photo of alum and donor Linda Hines

Alum’s support enhances scholarship for first-generation students

Linda Hines (B.S.’80, M.S.’99, M.B.A.’10) made a $1,000 gift in November to continue her support of the Oraphine Crump Scholarship for First-Generation Students in Business.

The fund was established in 2020 with a $25,000 pledge from Hines and four of her classmates from her VCU M.B.A. program: DeMond Chapman (M.B.A.’10), Akia Jackson (M.B.A.’10), Joel Phillips (Cert.’02, M.B.A.’10) and Rodney A. Taylor (M.B.A.’05). They wanted not only to support students with financial need but also provide a way for the VCU School of Business to demonstrate a commitment to its principles of diversity.

“I really see first-generation students as the future leaders of America,” Hines says. “With a business degree, there are so many different avenues where you can move forward. We want more people to have the opportunity to be entrepreneurs, and a background in business is helpful for that.”

Scholarship namesake Oraphine Crump was the first female loan officer at Consolidated Bank and Trust in Richmond, then the oldest existing Black-owned bank in the country where she worked for 25 years, retiring as a branch manager. Along with her professional accomplishments, she was passionate about education and was the first Black woman to serve on the New Kent County School Board. Crump died in 2020 at age 96. 

“I was so inspired by what Oraphine Crump did for her community and for students,” Hines says. “She really tried to get students interested and excited about learning and higher education.”  

With her donation, Hines seeks to strengthen and expand the scholarship; she and her fellow organizers hope to build the scholarship fund so it can support more students each year. She also hopes it encourages a new generation to learn about Crump’s achievements and dedication to education for all students. After earning three degrees at VCU, Hines knows the value of continued education for expanding opportunities and the importance of lifelong learning. 

“I’ve always had a personal goal of being able to give back in meaningful ways. I feel that there is no better way to do that than to inspire additional youth to go to school and to help give them a leg up.” Hines says. “We’ve seen people fall through the cracks when they’re first-generation students, so this is such an important scholarship.”

To learn more about the VCU School of Business, contact Alex Moore, executive director of development.