Showing Appreciation Through Giving

Geneva Metzler Matlock

Geneva Metzler Matlock is supporting future research at UofL with a gift that gives back.

In 1956, Geneva Metzler Matlock was one of four females and 100 males entering the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Three years later, she was one of three females and 80 males who graduated. “I had to work really hard,” Geneva recalls. “I didn’t have as strong a background as I would have wished, but I persevered.”

The route to medical school was long and challenging. With her senior year of high school cut short due to teachers being drafted for World War II and the government purchasing the property of many families in her community in order to build a TNT-production site, Geneva entered Berea College at age 17. A year later, she married Melvin, her high school sweetheart.

Despite successful careers with Geneva working for the Board of Education and Melvin for the Illinois Central Railroad, both shared the dream of medical school. “No one pushed me in this direction,” Geneva states, “My family was filled with many professional people and Melvin and I just always knew we both wanted to be doctors.”

To accomplish this goal, Geneva and her husband built and operated a laundry and dry-cleaning business in Paducah, Kentucky, before heading to medical school. Business thrived with the construction of a new gaseous diffusion plant.

Geneva Metzler Matlock

Geneva and Melvin Matlock, M.D.s, anesthesiology interns, Battle Creek, Michigan, 1960-61.

Following medical school and a residency in anesthesiology in Battle Creek, Michigan, Geneva embarked on a highly fulfilling 25-year career in Utah and Southern California.

With very few other women working in anesthesiology, Geneva developed an excellent reputation and took great joy in learning new technologies and techniques in the rapidly advancing field. “I always had all the work I could handle,” she states. “I was eager to get up in the morning and the surgeons who requested me knew that I would be prompt and would take care of their patients.”

Entering her retirement years, Geneva learned from her undergraduate college that charitable gift annuities offered a way to give to her alma maters while also receiving a lifetime income stream.

Geneva Metzler Matlock

Geneva Metzler Matlock

She also realized that she, like her mother, had macular degeneration, which had left her mother blind for her last 10 years of life. To counter this devastating disease, the remainder of each of Geneva’s charitable gift annuities will ultimately be applied to stem cell research in the UofL’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (DOVS).

In recognition of the groundbreaking work done at UofL, Geneva expresses appreciation for recently retired DOVS Chair Dr. Henry Kaplan, as well as for UC Irvine’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, where she is now treated and where a former UofL resident is completing an ophthalmology fellowship.

Download your free guide on gifts that provide lifetime income to you, or contact the Office for Estate and Gift Planning at (502) 852-5051 or plannedgifts@louisville.edu to learn more about other ways to support UofL.