It’s payback time in Virginia but in a very good way. People from a wide variety of backgrounds are using a portion of their wealth to repay communities and institutions that have had a powerful influence on their lives.
In the following pages, Virginia Business’ Generous Virginians Project, now in its second year, looks at game-changing philanthropy throughout the state.
Veteran television journalist Roger Mudd last year donated $4 million to his alma mater, Washington & Lee University, to make it a national leader in the study of ethics. The gift is his way of furthering the influence of W&L’s honor code, a guiding influence in his broadcasting career.
Likewise, a foundation and a family representing three deceased graduates of Virginia State University have given the school its two largest gifts. The donations of $1.5 million and $1 million, respectively, recognize the effect VSU had on the lives of the late Reginald F. Lewis and Ruby and Fred Thompson Sr.
Gratitude is also factor in a recent spurt of gifts to Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech. They include $25 million from James and Frances McGlothlin to the VCU School of Medicine and a total of $45 million for Tech’s engineering program from Alpha Natural Resources Chairman Michael Quillen, the estate of the late Robert “Bobby” Hord of Richmond and an anonymous donor.
Finally, Carl Albero, a founder of Virginia-Beach based defense contractor AMSEC, has made the lead gift toward a new $3 million wing of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children in Norfolk. The expansion will broaden its mission to include adults with severe disabilities.
Albero says operating a nonprofit is a lot like running a business: “You need a plan. Raising money is like business development.”
MAJOR GIFTS: Charts of major charitable donations in Virginia
- Donations by individuals and family foundations
- Total corporate donations
- Donations by companies and corporate foundations
- Grants by community foundations
- Donations by independent foundations, groups
- Top 10 states by foundation grant dollars received, 2009
- Top 50 U.S. foundations awarding grants in the state of Virginia, 2009
- Top 50 Virginia foundations by total giving, 2009