WINGATE — Wingate University held a reception and dedication ceremony in Cuddy Arena on Dec. 8 to honor the Thomas Koontz family for their support and generosity. Koontz graduated from Wingate College with an associate’s degree in 1960 as valedictorian of his class. He also played basketball on a basketball scholarship while attending.
Upon his graduation, Koontz was the first junior college graduate to receive a Morehead scholarship to attend UNC-Chapel Hill where he double-majored in history and pre-med. Once he finished medical school, he completed his internship and surgery residency at Yale. Dr. Koontz served as a major in the Air Force in Florida and worked in a 22-bed hospital as chief of surgery for two years.
His career brought him back to North Carolina, and, for 35 years, he practiced in a multi-specialty group – Salem Surgical Associates, located in Winston-Salem. Dr. Koontz also initiated a major outreach project to help and serve others. He started a Doctors Care program in 1993 that has helped the working poor receive low-cost health care. To date, the program has given away more than $8 million of medical care in the Winston-Salem area.
Dr. Koontz remains a dedicated athletics enthusiast and continues to support the athletic programs at Wingate University. He is a charter member of Wingate University’s Bulldog Club.