honoring dr. roland a.
pattillo and his legacy

Dr. Pattillo was a stem cell research expert and was instrumental in creating the Annual HeLa Women's Health Conference at the Morehouse School of Medicine in honor of Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cells were harvested without her knowledge and used to create the world's first immortal human cell line.

JUNE 12TH,  1933 - MAY 3RD, 2023

The Dr. Terence N. Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund proceeded with plans last year, three months after the death of Dr. Pattillo. While focusing on the many tasks associated with the scheduled activities was challenging, it was also redeeming to insure that the scholarship continued, for Dr. Pattillo was not only an annual contributor but like many sponsors, individual contributors and Honorees, he believed his contributions were strategic in capturing brilliance from areas often categorized as “at risk”.

The Dr. Thomas scholars always defied stereotypes by showcasing documented intelligence and institutional tenacity and perseverance, for each applicant has a 3.0 GPA or better to be considered for the Dr. Thomas Fund. The fund truly “seeds success.” And Milwaukee continues to benefit from this  tangible generosity.
Dr. Roland Pattillo, and his wife, Patricia, gave $ 10,000 each year during the employment-earning period of Dr. Pattillo’s life; and in his retirement years, he continued to give minimally $2500 annually. Their personal donations exceeded $ 100,000. But that pales in the amount sponsors, attendees, alumni and members of the Board continue to give, now over $1 million for the ‘Best of the Best’.


Pattillo believed in the scholars. He gave references for three of the doctors who graduated, alumni of the Dr. Thomas Scholarship Fund. He encouraged and cheered on all of the medical aspirants annually, prodding them on how they were doing and sharing colleagues he knew from other institutions. In fact, Dr. Terence N. Thomas, for whom the scholarship is named, was the recipient of the same kind of inspiration long before Dr. Thomas’ death in 1991. Dr. Pattillo was a mentor to Dr. Thomas before his graduation from Michigan State Medical School in 1990.

The first contributions to the Dr. Thomas Fund, by the Thomas family, were given to the Medical College of Wisconsin, with Dr. Pattillo and Dr. Lauree Thomas, guiding the initial endowment. So it is fitting that the Dr. Thomas Fund welcome the Dr. Roland A. Pattillo Scholarship for medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and physicians' assistants.
Last year, Northwest Funeral Chapel gave the first $ 1000 to the Dr. Roland A. Pattillo Scholarship for medical scholars. They have already committed $ 1000 for 2024. And, the Pattillo family will give a $ 5000 donation this year toward the Dr. Roland A. Pattillo Scholarship for medical-profession aspirants; and a bequeath will follow posthumously.
Quality leaders, conscientious community-thought servants and committed professionals must pledge to continue the values and generosity to the fund that Dr. Pattillo loved. They must welcome future doctors and other medical professionals, particularly those who desire to be mentored and encouraged. They must seek those who have proven themselves capable and desirous of paying it forward, building another student who needs extra assurance.

Scholars who can benefit from being expectant about good grades and the ability to continue “seeding success” are the hope of this new scholarship. Give! Support! Encourage! Dr. Pattillo valued these principles. Medicine is a NOBLE PROFESSION.  With your support, Dr. Roland A. Pattillo’s legacy lives on! As does that of Mrs. Ernestine O’Bee and Dr. Thomas, as well. Each one has helped to reach one! Therein lies our growth!  Therein lies our ability to share the harvest and “seed success” in the future.

Over 1 million dollars awarded

Since 1996, Over One Million Dollars has been awarded to deserving young people so far. We are happy to report that we have had an average retention rate of  98% annually!

Remembering Mrs. O'bee

Black History makers regularly grace our pages; and in truth, Black history is made everyday. History makers are often our parents, a teacher, or mentor, a neighbor, pastor, or parishioner, a family member, a friend.

Learn more