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Dr. James Hildreth, CEO of Meharry Medical College, announced that each student will receive $10,000 cash in federal COVID-19 relief funds on Wednesday.

Ahead of Thanksgiving, Meharry Medical College is gifting each of its more than 950 students $10,000 in cash to spend however they wish.

Meharry President and CEO Dr. James Hildreth announced the gifts via an internal message Monday.

Hildreth thanked Meharry staff for supporting the college’s mission.

“But mostly, I’m thankful for you, students, and the future of health care, public health and research that is entrusted to you,” Hildreth said. “That future looks bright.”

The funds are drawn from Higher Education Emergency Relief dollars that the college received from the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act passed by Congress last year.

“We felt that there was no better way to begin distributing these funds than by giving to our students who have given so much to our world,” Hildreth said in the video.

Meharry is not requiring students to use funds for educational expenses nor is it providing any accountability mechanism for students to report use of funds.

Instead, Hildreth encouraged students to “be good stewards.”

“I know Black Friday shopping is tempting, but you’d be well advised to use the funds to pay for expenses related to your education and training,” he said.

Money will be deposited in students’ accounts or available by check at the college’s cashier’s office on Wednesday.

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