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Donor articles and other gift stories

Donor Stories

Learn how others have made an impact through their acts of giving. These articles and gift stories share how others have made estate and planned gifts to support an area that is important to them.

  • Bequest supports Alzheimer's research
    Dianne Harris Wright was one of Virginia Commonwealth University's most steadfast benefactors, a passionate advocate for VCU Massey Cancer Center.
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  • Health Administration students receive a boost
    Bequest supports allied health opportunities outside the classroom.
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  • Setting the stage
    A generous scholarship from a beloved TheatreVCU leader has helped many students with the first act of their careers.
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  • Strength To Strength
    Four decades later, former physical therapy Chair Sue Hirt still inspires tributes
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  • Planned Gift Celebrates School of Social Work
    If it weren't for a love of history, Ira Colby, Ph.D. (M.S.W. '75), an internationally known social work educator, might have found his career taking a different path.
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  • Planned Gift Encourages Sustainability Efforts
    Internationally recognized furniture-maker Sam Forrest (B.S. '63) created the Forrest-Edwards Fund for Spirituality, Nature and Sustainability in the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Humanities and Sciences' School of World Studies' Religious Studies Program.
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  • Devotion to VCU, Students, Spurs Educator's Gift
    Marilyn Leahy (B.S.'91/E; M.Ed.'95/E; M.A.'95/H&S) credits Virginia Commonwealth University for the many professional opportunities she?s enjoyed throughout her career as an educator. Her path to the field of education, though, began on the MCV Campus, where she worked as a technologist with a board certification in electromyography.
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  • Radio Host Bequeaths Rare Gifts to VCU Libraries
    Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, Antonia F.D. Vassar (B.A.'05/A), like so many music lovers, accepted Grete Dollitz's weekly radio invitation to join her in the exploration, learning and appreciation of all things guitar.
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  • Dean Leaves Lasting Legacy at School of Nursing
    After 22 years of dedicated leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing Dean Nancy F. Langston, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, ANEF, retired. True to her philanthropic form, she left a lasting legacy through a generous $250,000 bequest to establish the Nancy F. Langston Professorship, which she hopes will help VCU recruit and retain the brightest and best faculty to the school.
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  • Alumni Aid Helps Departments Tackle Shortages
    As a national shortfall heightens the need for clinical laboratory scientists, Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences in the School of Allied Health Professions is heeding the call with a plan to produce more graduates each year.
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  • Making A Plan, Making A Difference
    Barbie Dunn, MSN, NP, Ph.D. (B.S.'70/N; Ph.D.'84/SW) knows how she wants her money spent.
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  • Art History Expert Plans to Leave Lasting Legacy
    When Regenia A. Perry, Ph.D., professor emerita of art history at Virginia Commonwealth University, earned a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, she became the first African-American woman to hold a doctorate in art history and the first African-American to hold a doctorate in American art.
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  • Bequest Strengthens Sculpture Scholarship Fund
    For nearly 15 years, O. Jean Renick made annual gifts to a scholarship fund in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. The Charles Renick Scholarship held special meaning for her.
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  • Mentor Spurs Gift, Planned Giving Helps It Grow
    Mark Newfield (B.S.'87/B) came to Virginia Commonwealth University as an English major, but an accounting elective changed his life. It was in that School of Business class that he met Professor John Sperry, Ph.D.
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  • Alumnus's Planned Giving Helps Students Thrive
    Clay Coleman holds many fond memories of his beloved "Uncle Bubba" - from the stories he told to the "fierce loyalty" he held for his alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University.
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  • Library Gift Shows Changes in Pharmacy Field
    For prescription-bearing patients in today's pharmacies, the consultation area is a safe haven for private discussions. Until 1960, however, these welcome areas rarely existed, and patients relied on their physicians for education about drug interactions and medication side effects.
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  • Planned Giving Yields VCU's Largest-Ever Cash Gift
    In the early 1950s, Arthur Graham and Margaret Branch Glasgow named the Medical College of Virginia in their estate plan. Their wishes were to advance efforts to cure and prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases. They died soon thereafter.
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  • Single Gift Sparks Support For Building Campaign
