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Profiles in Giving

To save a life

The emergency room was frantic the night of the motorcycle accident. Fifteen ER staff raced to save a life. Bryan Walker, A13, squeezed himself into a corner to observe and stay out of the way—until a doctor took the EMT student by the shoulders and stationed him at the foot of the bed.

Pay attention, was the silent message. Walker found it difficult not to, as the victim’s body involuntarily bucked with pain. The man’s left leg was nearly severed at the thigh. It would need to be amputated, the doctor said; the man’s life would change forever.

So would Walker’s. “The gravity of the experience caught me, and I wanted to do whatever was in my power to help,” he says. “That’s the day I knew I wanted to be a doctor.”

And he will, thanks in part to the Bennett Family Scholarship, generously established by Carol and John Bennett, J82P, J86P, for Arts and Sciences students headed to medical school. “There is a Tufts tradition in the Bennett family going back to the 1920s,” John Bennett says, explaining the genesis of the gift. Since then, five members of the family have graduated from Tufts or served on its faculty, including three physicians. The Bennetts know the cost of such an education, as well as the full value. “To be able to make a modest contribution to worthy students such as Bryan Walker is in recognition of what Tufts, a university of academic excellence, has provided to our family over the years,” Bennett says.

Premed and a math major, Walker has thrived at Tufts. As a Tufts Emergency Medical Services EMT, he’s learned to think on his feet, while also getting “a great introduction to patient care.” He’s also combining two of his passions, math and biology, in his senior honors thesis, which will focus on computational neuroscience.

Walker hopes to continue similar research at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he was accepted in his sophomore year as part of the Early Assurance program. Without financial support, he admits, he would not be at Tufts, let alone headed to medical school. The Bennett Family Scholarship, bestowed upon his acceptance to TUSM, ensures that he will. “I greatly appreciate the generosity of the Bennett family,” he says. “Without their help it would be really difficult for me and my family to afford Tufts. Their support has allowed me to make the most of my time here.”