Angela and Carl Reddix donate $1.1M to JMU
Gift from ARDX CEO and spouse to support first-generation college students
James Madison University alumni Angela and Carl Reddix have made a $1.1 million commitment to their alma mater to support first-generation college students, JMU announced Friday.
Founder, president and CEO of Norfolk-based ARDX, a health care management and IT consulting firm, Angela Reddix studied marketing at JMU and graduated in 1990. Her husband, Carl, studied management and graduated in 1988. Their gift establishes the Reddix Center for First Generation Students and the Reddix Centennial Scholarship Endowment.
“This gift is an incredible investment in JMU and will benefit countless students for years to come,” JMU President Jonathan R. Alger said in a statement. “We are honored that JMU is the recipient of this form of generosity from inspiring and innovative alumni. We have been very intentional to cultivate a supportive and inclusive community for first-generation students throughout their educational journey at JMU, and this gift is perfectly aligned with that initiative.”
Angela Reddix also founded the nonprofit Envision Lead Grow, which helps girls, especially girls of color, overcome long odds to become successful entrepreneurs. She founded ARDX in 2006 and the company has won more than $200 million in government contracts and last year announced a $2.4 million facility expansion in Norfolk. Reddix is a member of Old Dominion University’s Strome Entrepreneurial Center Hall of Fame.
“We are delighted to leave a powerful mark on a university that has left such a powerful mark on our lives,” the couple said in a statement. “May this center be a representation that, regardless of where you start, we can all reach impossible dreams.”
In an interview with Virginia Business, Angela Reddix talked what it means to them to be able to make the gift. She said her mother was a first-generation college student and her husband was, as well.
“The foundation of who we are and what we were able to do, personally and professionally, came from here,” she said. It’s a full circle moment for her, she added.
“I feel that it’s absolutely my responsibility to to give and be an example,” she said.
At JMU, the applicant pool of first-generation students has grown 29% since last year, according to a news release. First-generation students make up about 38% of JMU’s class of 2021. About 67% of first-generation students were already working full time at graduation and another 23% continued their education.