Medical Student from Crawfordsville Receives Hamilton Scholarship

By Spencer Watson

Jesse Wray

Wray received his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in May. While there, he was active in the Alpha Epsilon Delta premedical honors society, the Order of Omega Greek leadership honors society and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, for which he served terms as secretary, recruitment chairman and president. He was recognized as the outstanding fraternity chapter president at the university in the spring of 2013. Wray participated in undergraduate research in the field of astrobiology.

Wray’s volunteer activities during college included work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas and the Volunteer Action Center Literacy Program.

“I am extremely grateful to have received the Ralph Hamilton, M.D., Scholarship,” said Wray. “This scholarship is a blessing to myself and others that will help ease some of the financial burden that comes with an education in medicine.”

The Ralph Hamilton, M.D., Scholarship Fund was founded in Crittenden County almost 25 years ago to help local students in their quest to become doctors. UAMS began administering the scholarship this year.

“The board is pleased that UAMS is able to continue this fine scholarship that honors a truly great man,” said Steve Schoettle, M.D., a 1981 UAMS graduate and president of the local board that formerly administered the scholarship.

Hamilton was a family physician and the first chief of staff at Crittenden Memorial Hospital in West Memphis, Ark. He graduated from UAMS in 1934 and, following a medical internship in New Jersey, established his practice in West Memphis in 1936. Hamilton was widely known for his compassion and dedication to his patients and community during his 57 years in practice. He died in 1991.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state's Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — COPD, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and four dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.