How Your Gifts Help the Department of Biological Sciences

Giving Back—the Rod and Cele Flanary Pre-Medical Scholarship

Rod Flanary grew up in Indiana in a low middle class family and had the opportunity to attend Purdue University at minimal cost with the aid of scholarships and grants. Rod and his wife Cele graduated from Purdue, he in Biology (BS ‘71) and she in Social Science (BA ‘73). Rod went on to the Indiana University Medical School, again incurring little debt with the help of financial aid. “I feel very fortunate,” said Rod, “to have received an excellent education at both Purdue and Indiana without the large debt that many students currently incur.”

After 25 years in Michigan building a multi-specialty group and raising a family, the Flanarys are back at Purdue and would like to start “giving back.” Rod is a staff physician and Internal Medicine consultant to the Purdue University Student Health Center, and Cele is the Associate Director of Special Events for the College of Engineering. They have recently endowed a scholarship for pre-medical students in the Department of Biological Sciences to be awarded for the first time in 2007.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be biology majors with at least a 3.65/4.0 GPA and a score of 10 or higher on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Preference will be given to students who plan to attend the Indiana University Medical School. By making Indiana the preferred school, Rod and Cele want to encourage students to stay in state for their medical training. In addition, they hope that the scholarship will encourage students to do their pre-med training in the Department of Biological Sciences and get their degree in Bioscience.  

The idea for endowing a scholarship developed when their neighbor and Department Head, Richard Kuhn, asked Rod to serve on the Biological Sciences Alumni Advisory Committee. “Looking at the various needs of the department,” said Rod, “we thought that a good way to give back would be to establish a pre-med scholarship.” Cele added, “We really liked the thought, too, that it matched with the Bindley Scholarship money. So what we pledged was doubled.” The Bindley Challenge provides matching funds to newly endowed scholarships in the life sciences.

“Purdue is a tradition for us,” said Rod. “My wife and I have six Purdue graduates in our immediate family. For us, Purdue is family, and it was our time to start ‘giving back.’”

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