Couple’s gifts support student-athletes

Anna Smith (B.S.’01/GPA) and her husband, Dan, who were both collegiate student-athletes, know how expensive it is to maintain a successful athletics program. As longtime fans and supporters of Virginia Commonwealth University sports, they have made it their mission to ensure the continued success of the university’s athletes.

In April, the couple supported the Make It Real Campaign for VCU with a $25,000 pledge to be split between VCU men’s basketball and baseball programs. In addition to their pledge, they increased their annual support to the Ram Athletic Fund.

After Anna and Dan’s graduations from VCU and VMI, respectively, the Smiths moved to Portsmouth, Virginia, to pursue careers in medical sales. They returned to Richmond in 2005 and quickly rekindled their connection with the university with frequent visits to VCU basketball games. They eventually became involved with the Ram Athletic Fund, and Dan now proudly serves on the RAF board of directors. Through their involvement, the couple has developed strong relationships with the university’s baseball and basketball teams and coaches.

“There are a ton of good people in place at the athletic department,” Dan says. “It’s just been a really easy group to get behind.”

The Smiths’ gift will help cover day-to-day operations for the programs, including locker room upgrades, travel expenses and unforeseen costs. They hope it will give coaches budgetary freedom to ensure the success of VCU’s student-athletes.

“My wife cheered at VCU,” Dan says. “I played baseball at VMI, and I understand the grind on and off the court. We want to do what we can to improve the student-athlete experience and give VCU resources that they can share with their coaches.”

To learn more about VCU Athletics, contact Glenn Hoffmann, executive associate athletic director, at (804) 828-7398 or