VCU’s affiliated foundations provide support during COVID-19 pandemic

VCU campus
VCU's affiliated foundations have announced they are making gifts to support the university and its health system. (File photo)

Virginia Commonwealth University’s affiliated foundations are all making gifts to support the university and its health system during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Medical College of Virginia Foundation donated $50,000 to support the VCU Health COVID-19 Response Fund. This fund provides critical resources to respond to the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and supports patient care; research related to treatment, testing and prevention; and staff and students. As part of Central Virginia’s COVID-19 response team, VCU Health researchers and caregivers are working around-the-clock to fight this pandemic. 

“The MCV Foundation board and staff are committed to advancing the extraordinary efforts of our colleagues across VCU Health,” said Margaret Ann Bollmeier, MCV Foundation president. “Our mission to support world-class patient care, research and education on the MCV Campus is especially critical at a time such as this. We are proud of what our colleagues at VCU Health are accomplishing and are grateful for their strength and compassion as they care for those in our community. We are honored to support them in this way.”

The School of Business Foundation, the College of Engineering Foundation, the VCU Foundation and VCU Alumni have partnered to donate $100,000 to support the new VCU Student Life and Learning Fund, which was created to help students during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. In making the gift, the organizations challenge the community to donate an additional $100,000 to the fund.

“Emergency funding can have an indelible impact on our students’ ability to complete their education. We are so thankful for the generosity of the foundations and the community in helping our students succeed,” said Gail Hackett, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

As of April 15, 228 students have requested $133,000 in emergency aid. Gifts to the VCU Student Life and Learning Fund will help fund these requests.

“The College of Engineering Foundation and its board of trustees are proud to support the Student Life and Learning Fund as we understand the value of our graduates has never been greater,” said Larry Cummings, president of the College of Engineering Foundation. “In supporting our students in these uncertain times, we ensure that the next generation of Rams will continue a legacy of being great citizens and providing for their communities.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced students to return home and continue their education virtually, many needed extra money after losing jobs in the Richmond area. Their requests have included money to pay rent for themselves and their families, to buy food and to purchase laptops, as VCU has loaned out all available computers.  

“The VCU Foundation and the School of Business Foundation wanted to help support students and their families during this unprecedented pandemic,” said Laura E. Kottkamp, executive director of both foundations. “Our trustees have always felt strongly about how to best help students who show a strong commitment to wanting to stay in school and graduate, regardless of whether they are on the Monroe Park Campus or logging in for class from their dining room table somewhere else.”

The Student Life and Learning Fund will support VCU students long after the pandemic by providing funding for internships, study abroad, supplies and more.

“It’s never been more important than now to use all resources, including those from VCU Alumni, to support those students in great need to just survive so they can continue to remotely get their great VCU education. VCU Alumni chapters nationwide are proud to donate their unspent grant money to help their fellow Rams this semester and into the future,” said John Jay Schwartz, VCU’s first Ultimate Ram and a leader with the Jewish Alumni Association and Jewish Life at VCU who spearheaded the donation effort.  

To learn more and to support the VCU Health COVID-19 Response Fund or the VCU Student Life and Learning Fund, visit

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