Laura Moore Cunningham Endowed Scholarship for Idaho Medical Students
Laura Belle Moore Cunningham, daughter of the Idaho pioneer family that founded Idaho First National Bank, was born in 1869 and raised in Boise. Dedicated to her community, she was an active leader, donor, and volunteer. Robert E. Smylie, governor of Idaho from 1955 to 1967, reflected the community’s admiration for Mrs. Cunningham. “This great lady has been a part of Idaho life for so very long that it will be hard to imagine her absence,” said Smylie. “Her contribution to civic enterprise was the highest tradition of gracious citizenship.”
Mrs. Cunningham continues to serve the Idaho community through her foundation, founded upon her death in 1963 and sustained through the volunteer leadership of her family. One of Idaho’s oldest and largest charitable foundations, the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation provides more than 450 scholarships to Idaho students at community colleges and universities every year. In 2008, the foundation expanded Mrs. Cunningham’s legacy of providing educational opportunities in the Northwest by establishing an endowed scholarship at the UW School of Medicine. The scholarship will support Idaho students from the WWAMI program in their second year of medical studies.
Recipients will be second-year M.D. students from Idaho — Idaho residents who spent their first year of medical school in Idaho’s WWAMI program, a program affiliated with the University of Washington — and selection shall be based on financial need.
Mrs. Cunningham had a strong interest in supporting education in Idaho. In addition, the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, Inc. has a strong interest in supporting medical care in Idaho. For these reasons, the foundation has expressed a preference that, if possible, eligible students also fit one or more of the following criteria:
- have high academic ability;
- be a lifetime resident of Idaho;
- be from rural Idaho (areas outside Treasure Valley, Wood River Valley, and Coeur d’Alene);
- be first-generation college graduates;
- express an interest in primary or rural care; and
- intend to return to Idaho to practice medicine.