William B. Mullins MD Merit Scholarship
Dr. William B. Mullins was passionate about life and his career. He desired to help others but with little fanfare.
"He was always helping somebody, but he kept most of it to himself. I had no idea how much he donated to MCG until after he was gone," said Mullins' widow, Martha.
More than 20 years after Dr. Mullins, who died in 2014 at the age of 81, first approached the Medical College of Georgia Foundation about establishing a scholarship, Thomas Thompson became the first recipient of the William B. Mullins MD Merit Scholarship. The award is based on merit and need. Thompson received $5,000.
And Mrs. Mullins thinks her husband would be happy with that news.
"He loved people. He loved everybody especially encouraging them."
The youngest of nine children, Dr. Mullins was inspired by his eldest brother, Dr. Frank Mullins, a pathologist who founded Mullins Laboratory, who was 18 years his senior.
"He was very smart," Mrs. Mullins said of her husband of 59 years. "He skipped the first grade and started college at 15 and medical school at 18. He graduated a month before he turned 23. He was a very young doctor."
He attended Emory University and graduated from the University of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia. He joined his brother at Mullins Laboratory in 1963 and was a lecturer at MCG. He was also on the medical staff at several community hospitals in Georgia and South Carolina. He took over Mullins Lab after the death of his brother in 1973 and retired in 2003.
"His work was his life. He worked 70 hours a week."
The couple had five sons, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
When he did have spare time, he liked to spend it outdoors. In 1981, he moved his family to 27 acres in Edgefield County, which continues to provide a peaceful haven for his wife. He liked hunting and fishing although according to Mrs. Mullins, he wasn't a professional fisherman. He liked to sit in the boat and just cast his rod. If he caught something, so be it; if not, he'd cast again, she said.
If Dr. Mullins was here to give advice to the first recipient of the scholarship bearing his name, his wife thinks he would have kept it simple and possibly said something like "study hard and learn all you can."