Endowed professorships and chairs have far-reaching impact

VCU Investiture Celebration honors dozens of School of Medicine faculty who have recently been awarded endowed professorship and chair positions.

Department of Internal Medicine faculty commemorate recent appointments at VCU Investiture Celebration. Photo by VCU Development and Alumni Relations.

By Erin Lucero School of Medicine eclucero@vcu.edu

October 12, 2023

On Oct. 5, VCU brought donors and faculty together to celebrate the philanthropic generosity that has created hundreds of endowed professorships and chairs at the university. 

At the 2023 Investiture Celebration Dinner, honorees included 50 faculty from the School of Medicine who have recently been appointed to endowed professorship and chair positions. They were among 77 faculty across the university who were formally invested and presented with medallions during the celebration.

“Privately endowed professorships and chairs are crucial to building a faculty roster of exceptional scholars, researchers and clinicians,” says School of Medicine Dean Art Saavedra, M.D., Ph.D., MBA. “This growing number of professorship and chair endowments enables us to continue to recruit and retain the talented individuals who are building a tradition of excellence at the medical school that’s shared by the nation’s top institutions.” 

Today, 170 endowed professorships and chairs support the work of faculty members who advance the work of VCU Health, Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center and the School of Medicine. Momentum and interest in providing faculty support is growing with more than three dozen endowed funds established by generous donors in the past decade. The endowments carry the names of outstanding alumni, faculty and friends who have led and benefited from the school’s work.

These high-profile endowed funds both benefit the holder and also help to sustain the medical school’s missions of research, patient care and education. Some endowments support the work of scientists who lead labs where research teams work together to advance discoveries. Other endowment holders include highly regarded physicians who offer unmatched care for patients as well as award-winning educators who provide life-changing mentorship to those who follow in their footsteps.

Hem Bhardwaj, M.D., has been appointed to the James C. Roberts Professorship in Cardiology and was on hand for VCU’s Investiture Celebration. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our patients and our community and to be part of and contribute to the vision and mission of VCU," says Bhardwaj, who is vice chair of cardiology for clinical operations and quality/safety as well as associate chair of clinical operations for the Department of Internal Medicine. "The Roberts Family is known for their compassion and dedication to our community and the health system, and I am beyond honored to receive this professorship."

 Photo gallery