Dr. W. Bedford Waters, BA’70, MD’74, established the Irene Georgia Bedford Waters Scholarship in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine to honor his mother, whose compassion and encouragement brightened the world around her.
Irene Waters had the same expectation for her son that she had for herself: “Do your best.” His diligence in meeting her expectation earned him a John D. Rockefeller Scholarship at Vanderbilt.
When medical school tuition presented a barrier to becoming a doctor, an anonymous donor stepped forward. All the donor asked was, “Do your best.”
As the second African American graduate of Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine, Waters led the way for others. He went on to become chief resident in urology at The Harvard Program in Urology (Longwood Area) and to serve on the faculties of the University of Illinois and the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago.
Waters has transformed many lives as a physician, leader, teacher, mentor and friend. He is currently professor of surgery in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine.
At Vanderbilt he was elected to the Alumni Association Board of Directors in 1986. He now rallies alumni support for scholarships as a member of the Vanderbilt Medical Alumni Association Board and leader of the Knoxville Vanderbilt Chapter.
Third-year medical student Arter Biggs II is the first recipient of the Irene Waters Scholarship.