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Dr. Bob inspires WHS senior scholarship

Dr. Robert McIntyre, simply known as “Dr. Bob” around Westwood, was known for his love and dedication to his four sons, his wife Susan, and the town he called home. Westwood residents were stunned last March when the popular Chief of Internal Medicine at South Shore Hospital died in a scuba diving accident while vacationing in Florida with his brothers.

“He was an incredibly caring doctor,” recalled family friend Trish Conway. “He was also very community oriented.” Conway was one of a group of McIntyre family friends who created the Dr. Robert McIntyre Memorial Scholarship. The $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to a graduating Westwood High School (WHS) senior to help further their education.

“We didn’t want this to be like so many others where you had to have a certain GPA,” explained Conway. “Anyone who has an interest in doing something in the medical field can apply. They don’t have to be pursuing a career as a doctor. Perhaps they want to be a dental hygienist or a paramedic. The recipient will be someone who shows a true spirit of service and community and desire to help others.” The group raised enough money to fund the scholarship for the next 5 years. It is one of many Westwood Community Scholarships which are available to the WHS Class of 2023.

“Westwood Community Scholarships are mainly private donation scholarships, and many are renewable every year,” said WHS Director of Guidance Caroline Higgins. “It’s a blanket application, so we have made it very easy for our students to apply. They just need to fill out a simple Google form and have two letters of recommendation.”

There are 63 scholarships available to members of this year’s senior class. Applications become available immediately after February break. Students have until April 7 to submit their application. Some scholarship recipients are decided by the sponsoring family, group or organization while others are chosen by the Scholarship Committee, which is chaired by Dean of Students Aishleen Flanagan.

“The committee consists of about 15 members,” said Flanagan. “Besides myself, we have several administrators, teachers, and parents of Westwood High alumni who sit on the committee. We try to make sure that every student who applies is known to at least one person.” Only 82 of 250 members of last year’s graduating class applied. Flanagan noted that the number of students applying for the scholarships has declined over the past few years—a trend she hopes to see reversed with this year’s class.

“It has dropped off significantly in the last few years, which is surprising because I feel like there’s a bigger need than ever,” said Flanagan.

“The blanket Google form makes applying quite easy,” she added. “We used to have over 100 students applying each year. I encourage every graduating senior who could use scholarship help to apply.”
The majority of the scholarship recipients, including the Dr. Robert McIntyre Memorial Scholarship, will be announced during Class Night on Friday, June 2.

Speaking on behalf of the group that created the scholarship in Dr. McIntyre’s memory, Conway said they are all looking forward to honoring Bob when the scholarship is awarded to the first recipient. “Bob is remembered for his generosity,” recalled Conway. “He was a Boy Scout troop leader for a few years and played the werewolf every year at the Martha Jones Halloween party. We hope many students will apply this year and know we will find a deserving student who matches his generosity and love of community.”

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