Nov 23, 2021 - COVID
Meharry Medical College's Thanksgiving surprise
The front of Meharry Medical College
Photo courtesy of Meharry Medical College

Meharry Medical College is using some of its COVID-19 relief funds to give each of its students $10,000 in time for Thanksgiving.

  • College president James Hildreth made the surprise announcement Monday, acknowledging the challenges the school's 956 students had faced during the pandemic.

What's happening: "We felt that there was no better way to begin distributing these funds than by giving to our students who will soon give so much to our world," Hildreth told students in a video message.

  • Hildreth encouraged students to put the money toward their education and training rather than "tempting" Black Friday sales, but the final decision is up to them.

What they're saying: Student Benson Joseph tells Axios he and his classmates greeted the news with waves of shock and celebration.

  • "We were all joyful," Joseph says. "It was nothing but pure elation."

Flashback: Meharry students formed the backbone of Nashville's early response to COVID-19. Volunteers from the historically Black college have staffed city-run testing sites.

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