Meet the staff
Samantha Wheeler Marrs
Samantha Wheeler Marrs, director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and associate vice president of University Development and Alumni Relations, joined VCU in 2000 as director of corporate and foundation relations. Her primary responsibility is to develop new philanthropic partnerships locally and nationally. Her previous experience includes eight years as program associate at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where she coordinated higher-education grants in public health, migration and refugee programs and population studies. She holds degrees from Smith College and Columbia University.
Ariana Bracalente, senior development writer, has worked as part of the Corporate and Foundation Relations team since 1998 and has worked in higher education since 1987. She is responsible for both the development and the stewardship of private, corporate and foundation grants for the university. She has experience in all phases of the proposal process, from researching and identifying prospects for specific programs and projects to working with faculty and administration in developing successful proposals to writing and reviewing proposals and reports to stewarding foundation relationships for the university.