VCU College of Engineering receives $1M anonymous gift
Donation to fund programming, student support fund for international students
An anonymous donor has made a $1 million gift to the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering to provide funds for programming and support for international students, VCU announced Tuesday.
Part of the gift will establish a global education and international student support fund (to be administered through VCU’s Global Education Office) and additional funding will go toward English language instruction programs, trip subsidies, tutoring, mentorship and financial aid.
“A gift like this is something that you dream about, so we want to be very thoughtful about how we use it,” Jill Blondin, executive director of the Global Education Office, said in a statement.
The VCU College of Engineering currently has 2,064 enrolled students, 149 of whom are international students, says VCU spokesperson Rebecca Jones. International students will also have input into other options for using the funding.
“These students have chosen — bravely — to come to another country to study,” Blondin said in a statement. “They are away from home, from family. What we see are needs for engagement and personal support. We want to help them participate fully in life at VCU.”
Another portion of the anonymous donor’s gift will establish the VCU College of Engineering Dean’s Excellence Fund for International Students, which may support activities such as a new student organization and 2021 celebrations of Thanksgiving and International Engineering Day.
“International students provide an important global perspective, whether they are undergraduates, pursuing graduate degrees or serving as postdoctoral fellows,” Barbara D. Boyan, the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Jr. dean of VCU Engineering, said in a statement. “This gift makes it possible for us to help them find a home in the College of Engineering so that their contribution to the research and teaching mission of VCU can be realized.”
The anonymous donation will also support engineering professor Daren Chen’s mechanical and nuclear engineering research, according to a university statement.