Every year the SCMS Foundation awards two $1,000 scholarships to local high school students who demonstrates extraordinary scholarship, integrity, and a strong interest in science. These awards are known as the Dr. Luis Perez and Dr. Willie Newman Scholarships.
Dr. Luis Perez Scholarship
In honor and memory of
Dr. Luis M. Perez 1928 - 1988
Those who knew Dr. Luis Perez realized that he was passionate about many things: his wife and family; the importance of education; his home country Cuba; his adopted country the United States; and his medical practice. All these attributes are reflected in the Seminole County Medical Society “Dr. Luis Perez Scholarship” award.
Dr. Perez and his wife Dr. Maria Perez left Cuba in 1956, and eventually moved to Sanford in 1962 where he practiced internal medicine and cardiology until his premature death in 1988. By that time he had truly become a fixture in Seminole County.
Dr. Perez had many core beliefs. One of the main ones was his strong belief in community service, to which he dedicated his life. In 1976 he received national recognition when the American Medical Association presented him with the Dr. Benjamin Rush Award for community service. This was no small honor. Dr. Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and left a small bequest in his will to be presented to the most community-active doctor in America on the nation’s 200th birthday – the bicentennial. By winning the Dr. Benjamin Rush award in 1976, Dr. Luis Perez was recognized as the most community-minded doctor in America.
Dr. Perez loved the medical profession, and was very active in the SCMS. When he was elected as the President of the Florida Medical Association in 1986, he became the first foreign medical graduate to serve as President of a state medical association.
Dr. Perez also believed in the importance of integrity & education. He often said that he and his wife left Cuba wealthy, because although they had no material assets, they had arrived in a free country with an education and an ability to do whatever they wanted. He had a passion about making sure that anyone wanting to go to college could get there.
When Dr. Perez passed away in 1988, it was only appropriate that the Society created the “Dr. Luis Perez Scholarship Fund” in his honor. Every year this $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a high school senior who reflects scholarship, integrity, and a strong interest in science.
Dr. Benjamin Rush
Obtain information on the fascinating Dr. Rush here.
Dr. Willie Newman Scholarship
The SCMS Foundation has established a perpetuating scholarship to honor Dr. Willie Newman's 25 years of service to the women of Seminole County, to be given to a deserving high school student interested in the field of medicine.
Read the article about Willie Newman, MD, JD, written for the July, 2007 issue of Central Florida Doctor magazine by Heather Kinghorn.
The Newman Scholarship Fund: The SCMS Foundation is in the process of collecting contributions to create an endowment for this fund. Tax deductible contributions should be made out to
"SCMSF/Newman Scholarship Fund" and sent to:
1215 E. Robinson Street
Orlando, FL 32801