Family honors late father with medical scholarship

Dr. Sandy Echols Marshall, a graduate from the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and a practicing dermatologist, with her husband Robert, have endowed a scholarship to the Marshall University medical school in memory of her father.

The late William J. Echols, M.D. dedicated his life’s work to the advancement of medicine. The scholarship has been established in order to continue his legacy.

“Bob and I have always been grateful to Dad for his encouragement, love and support,” Marshall said in a press release. “This scholarship program is a wonderful way to pay it forward and honor Dad and the profession he loved so much.”

Echols moved to Huntington in 1970 after serving as a captain in the United States Air Force, where he practiced medicine until his retirement in 2005. He was a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and earned his medical degree from West Virginia University. He was a native of Richwood, West Virginia and was a third-generation physician.

The scholarship, known as the William J. Echols, M.D., Memorial Scholarship, is designated for first year medical students.

Linda Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs for the School of Medicine, said there is a preference given to students from Nicholas County, as that is where William Echols grew up, and second preference is given to students from Cabell County. The reward is also renewable for three additional years pending normal academic progress.

“It’s always special when a donor honors a parent through their giving,” Holmes said in a press release

The scholarship is particularly special to the School of Medicine because Echols was instrumental in the creation and success of the medical school and also a founding member of the Huntington Internal Medical Group.

“It is great to see alumni honoring their loved ones by giving back to their school,” Holmes said.