Posted: Oct 11, 2012 1:54 PM by Morgan Stephens
Updated: Oct 11, 2012 9:32 PM
COLUMBIA - MU announced a gift of $800,000 Thursday from the estate of George and Melna Bolm of Warren County. The gift will go to the MU School of Medicine. The gift will support research, mainly in cardiovascular and ophthalmology fields.
Chancellor Brady Deaton announced the gift at an event at the Reynolds Alumni Center. He said Melna was devoted to seeing "money turn into miracles."
This was the second time the Bolms had made a major gift to the School of Medicine. George Bolm suffered from heart problems and had several strokes over 15 years. After his death, Melna made a donation of $550,000 that established the Distinguished Professor in Cardiovascular Health at the school. The two gifts combined to $1.3 million for the School of Medicine
Melna's own medical experiences inspired her most recent gift. She suffered from macular degeneration, a condition that degrades vision usually in those of retirement age. She set up the estate gift before she passed away in 2011. It establishes a Distinguished Faculty Scholar in Ophthalmology. Dr. Dean Hainsworth was the first faculty member to receive this honor.
Though the Bolms were not Mizzou alumni, both were lifetime locals. George was a postal worker and his wife Melna was a teacher. Those close to them say that Melna believed in supporting MU because it was close to home and could use the help to save those where she lived.