By Michelle Durham

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Officials at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University received a tremendous gift last week: more than $1 million, earmarked for scholarships to students of the new medical school.

The donation was made to the Rowan Foundation by Comcast Corporation Senior Vice President Lawrence Salva and his wife, Rita.

Salva is a Rowan University alumnus.

“A million dollars will flow into an endowment that will permanently fund, annually, four-year scholarships to one or more students,” he explains. “(An) additional $55,000, combined with earnings from the endowment, will fund the initial grant of $100,000 in scholarships to the initial charter class.”

That first class begins August 2012.

Dr. Paul Katz, dean of the medical school, says the average medical student has $160,000 of school debt by the time he or she graduates.

“Anything we can do to allow students to have less of an impact on the career decisions they make based on finances is great,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

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Michelle Durham