Dear Colleagues-Friends,

Earlier this month, scholarship donors and recipients from across the MCV Campus had the opportunity to share their stories, say thank you and remind everyone of how critical scholarship support is during a special event hosted by the MCV Foundation. The COVID-19 pandemic once again made it impossible to hold an in-person event, but the foundation hosted a virtual event that provided both poignant reflections and a celebration of the talent and promise of our trainees.

This year, donors accounted for 463 endowed scholarships, providing students from across the MCV Campus with $3.3 million in available funding and support. This includes 158 endowed scholarships for students in our School of Medicine that made $1.4 million available in aid, ranging from full tuition to modest support to help with expenses.

Scholarships are a crucial factor in helping students earn their medical degrees. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 73% of medical students graduate with debt, which can limit access to a career in medicine. Financial assistance has been the key to opening the door for students who face difficult challenges as they work toward their dream of becoming physicians.

In this wonderful video produced by the MCV Foundation, M2 Corey Williams talks about how much the endowed scholarship created by Deepak Thomas, M’07, and Mareen Thomas, M’07, means to him. He says: “I don’t have to worry about paying off a bunch of debt, and I can start giving back sooner to the next generation.”

Our medical school has a longstanding commitment to financial assistance for students who face barriers in access to a medical education. In recent years, more than $1.5 million in school-funded, need-based scholarships has been awarded each year to lessen the burden of debt students bear, including those who are underrepresented in medicine. And we have committed an additional $1 million over the next four years to build a more diverse, inclusive and equitable community. Included in that is up to $600,000 to create a Dean’s Equity Scholarship housed at the MCV Foundation that will help eliminate barriers to access for students of all backgrounds, cultures and socioeconomic status.

It is inspiring to see how many of our alumni and community leaders have given scholarship support, and we so appreciate this. We also are grateful to our development officers and the MCV Foundation for their successes in raising funds to help support the next generation of physicians and scientists. We greatly value our partnership with MCV Foundation and applaud all of the good work Margaret Ann Bollmeier, MCV Foundation president and CEO; Wyatt S. Beazley IV, MCV Foundation board chair; and the entire board of dedicated alumni and community leaders do in support of our school and our students.

With gratitude,

Pter F. Buckley, M.D.; Dean, VCU School of Medicine; Executive vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System