As a tribute to their late classmate, Kurtis Barton, and to ensure his commitment to community service, academic excellence and leadership live on at the OU College of Dentistry, the Class of 2017 is raising scholarship funds in memory of Kurtis Barton with a goal of $6,000. All funds raised through this campaign will be given back to dental students in the form of scholarships within the next 12 months -- every gift makes a difference! Thank you for your support in Kurtis's memory!
About Kurtis Barton:
Kurtis Barton would be in the process of completing his fourth and final year at the OU College of Dentistry. On Dec. 7, 2013, he passed away unexpectedly due to Addison’s disease, a rare autoimmune disorder. Son of Blaine and Ginger Barton and a brother to nine siblings, Kurtis grew up in Kennewick, Washington where he was involved in Boy Scouts, track and field, marching band and church activities. He earned his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University before attending the OU College of Dentistry.
His fellow classmates recall him being academically gifted, an individual of high integrity, a good friend, an active church member -- very strong in his faith, and someone who challenged himself to go beyond what was expected. He supported his fellow classmates and was always one to lend a hand when someone was in need.
Kurtis never hesitated to serve and nothing was beneath him. As an extremely compassionate, driven individual with a heart for service, Kurtis completed a two-year Latter Day Saints mission in the Las Vegas, Nevada area prior to attending dental school. While in college, he volunteered in the Big Brother mentoring program for teens, and this service-oriented attitude continued as he threw himself full-force into helping with local tornado recovery efforts upon his move to Oklahoma.
He was an active goal-setter. Extremely self-motivated, Kurtis would often set the benchmark for performance in the academic setting. Although he excelled, it was not his defining factor -- he truly enjoyed the journey. Demonstrating a hard work ethic, he maintained some form of employment since the age of 12, a habit that enabled him to remain debt free until dental school, financing his two-year mission with the LDS church and later undergraduate degree.
Despite all of Kurtis's many accomplishments, they were not without their difficulties. These major challenges took their toll on Kurtis. Unaware of his condition, he would often push through the symptoms of extreme stress. The deficiency in the stress hormone, cortisol, altered his ability to physically cope and eventually overcame him. Kurtis was courageous to continue on through these moments and to accomplish all that he did despite this infirmity.
Click here to see the complete memorial video for Kurtis Barton.