We were honored this month to once again celebrate the life-changing opportunities and potential that our generous MCV Campus donors create and perpetuate for students every year through their scholarship contributions.
Nearly 300 scholarship donors, recipients, family members, faculty and leaders from across campus joined the celebration on February 17 at the 2019 MCV Campus Endowed Scholarship Brunch.
This annual event is one of the most inspiring that we host because it connects motivated, hardworking, grateful students with the people who support them in their educational pursuits and eventual patient care and research around the globe.
This year, donors accounted for 413 scholarships on the MCV Campus, which was 25 more than last year. Through these endowed scholarships, students from the VCU schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy, and the College of Health professions, had access to $2.7 million in funding and support.
At this year’s event, we heard from Andrea Berger. Andrea is a student in the accelerated B.S. track at the VCU School of Nursing and is a recipient of a Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation scholarship. She developed a passion for healthcare as a bilingual patient advocate and clinic manager at CrossOver Healthcare Ministries, a nonprofit healthcare provider.
“When I found out that I had been awarded the Whitehead Scholarship I was humbled and overjoyed,” she said. “Here I was starting nursing school not just with the support of my husband, my family and CrossOver, but now the greater MCV community. A year before nursing school, my husband transitioned to the civilian world after six years of service in the Army. In the midst of this challenging season, this scholarship eliminated the stress of student debt from our lives. I’m now pouring myself into nursing school without the fear and uncertainty of how we’re going to pay for it.”
Andrea added that graduating debt free enables her to start graduate school when it’s right for her and her family, rather than years down the line when she is finished paying off student debt.
“My desire to become a nurse was birthed at CrossOver in seeing the greater Richmond community come together to provide care for those with the fewest resources,” she said. “As a recipient of this scholarship, I am so proud and grateful to say that my ability to become a nurse has likewise been a community effort through the generous support of the VCU School of Nursing, the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and the MCV Foundation. It will be my privilege and absolute joy to continue this legacy of service and generosity throughout my career as a nurse. Thank you again for believing in and supporting me and each of the scholarship recipients represented here today. We cannot say thank you enough.”
Speaking on behalf of scholarship donors, Terri Powers, a 1978 graduate of the VCU School of Pharmacy, shared the story of her parents’ sacrifices while starting a business and saving to educate their four children.
“I grew up watching my parents give their time and their money to their community, to individuals in need and to us, and I reached a point in my life where I began to think about how I could build upon their legacy,” she said. “But I was having difficulty with the how and the what.”
Then, Terri said, she attended an event and heard from a pharmacy student who was passionate about his goals but facing financial challenges in achieving them.
“I left the event that night with all the clarity I needed,” she said. “My mom and dad started their business to educate their four children, and because they did, I was able to pursue my passion without financial burden. What better way to build upon their legacy than to help the students at my alma mater where my rewarding career began?”
Terri and her husband Tom subsequently established the H.J. and Dot Hubbard Scholarship — named after Terri’s parents — for pharmacy students who have demonstrated financial need and academic merit.
Across campus, there are hundreds of stories just like Andrea’s and Terri’s, in which people are inspired to support the next generation of healthcare professionals, bringing world-class care to communities in Central Virginia and beyond. If you’re interested in changing the lives of students and all of those who they’ll impact after leaving the MCV Campus, please learn more about the various ways to establish a scholarship at our giving page.