to make a gift to the Gordon-Watts Scholarship Fund to celebrate Richard’s birthday.

A man and woman standing side-by-side looking at the camera.

The Gordon-Watts Scholarship was established to help achieve and sustain diversity in the medical school’s student body. It was named in memory of Dr. Joseph Gordon, the medical school’s first director of minority affairs; and in honor of Velma Watts, PhD, associate professor emerita of medical education who formerly served as assistant dean for student affairs and director of minority affairs with the medical school.

A longtime colleague of Richard’s in family and community medicine, Brenda Latham-Sadler, MD, was one of the donors who helped establish the Gordon-Watts Scholarship. Dr. Latham-Sadler is now senior associate dean for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion for the academic enterprise.

Pat soon found out that Richard’s connections to the scholarship run even deeper: Watts was one of Richard’s elementary school teachers. When Pat learned of that connection, she knew she had found the perfect scholarship to support with a gift.

The donation was a surprise gift, and other members of the Lords’ extended family are giving as well.

A group of medical students sitting in class.