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Sally and David Harvin: A Family Tradition

Philanthropy and health care have bound the Harvin family to UTHealth for nearly a quarter of a century and have created a family tradition that is now in its third generation.

“It all began with David’s father,” Sally says. William C. Harvin III was a long time member of the UTHealth Development Board serving until his death in 2007. He also was chairman of the Texas Medical Center Board of Directors. At her late father-in-law’s urging, Sally joined the UTHealth Development Board in 1994.

Sally and David Harvin

The previous year, Sally had become a Lifetime Member of PARTNERS (Providing Advancement Resources To Nursing Education, Research, and Students) and was a member of the original PARTNERS Board of Directors. She later served as the board’s chair for two years. “I did it without hesitation because my mother, her sister, and my cousin were nurses,” she explains.

McGovern Medical School, however, became the Harvins’ main focus when their sons were training there. William graduated from McGovern Medical School in 2007 and completed his residency there in 2012. John graduated from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 2007 and completed his residency at UTHealth in 2012. Today, both brothers are assistant professors at McGovern Medical School.

“The Harvins have been wonderful friends to McGovern Medical School,” says Dean Barbara J. Stoll, MD, H. Wayne Hightower Distinguished Professor in the Medical Sciences. “With all of the Harvins’ support and involvement in the school over these years, the most generous gift they have given to us is their two sons.”

While their sons were in medical school, the Harvins realized so many of their friends confused UTHealth with other Texas Medical Center institutions. That confusion led them to help organize Friends of McGovern Medical School to increase community awareness of the education, research, and innovation happening every day at the school. As many as 200 guests attend the group’s bi-annual lecture and luncheon, where, as Sally explains, “guests select the topics, such as mental health or heart health, and the medical school selects the best doctors to talk about it.William and John Harvin

After Sally became a member of the McGovern Medical School Advisory Council in 2006, the Harvins learned the school did not have the funds to fulfill all scholarship requests. “We lost a lot of good students because of that,” Sally says.

In response, the Harvins established the Harvin Family Endowed Student Scholarship. In 2017, they took advantage of the Game Changers Initiative’s dollar-for-dollar match by enhancing the endowment through a $100,000 pledge. Kyle Bowers, a fourth-year medical student from San Antonio, Texas, is a recipient of the scholarship. “I want to make the best of their investment,” Bowers says. “They are making it possible for me to get my medical degree at UTHealth and to have the time to volunteer as a student ambassador for future medical students.”

Indeed, a Harvin family tradition is creating new traditions for future UTHealth families.

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