Military benefit made possible by alumnus veteran and his wife

Ranked by Victory Media in the nation’s top 20 percent of military-friendly campuses among colleges, universities and trade schools in 2013, Virginia Commonwealth University now offers another military benefit.

The Ed and Pearcy Flippen Merit Scholarship, now known as the VCU Veterans Scholarship, is open to incoming freshmen veterans in any VCU school. Children and grandchildren of veterans are also eligible.

“My wife and I hope to open up more opportunities for veterans and their families with the expansion of the scholarship criteria,” said former VCU Rector Ed Flippen (B.S.’65/B). “I am a veteran, too, and I know veteran benefits are helpful but don’t provide everything, particularly to the children of veterans. VCU has probably created more opportunities for vets than any other school.”

The new Veterans Scholarship will be awarded for the first time this year and is renewable for three years.

According to Department of Veterans Affairs reports, nearly 1 million military members and their families have enrolled in college in the past five years. Nearly 800,000 veterans reside in Virginia alone.

“Scholarships enhance the opportunity for learning,” said Tom Burke (B.S.’79/E; M.P.A. ‘95/GPA), executive director of the VCU Foundation.

“The Veterans Scholarship will provide a veteran or family member attending VCU, the opportunity to enhance their learning by allowing them freedom from financial pressure, so that they can concentrate on their course of study. Scholarships enable students to fully participate in the various academic options, internships and lectureships offered through VCU. The impact is dramatic over time for both improved learning and less financial debt. We will also be working with GRASP, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help students and their families, develop an education plan to enhance their post-secondary education in identifying potential candidates for this veterans scholarship.

“VCU is proud of its veteran friendly history and looks forward to awarding this scholarship to a deserving veteran or family member ,” Burke said.

 For more information about the Veterans Scholarship, contact Tom Burke (B.S.‘79/E; M.P.A.‘95/GPA), executive director of the VCU Foundation, at (804) 828-3958 or