Make it real. Campaign for VCU

(motivational music) – My wife and I both look at VCU as, this is our family. – We’d like for VCU to be so involved in this community that everybody says, “I don’t know where I
stop and VCU starts.” – When you say, “Well,
why did you give to VCU?” When you look at what the
school has done for our family, I instantly say, “Well, why not? “Why not give?” – How can I take the
challenges and the mountains that you’ve climbed and make
it easier for that next student when they’re going up that mountain? And that’s what excites
me about giving to VCU, is knowing that those
dollars are going to be spent and invested into those students. – We have to be a strong
VCU, not just today, tomorrow, but forever. (acoustic guitar) – We talk in this country
about access to health care. Well, the first way that you give people access to health care is
that you give them access to the schools that create
health professionals. It’s so extremely important
for young females, young African-American men as well, to see someone who looks like
them in a health profession that doesn’t greatly represent them. – My passion for dentistry
comes from being in Jamaica and seeing that there weren’t
any dentists in Jamaica. I figured I could be
the one to fill the gap, and that is really where
my passion came from. – I just think if I am
blessed to be on the earth another 20 years, wow. That’s amazing. I could have 20, 25 people
who received this scholarship. I just think that that is huge, to be able to impact people in that way. – When I was a student, I would have loved to have that support,
to have that permission, to be empowered to go pursue that dream. So the feeling you get when you see that risk that you took, and
VCU willing to take risks on students and allow them
to pursue their dream, that’s what it’s all about. – The gifts from Eric
Edwards and the culture provided by VCU as a
whole has really given the startups like mine,
Boardgrab, an opportunity to follow what we love
and create the things that we want to create instead of
taking the traditional path. – We’ve got to do more to help students translate that education,
translate that opportunity. Allow them to go further,
farther, and faster than anyone in the nation. – You know, I’m excited because they saved my life, quite honestly. I was diagnosed with
cancer in December of 2005. I think I’m like most people. I had no idea what was available
at Massey ’til I came here. – I’d like to say
philanthropy’s really been transforming for Massey Cancer Center. It’s really allowed us
to move to a new level in terms of carrying out
basic research about cancer and, importantly,
translating that research into better treatment
and prevention of cancer. – If you look in your family and you see the people you love, one
of these days, those people are going to be touched by cancer. The money that you’ve
given today will hopefully find a cure for maybe one of those cancers that will save the life of somebody you love. – This university really
put me in the direction that allowed me to be successful. I’m grateful for this
university, for everything it has done for me, and I
knew that other students here need the same resources, just like myself. I just want to donate so that
they can have the same access. – I was so appreciative of
the opportunity to go overseas and all the experiences that came with it. That’s the gift of VCU. You get to go out and become more than just what you once were. – I encourage everyone to get involved, because our student success
and our faculty success relies not on just tuition
but private donation. – Athletics at VCU has helped to put the VCU mark nationwide. – I would say this facility
took my basketball game to a whole another level. It revolutionized what I wanted to do. I have to do good in
school or I won’t be here. I won’t be able to play basketball. So that’s what I really try to focus on, and being there really helps me with that, because I just put a lot
of time into my schoolwork. – We need to give our student
athletes the best possible tools that we can to perform their sport, but also give them a great
education at the same time. – You think what you’re doing
is giving something away, but what you’re doing is
getting back something that’s a whole lot more
powerful than money. – It was really nice to
know that there was someone out there that believed in me enough to help pay for my tuition, and that gave me motivation to keep going during the difficult years. – It’s like going to heaven
without having to die. I get the most pleasure
in my life to be able to use my money to help other people. Dianne and I used to get Christmas cards and thank you notes, and
these kids telling you what a great chance we gave them. That makes you feel good. (motivational music)

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