OGDEN, Utah – The Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation has announced a $1 million gift to Weber State University, the largest single gift ever given by the foundation.
The generous donation commemorates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Dumke Foundation.
The Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation was founded in Ogden in 1958 by Dr. Dumke and his wife, Edna Wattis Dumke. The foundation has reflected the Dumkes’ lifelong commitment to healing and the betterment of their fellow man. During the past half-century, The Dumke Foundation has given millions of dollars to numerous organizations and charities in northern Utah, including Weber State University, the Midtown Community Health Center in Ogden, the Egyptian Theater Foundation, Children’s Aid Society of Utah, the Treehouse Children’s Museum, the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College and McKay-Dee Hospital.
“To recognize the foundation’s 50th anniversary, we wanted to make our most significant gift,” said Claire Ryberg, a member of the Dumke Foundation Board and a granddaughter of Dr. and Mrs. Dumke. “We are so proud to support such a wonderful institution as Weber State University. It continues to serve the same community that my grandparents dedicated their lives to serving.”
The $1 million gift will support two areas at WSU. Half of the money will be used to establish an endowment that will fund scholarships in health sciences at WSU. The Department of Health Sciences within the Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions at WSU helps students meet the prerequisite course work needed to pursue degrees in 19 health professional programs at the university, including the recently added associate’s degree in health sciences.
“The creation of this endowment will allow future generations of health care providers to carry on Dr. Dumke’s legacy of compassion and exceptional patient care,” said Marie Kotter, chair of the Department of Health Sciences. “We are so grateful to the Dumke Foundation for this incredible investment in our students and their education.”
The endowment will fund 10 annual scholarships valued at $2,000 each, to be awarded to freshman or sophomore students majoring in health sciences and carrying a 3.3 or higher grade point average. Additional consideration will be given to students who demonstrate volunteer service, leadership activities and/or have received special awards or recognition.
The other $500,000 will help fund the construction of the Hurst Lifelong Learning Center on the Ogden campus. This facility will adjoin the John A. and Telitha E. Lindquist Alumni Center, expanding the capacity of the Lindquist Center to host larger events for the campus, alumni, and community. It will also provide office space for Weber State University’s Continuing Education and University Advancement areas.
Dr. Dumke was a prominent physician in the Ogden area who pioneered the use of spinal anesthesia. He was instrumental in forming the Ogden Surgical Society. Saint Benedict’s Hospital, which opened its doors in 1946, owes its existence in a large part to Dr. Dumke’s efforts. He served as the first chief of staff at both St. Benedict’s and Dee Memorial hospitals in Ogden.
Mrs. Dumke was active in the community of Ogden and was a tireless supporter of the arts and cultural activities. She and her husband enjoyed traveling and the outdoors.
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