Dental Foundation, Scholarships

Family Bequest Establishes Sowter Merit Scholarship

The Dental Foundation of North Carolina (DFNC) is establishing a new merit-based scholarship for UNC School of Dentistry D.D.S. students thanks to a $366,000 charitable remainder trust donated by the late Dr. John “Jack” Sowter and Mrs. Jackie Sowter. The scholarship will be named for Dr. Sowter, who taught at the school for a total of nearly 40 years before retiring in 2010. Dr. Sowter also spent a number of years in private practice.

Dr. Bill Sowter, D.D.S. ’80, son of Dr. Sowter, worked closely with the DFNC to oversee the set-up of the scholarship. He believes his father would be pleased the generous contribution will assist D.D.S. students financially for years to come.

“My dad was generous and giving and loved working with his students,” said Dr. Bill Sowter. “I think he’d be happy the money is going into a merit scholarship to help dental students lessen their financial burden.”

DFNC annually awards more than $350,000 in scholarships and fellowships to dental assisting, dental hygiene, D.D.S. and post-D.D.S. students. Of the scholarships awarded, the majority are considered need-based scholarships. While they take into account the student’s academic qualifications, the primary criterium is the student qualifies for financial aid. Merit-based scholarships, such as the one that will carry Dr. Sowter’s name, can go to a D.D.S. student who does not qualify for financial aid.

“We’re looking forward to being able to award another scholarship to deserving students each year based on merit,” said Paul Gardner, executive director of DFNC. “One of the things DFNC is most proud of is our ability to assist all types of students, but we wouldn’t be able to do that without generous contributions from people like the Sowters. The tax-deferred giving vehicle they used to make this gift is a great way for donors to produce income for themselves or beneficiaries and provide support for the DFNC after their passing. We’re grateful for their generous gift.”

Students will be able to apply for the new merit-based scholarship beginning in the 2013-14 academic year.

Dr. Sowter passed away on April 11, 2012 and Mrs. Sowter died on August 21, 2012. Dr. Bill Sowter lives in Morrisville and practices in Raleigh.