Fund bolsters financial literacy initiatives

When the Virginia Nonprofit Housing Coalition wanted to make a $100,000 gift to commemorate the board service of Thomas E. Phillips Jr. (M.S.’73/B), he knew exactly how he wanted the funds directed. After more than 40 years as a financial adviser, Phillips wanted to support the Make It Real Campaign for VCU with a gift to help VCU students get an early start on developing critical financial literacy skills.

“All too many young people are successful in their professions but end up in debt,” says Phillips, a former president of VCU Alumni’s Business Alumni Society and a recurring member of the Investors Circle in the School of Business. “In order to survive and prosper, a basic understanding of financial and economic principles is essential. The time to learn these important principles is before they start their careers and their families.”

The Tom and Claudia Phillips Financial Literacy Endowment will provide funding to support financial literacy initiatives in the School of Business. Programs like The Money Spot, a peer-to-peer counseling program for sharing basic financial skills, are available to all VCU students and provide experiential learning opportunities that prepare them for the responsibilities awaiting them after graduation.

“Claudia and I are grateful to be able to play a small part in support of the outstanding programs in the VCU School of Business,” Phillips says.

To learn more about the School of Business, contact Shannon K. Duvall, chief development officer, at (804) 828-1035 or