In June of 2009, the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation launched an initiative to answer Mrs. Edwards’ final wishes that the remaining portion of the Edwards’ Estate be used to fund the education of medical students. To that end, the foundation has developed The Edwards Scholar Program at Case Western Reserve University and is working on expanding Mrs. Edwards’ vision into numerous communities in America.
The backbone of The Edwards Scholar Program is the pipeline of the Edwards Scholars selected from the greater Cleveland area that represent each of 8 years of study required to obtain a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Starting with the first Edwards Scholar selected in 2012, Nichelle Ruffin, the program will boast its first graduate from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 2020. As an Edwards Scholar, the Joan C. Edwards Scholarship funds tuition, room, board and other expenses of attendance during the course of the recipient’s undergraduate career at Case Western Reserve University, as well as their four years at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.