Dear colleagues,

Kellerman, Thomas, Williams, Mareen Thomas, Taaffe at the MCV Campus Scholarship Brunch

From left to right: Art Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H., CEO of VCU Health; Deepak Thomas, M.D.; Corey Williams, a third-year medical student and scholarship recipient; Mareen Thomas, M.D.; and Leila Taaffe. Williams received a scholarship created by Drs. Deepak and Mareen Thomas.

The recent MCV Campus Scholarship Brunch brought together donors and students to celebrate the impact of generous philanthropy. More than 500 endowed scholarships support health sciences students across campus. All told, around $2.7 million was awarded to students this academic year from funds housed at the MCV Foundation.

We are certainly seeing that impact in our School of Medicine where, for many years, our Development and Alumni Relations team has prioritized raising funds to support aspiring physicians and scientists.

The 1838 Campaign’s concerted effort raised $27 million in endowed scholarships that provide annual tuition support for our medical students in perpetuity. In addition, for many years, 100% of the Annual Fund has been put to use each fall to create scholarships that make an immediate impact for students. More recently, the Dean’s Equity Scholarship has been devoted to helping eliminate barriers to access for students of all backgrounds, cultures and socioeconomic status.

Together, these approaches help us:

  • Recruit and matriculate top applicants to our medical school, with diversity as a contributing factor for excellence in our student body.
  • Increase the average scholarship award to help reduce the amount of debt our graduating students carry. This year’s $13,735 per awardee is up more than $2,000 over last year – and has more than doubled the average award from the start of the 1838 Campaign in 2013. Recent figures also show our graduating students’ average medical school debt has decreased by more than $15,000 compared to the previous year.

Support has come from alumni and community leaders – along with many of the medical school’s faculty and staff – who have rallied to our cause. This year, in a pair of matching gift campaigns, donors hit goals that unlocked matching funds, resulting in more than a half-million dollars for medical student scholarships that will be awarded next fall.

We are so grateful for all who support our students by giving to scholarships. Many thanks to all who participated in any of these efforts – you’re truly making a difference.


David P. Chelmow, M.D. - Interim Dean, VCU School of Medicine; Interim Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health