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Mark Sobel Jr. Endowed Scholarship

Raised toward our $50,000 Goal
72 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 01, at 11:59 PM EST
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Support the Mark Sobel Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund!

You have the opportunity to honor Mark Sobel Jr.’s memory by donating to the Mark Sobel Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports undergraduate students at the University of Maryland pursuing careers in medicine. Mark Jr.’s dream was to one day become a doctor. Through this scholarship, others who aspire to the medical profession are realizing their dreams.

Mary Grace Sobel, Mark Sobel, Dominic Williams(L-R) Mrs. Mary Grace Sobel, Dr. Mark Sobel '82 and 2021-22 Sobel Scholar Dominic Williams '22Eight students have been awarded Mark Sobel Jr. Endowed Scholarships since the scholarship was established by the family in 2016. Five Sobel Scholars have already graduated with their bachelor's degrees in biological sciences--three of them are currently enrolled in medical schools and two are in the process of applying to medical school! The remaining three are finishing up their degrees, ready to pursue their dreams of becoming doctors.

With more money, we can give larger scholarships to more very deserving students. The scholarship is awarded annually and it will continue to be invested and grow to award more and more students in perpetuity. When the first scholarship was awarded, one student received nearly $2,000. Because of generous donors to this fund over the past five years, we've gone from awarding one scholarship per year to two--and each student receives more than $2,500 to address their high financial need. Your critical support on Giving Tuesday will allow us to support more students in need next year!

Thank you for reaching deep into your pockets, especially this year, which is the 10th anniversary of Mark Jr.'s passing. The deserving students at the University of Maryland will forever be in your debt!

About Mark Sobel Jr.

Mark Sobel Jr.Mark Sobel Jr.


Mark Sobel Jr. died unexpectedly in 2011 of a heart infection at the age of 17. He was an honor roll student at Middletown High School North in New Jersey where he was involved in the Kiwanis Youth Service Organization Key Club and the Science League and Class Council. He also played football, was an avid body builder and enjoyed the beach. His dream was to attend the University of Maryland and to one day become a doctor, just like his father.

As Mark Jr.’s life neared its end, his parents had to make the agonizing decision whether to donate his organs. As it came to be, Mark Jr.’s mother, Mary Grace, and his father, Mark—who is a former Maryland football player and orthopedic surgeon in New York and New Jersey—had struck up a friendship years earlier with Frank Romano. Mr. Romano was a fellow former Maryland football player who had been suffering from severe kidney issues. The Sobel family chose to donate Mark Jr.’s kidney to Mr. Romano, resulting in a successful, lifesaving gift. In a very real sense, Mark Jr. is still with us.

The Sobels and Frank Romano
(L-R) Mrs. Mary Grace Sobel, Frank Romano (B.S. '75, general studies) and Dr. Mark Sobel (B.S. '82, zoology)

A special thanks to Jess Atkinson of 3 Penny Films for producing the video for this campaign.

Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents.  Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax deductible as allowed by law.  Please see your tax advisor for details.

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