At Washington University, the stories of past benefactors live on and renew in the lives of today’s students. Their support continues to open the doors to the university experience for individuals of every background. By including the university in your estate plans, you invest in the future and enter a tradition of planned giving that stretches back to our earliest years.
Marilla Eddy Comstock
Committed to expanding educational opportunity, Marilla Eddy Comstock honored her husband, T. Griswold Comstock, MD, with a planned gift of $12,000 to endow a medical school scholarship. Since 1928, that gift has gone from helping one student to 26—and counting. Today, Marilla’s bequest continues to commemorate her husband’s commitment to exceptional training in the delivery of community-focused medical care.
A Pioneering Commitment
Despite his New England roots and Mayflower ancestry, T. Griswold Comstock, MD, departed the east coast as a young man to study medicine in St. Louis in the mid-19th century. After training at St. Louis Medical College—which would later become part of Washington University Medical School—Comstock established his practice in the city. Later, he would marry the daughter of a prominent local family, Marilla Eddy. Comstock had found his home.
Between 1855-1857, Comstock briefly left his Midwestern training grounds to travel Europe. His purpose was singular: to observe clinical practice in the great hospitals of the capitals—Paris, Prague, London, and Berlin—and to master the newest techniques in maternal and obstetric care. He returned to St. Louis with a second doctorate in obstetrics and introduced leading-edge maternal medicine to a community he deeply valued and the women of that community whose health he championed. Attuned to an equivalent lack of formal pediatric practice, he would ultimately serve as the founding president of the medical staff of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, later affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine. Not merely an advocate for the medically marginalized, Comstock was also the first man in the city of St. Louis to publicly endorse a woman’s right to vote.
Sustaining a Commitment to Community
Today, it is perhaps only fitting that Jacqueline (Jackie) Hampton, MD Class of 2023—a fourth-year Missouri-born medical student who cites St. Louis and the regional community as an abiding professional motivation—is a beneficiary of the Comstock bequest. As Jackie has just matched and obtained an internal medicine residency at WashU, there is little doubt that she will continue to diagnose, treat, and protect patients of all backgrounds in St. Louis and its surrounding region.
“Comstock advanced medicine to help his own community—the same St. Louis community I love. And WashU is a huge part of that. My goal is to stay in this community and state that I really care about and advance medicine and health while delivering really good bedside patient care …” Jacqueline Hampton, MD Class of 2023
The first to complete college in her family and the first to pursue a graduate degree, Jackie could not have attended WashU without the support of the T. Griswold Comstock Scholarship. As a physician, she will expand the benefit of that original generosity into the St. Louis community, preserving the Comstock legacy well into the 21st century.
join the tradition and change future lives
Such narratives of impact can be your story, too. Start writing your future legacy and plan a gift today.
Lasting legacy: Eliza (Lizzy) McMillan
Eliza (Lizzy) McMillan viewed education as integral to social mobility, and WashU was a prime beneficiary of her philanthropy. Lizzy prioritized access to education through scholarships, focusing her giving on marginalized students.
With an estate bequest in 1915, Lizzy established an endowed scholarship that has benefited more than 500 students over 100 years.
Starting with a sum of $107,148, the Eliza McMillan Scholarship is currently valued at roughly $5 million and continues to provide robust and flexible support for WashU students. Given its average annual payout of about $180,000 today, Eliza McMillan’s bequest was not merely prescient in its stipulations — it was timeless.
Paying it forward
Janell Kim, AB ’20, grew up in a low-income, immigrant household in Oregon. College was never a theme of family conversation and the idea of attaining a university education was not in the plans.
After a chance engagement with a college prep nonprofit, Janell set her sights on a different future.
In her senior year of high school, Janell applied successfully to WashU and received full-tuition support that included funds from the Eliza McMillan Scholarship. Janell graduated with a degree in education and has come full circle. She now works for the same college prep program that sparked her interest in higher education and is pursuing a graduate degree in educational counseling. Describing the role of the scholarship in her life, Janell has said it had an “impact beyond what you can imagine… There is a ripple effect, and not just a ripple effect—it’s exponential.”