Ellen E. Spong

A Familiar, Steadfast Friend

This month, the MCV Foundation Board of Trustees welcomed Ellen E. Spong as its new chair. She comes to her latest leadership role with a deep history of dedication to the foundation. She was first elected as a trustee in 2002, and after three terms enjoyed a brief hiatus from the board before returning in 2014. During her nearly 17 years of service, Spong has chaired the Finance and Audit Committee and presently leads the Strategic Planning Task Force in developing the foundation’s strategic priorities for the coming years.

“To me it was the ultimate honor to be asked to serve in a leadership role on this board,” Spong said. “I’ve been so inspired by the mission. This organization has helped the MCV Campus explore and expand the limits of medicine and new knowledge through its financial stewardship and support.”

Growing up in Richmond, Spong often found herself in awe of the medical breakthroughs happening on the MCV Campus. As a young woman, she recalls the importance of seeing alums like Ruth Campbell Taylor, M.D., serve as role models in the community for what women could achieve professionally. Dr. Campbell was a 1957 graduate of the Medical College of Virginia who practiced pediatrics and served on the faculty for 27 years. After her retirement, Dr. Campbell was the first woman to serve as chair of the MCV Foundation Board of Trustees.

Her personal goals, she says, include building on the momentum and continuing the successful work of recent board chairs to advance the foundation’s mission and success. She also hopes to continue to strengthen the collaboration and partnerships that have become so critical to the foundation’s success in supporting VCU Health and the health science schools. She hopes that the trustees will enjoy a robust dialogue full of creative and innovative ideas for how to continue moving the MCV Campus forward. Another important goal for Spong is to continue the foundation’s commitment to inclusion through the way it values and welcomes everyone to the table.

“There are so many things to be excited about and so many opportunities to have an impact on the campus and in the wider community through the work we support,” Spong said. “I’m excited for the foundation at this moment — we have incredible staff and the opportunity to be the greatest common denominator for good among our seven campus partners. It would be impossible for anyone who has the privilege of serving this organization not to realize that they are part of something special.”