Dr. May Louise Votaw and her late husband, Dr. Charles L. Votaw, who died Jan. 5. The couple has been associated with the ETSU James H. Quillen College of Medicine since its earliest days. Dr. Charles Votaw was the first associate dean for clinical affairs at ETSU's medical school, as well as a professor of anatomy.
His professional endeavors at ETSU included teaching in various medical subjects, the development of curriculum, serving as interim chair for several departments until permanent chairs could be hired and designing the "Pre-Medical Medical Program" in which ETSU undergraduates were admitted to medical school to integrate medical school courses with their undergraduate curricula.
Dr. May Votaw had a father who was a missionary and a mother who was a physician, both posted to India. Her parents instilled in her a desire to serve the medical needs of the people by becoming a physician. After she and her husband came from the University of Michigan to ETSU to join the medical school faculty, she recognized the need for quality medical care for people in underserved areas in rural Appalachia.
The working mother of three children was a professor of internal medicine and served many years as chief of the division of hematology/medical oncology, as well as medical director of the Johnson City Medical Center's Hospice Program from 1983 to 1995.
In addition, she initiated the Office of Women in Medicine in the Quillen College.
Both doctors established the Bertha B. Votaw Scholarship Endowment, named in honor of his late mother, for medical students needing financial assistance.
Over the years, the university has benefited from the Votaws' strong support, including Friends of Music, Friends of Theatre, WETS-FM public radio, the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services, the LeeAnne Brown and University Physicians Chair of Excellence, the Veterans Affairs Memorial Theatre Restoration, Women in Medicine, and the College of Pharmacy.