If you know anything about Virginia Commonwealth University, you know it’s different here. Like many public research universities, we strive to achieve distinction in education, research, service and patient care. We cultivate discovery, creativity and talent. We foster collaboration to advance learning, entrepreneurship and inquiry.
At VCU, however, we know that access is just as important as excellence. Our students need your help to make the most of their time here.
The Invest in Me campaign aims to raise funds to enhance the VCU experience, from scholarships that make it possible for students to join our campus community and stay the course through graduation to awards that offset living expenses while they focus on meaningful internships or assistantships to travel grants that help them attend academic and professional conferences or expand their horizons through study abroad.
VCU students are the doctors, job creators, engineers, social workers, dentists and artists — the changemakers — of tomorrow.
Invest in them. Your support today is an investment not just in their future but in all of our futures.
“My parents don't have to pay for my college because of the scholarships that VCU gave me. It prides me that I can go to college without having to tax them. Getting a scholarship symbolizes to me that someone else values my education as much as I do and that they want me to grow as a person and have an impact on the community.”
College of Humanities and Sciences, Class of 2023
Scholarships help aspiring surgeon gain experience necessary to secure competitive residency assignment
Anubhav Thapaliya and his family immigrated in 2006 to the U.S. from Nepal to escape political unrest. When they settled in Woodbridge, Virginia, Thapaliya’s father worked in sales until he finished his training to become a nurse. His father set an example that taught him to value education and its role in making a difference for others, Thapaliya says.
“He always said that it doesn't matter how much money you make after your education,” he says. “He taught me that an education helps you see more perspectives, become a better human being and be able to understand more about the world.”
By the time Thapaliya graduated in 2019 from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a magnet school in Alexandria, Virginia, he was set on a career in medicine that would combine his social nature and his passion for helping others. He chose VCU because of its Guaranteed Admission Program in medicine.
“I want to go into medicine because I want to directly impact people's lives,” says Thapaliya, a second-year student in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences double majoring in biology and chemistry, as well as a member of the VCU Honors College.
Thapaliya has received a number of scholarships since joining VCU, including the Harkirat and Vijaylaxmi Singh Scholarship, an award for undergraduate science majors. His scholarships, he says, have enabled him to achieve his goals without burdening his family.
“My parents don't have to pay for my college because of the scholarships that VCU gave me,” Thapaliya says. “They worked hard and would do anything to make my education possible, but at the end of the day, if I were putting them into debt, I wouldn’t be satisfied. It prides me that I can go to college and even go through medical school without having to tax them.”
Thapaliya aspires to become an orthopaedic surgeon, ideally focusing on underserved patients through community medicine. He is motivated to live up to the investment others have put into his education.
“Getting a scholarship symbolizes to me that someone else values my education as much as I do and that they want me to grow as a person and have an impact on the community,” Thapaliya says. “When I graduate, I'll get to give back through my work as a physician and then one day, I can hopefully pay it forward by giving back as a donor.”
“Without my scholarship, I would have to work full time and would have less time to study and take advantage of the experiential learning opportunities I’ve had. I can’t express how much gratitude I have for the support I’ve received. It makes me feel like someone really believes in me and wants to help me follow my dreams.”
School of Nursing, Class of 2021
Poised to lead
Scholarship support enables nursing student to pursue experiential learning opportunities
Before Laura Herring enrolled in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, she earned her associate degree from Rappahannock Community College near her hometown of Essex, Virginia. She used her time at RCC to explore the health care field by shadowing caregivers in different areas of a local hospital.
“I really fell in love with nursing when I shadowed an ER nurse,” says Herring, who will complete her B.S. in Nursing at VCU in May. “I realized how much of an impact I could make on people’s lives. I just knew that was what I was meant to do.”
Herring worked full time to afford the cost of tuition, books, fees and living expenses while she was in community college. At VCU, her financial burden has been relieved thanks to support from the Joanne and William Conway Nursing Scholarship, which fund provides scholarships to about 150 undergraduate students in the School of Nursing each year.
The award, Herring says, has helped her excel in the School of Nursing’s Leadership Fellows Program.
“The program is one of the most amazing things I have experienced in nursing school,” Herring says. “Without the Conway scholarship, I would have to go back to working full time and would have less time to study and take advantage of the kind of experiential learning opportunities I’ve had.”
After she graduates, Herring plans to work as an ER nurse before pursuing travel nursing, where she would complete short-term assignments in high-need hospitals. She feels prepared to go wherever her career may take her, though, thanks to her time at VCU and the scholarship that helped her make the most of it.
“I can’t express how much gratitude I have for the support I’ve received,” Herring says. “It makes me feel like someone really believes in me and wants to help me follow my dreams.”
By the numbers
The Invest in Me campaign launched in 2019 to raise funds to enhance the VCU experience. So far:
donors have supported
Invest in Me.
funds are benefitting from support for Invest in Me.
new funds have been established.
has been raised during