FORT WORTH -- The inaugural class of 60 students in Fort Worth’s new M.D. program will receive free tuition for their first year of school thanks to a gift from a Fort Worth businessman.

The first medical students at the new TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, scheduled to open in July 2019, will be known as Dorman Scholars in honor of Paul Dorman, chairman and CEO of Fort Worth-based DFB Pharmaceuticals.

The amount of the donation, called the H. Paul Dorman Charter Scholarship Program, was not disclosed, but TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini described it as “a ton of money.”

The M.D. school is a partnership of TCU and the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

Since it is under the TCU banner, tuition is expected to be more than $50,000 a year, meaning the donation should be worth at least $3 million.

In a statement, Dorman said the new program will be a catalyst for Fort Worth.

“I understand the need for exceptionally trained physicians and I believe the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine team is creating the right formula to prepare students to practice medicine in the future,” Dorman said. “This school will change the medical and economic landscape of our community and I can’t wait to meet the students who will make up the first class.”

The idea for free tuition came from a similar program at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where the first class of 40 students received full scholarships for all four years of medical school that totaled $7 million. That school’s first class started in 2009.

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