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Unforgettable Legacy: The Samantha Lin Memorial Scholarship

During her time at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, Samantha Lin left an indelible mark with her intellectual curiosity, kindness and unwavering passion.

Fellow CVM students, faculty and staff will never forget Sam, a member of the Class of 2020 who died in a traffic accident last August. Today, we are proud to announce the endowment of the Samantha Lin Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship is funded through gifts from individual donors — alumni, CVM faculty and staff, students, friends of the college and North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation board members. Donations are matched with support from the college. The scholarship is also one of the Class of 2020’s gifts to the CVM as several students contributed to the endowment. 

The number of individual donations — 91 as of Thursday — speaks to how much Sam was admired and appreciated, both by those who were close to her and those who never got the chance to meet her.

“The incredible wave of generosity that created this new endowed scholarship in Samantha Lin’s name demonstrates the resilience and strength of the college and its friends and supporters,” says Lunn. “Seeing how her incredible classmates, and many others throughout the college, responded to this terrible blow was revelatory and helped us get through a dark time.”

The endowed scholarship, which will support fourth-year DVM students interested in surgery, research and teaching, reflects Sam veterinary interests. She had wanted to be a veterinarian since she was 4 years old. When she earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, Sam was one of just two members of her class with veterinary medicine aspirations. Her senior thesis at Harvard was on canine comparative genetics.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Sam chose to attend the CVM rather than a veterinary school closer to home after visiting North Carolina. Before entering the college, Sam spoke with us about connecting with Mathew Gerard, CVM professor of anatomy. She told Gerard that she was interested in becoming a surgeon and asked about research opportunities. “It wasn’t a hard decision for me after that,” Sam told us. 

“Losing Samantha Lin was the worst thing that has happened to me in my career,” says Lunn. “She was a leader in every regard and rightly loved throughout the college for her spirit, ability, generosity and warmth.”

The Class of 2020 has also honored Sam with one of this year’s Sarah Watson Brown Awards, given to a student who displayed exceptional patient care and contributed to the success of fellow students and the veterinary hospital. A brick with Sam’s name will be added to the CVM campus’ Walk of Honor. 

On May 8, Sam will once again be with her CVM class as they graduate during the Oath and Hooding Ceremony. She will posthumously receive her DVM. The Class of 2020 will wear a ribbon with Sam’s initials in her memory.

“The scholarship is also our gift to the Class of 2020, which did not deserve the unkind challenges they have faced but has risen above it all,” says Lunn. “We have not, and likely will never, graduate a stronger class.”

~Jordan Bartel/NC State Veterinary Medicine

To contribute to the Samantha Lin Memorial Scholarship and honor Sam and the CVM Class of 2020, click here.