scene of donors and recipients having lunch at The Jefferson

Business Endowment Day Luncheon

Oct. 31, 2018 - Shannon Duvall

Over 100 donors and student recipients attended the 2nd annual School of Business Endowment Day Luncheon at The Jefferson on September 7th. The purpose was to connect donors with those who benefit from their generosity.

Following an animated welcome by Dean Ed Grier, Supply Chain Management and Analytics Professor Jason Merrick relayed how charitable contributions impact faculty research and work with students. “Philanthropic support from private and industry donors has opened up my time and opened up my research. Rather than spending my time pitching research, I spend time doing research. Your support allows me to pay students to be involved in research projects with companies, gaining valuable experience,” said Merrick. 

Group of six students in professional attire smiling for the camera

Third year Information Systems student Giovanni Knight (pictured front row, center) shared her story noting that without the scholarships she received, she would have been forced to leave VCU despite working two part-time jobs. Ms. Knight thanked donors saying, “Donor giving has impacted my education and my time at VCU by making it possible. Donors bridge the gap by contributing to scholarships and telling those students, ‘it’s not as far as you think. I’m here to help.’ Donors are heroes.”

Alumnus, Business Alumni Society member, volunteer mentor, and donor Joe Becht (MBA’80/B) shared his heartfelt journey creating the Becht Family Scholarship and the joy of meeting his scholarship recipient. He challenged the room to continue to give back and encourage others to do so.

VCU Business donors help us retain top faculty and provide much needed scholarship support that can be the difference between bright, engaged students becoming overwhelmed by financial constraints or persisting to graduation. Every gift has impact.

Save the date for the next Endowment Day Luncheon: Monday, October 14, 2019 at The Jefferson Hotel.

To learn how you can support a School of Business student or faculty member, please contact Shannon Duvall at or (804) 828-1035.