    When Dr. Bruce "Al" Baber (M.D.'57/M) came to campus for Reunion Weekend in April 2010, he talked with some impressive Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine students. One of the students was about to receive top honors at graduation and go into family practice. That encounter brought back Baber's memories of his own days on the MCV Campus.
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  • Bequests
    Joe and Anna have been faithful supporters of a local organization. They believe it is important to help further their mission.
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  • Using a beneficiary designation to make a gift to charity
    Joanne and her late husband Hal had been longtime supporters of a local organization. Recently, Joanne's children encouraged her to update her estate plan.
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  • Fixed income for retirement
    After working for decades as a pediatrician in a small town, Patricia is ready to retire.
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  • Tax-free sale
    Howard and Lynn were both 55 when they purchased some vacant land a few miles outside of town. They thought real estate would be a good investment that could be sold later for a profit.
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  • Capital gains tax bypassed
    Peter and Gail were nearing retirement. Over the years, with the help of their financial advisor, they made solid investments in securities and built a sizable portfolio.
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  • Peace of mind gift annuity
    Many years ago, Clara bought a home. Since she was very pleased with her home, she bought stock in the company that built the home.
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  • Endowment gift
    Pat and Shelly were recently married. They both had been dedicated volunteers at their favorite charity for many years.
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  • Sale and unitrust
    Gene and Carol purchased stock in a small medical service company several years ago. The company has done well.
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  • The retirement unitrust
    Mary grew up on a farm. When her parents passed away, she and her husband Bill inherited the farm.
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  • Property turns into income
    Miranda lived in the family home where she and her spouse had raised their three children. After her spouse passed away, Miranda found it increasingly difficult to care for her property.
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  • Flexible deferred gift annuity
    Luis is a 54-year-old executive at a large healthcare company. He purchased company stock during years when the stock price was low, and now the stock has grown substantially in value.
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  • Part gift and part sale
    Susan and Kevin bought a vacant lot along Lake Michigan many years ago. They had planned to build a second home so that their family could spend their summers along the lake.
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  • Current gifts
    As is the case with many families, there are times each year when Jim and Sharon focus their attention on gift giving.
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  • Gift of a bank account when no longer needed (POD)
    Keith has been a faithful supporter of a local charity and makes regular gifts to support its work.
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  • Transferable on death (TOD) gifts
    Harold and Jeanne married after meeting at an event held for donors. They wanted to leave a legacy gift...
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  • A bequest to further good work
    Nancy and David were dedicated volunteers. Over the years, they had seen many individuals helped by the good work of their favorite charity.
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  • Deferred gift annuity
    Several years ago, Larry and Allison invested $30,000 in what they believed to be an attractive stock.
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  • What will you do with your unspent retirement savings?
    Michael and Kelly were retired engineers with two adult children. They owned a home, some stocks, and IRAs.
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  • Gift annuity for real estate
    Jonathan purchased his home many years ago for $80,000. The home is now worth $420,000. Jonathan wants to sell his home and buy a condo for $130,000.
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  • A bequest to save taxes
    Thomas was a widower who had a great love for our organization. As an individual who had directly benefited from our work, Thomas wanted to thank us with a gift from his estate.
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  • Leading for the future
    Luke and Cynthia spent many years volunteering and supporting their favorite charity. They wanted to give back in a way that would help fulfill its mission.
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  • Give it twice trust
    While visiting her favorite charity's website, June came across the idea of a give it twice trust. She contacted the charity for more information.
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  • Providing for our children's future
    Ron and Kathy worked for many years building their nest egg for retirement.
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  • Bequest of insurance
    Marla and Wayne purchased a life insurance policy many years ago to create security for their children's future.
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  • Testamentary charitable remainder unitrust: have your cake and eat it too!
    We have all heard the saying "You can't have your cake and eat it too." This phrase describes a situation where we want two good things at the same time when that isn't possible.
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