CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 9, 2012 – The Dr. James F. Cooper Pre-Med Scholarship has been endowed through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.
Jane Cooper Stacy, former director of Alumni Services at Southeast, completed funding for the endowed scholarship established by her brother, Dr. James F. Cooper.
The renewable scholarship will be awarded to a student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in preparation for medical school with a 3.0 overall grade point average. The Pre-Med Advising Committee will select the recipient.
A Charleston, Mo., native, Dr. Cooper, who died in January, was a physician and surgeon for the St. Louis Police Department. Cooper held a medical degree from Baylor University College of Medicine where he studied under Dr. Michael DeBakey and Dr. Stanley Crawford. Although he was not a Southeast graduate, he felt a loyalty to Southeast Missouri State and the students who attend, according to his sister, Jane Cooper Stacy.
Cooper began his career at the old St. Louis City Hospital. In 1967, he was drafted into the Army and was sent to a hospital in Bien Hoa early in the Vietnam War. He once told family members in a letter that 577 operations were conducted and 915 pints of blood were given during the course of a month.
Gen. William Westmoreland invited Cooper to serve at a hospital far from the war zone. Cooper stayed there for a short stint before returning to St. Louis and his position as a surgeon for the St. Louis Police Department. Because of the personal attention he gave to his patients, police officers inducted Cooper as an honorary member of the St. Louis Police Officers Association, in appreciation for the treatment he provided them.
Cooper served 25 years on the staff of DePaul Hospital and was later named Chief of Surgery. He also served as medical director for the St. Louis Labor Health Institute and later retired to Charleston, Mo., leaving on trips to work on Native American reservations in Arizona, Oklahoma and Washington.