Invest In Me

Help make an accessible, enriching college education possible for all VCU students

If you know anything about Virginia Commonwealth University, you know it’s different here. Like many public research universities, we strive to achieve distinction in education, research, service and patient care. We cultivate discovery, creativity and talent. We foster collaboration to advance learning, entrepreneurship and inquiry.

At VCU, however, we know that access is just as important as excellence. Our students need your help to make the most of their time here.

The Invest in Me campaign aims to raise funds to enhance the VCU experience, from scholarships that make it possible for students to join our campus community and stay the course through graduation to awards that offset living expenses while they focus on meaningful internships or assistantships to travel grants that help them attend academic and professional conferences or expand their horizons through study abroad.

VCU students are the doctors, job creators, engineers, social workers, dentists and artists — the changemakers — of tomorrow.

Invest in them. Your support today is an investment not just in their future but in all of our futures.

Anubhav Thapaliya
Scholarship »

“My parents don’t have to pay for my college because of the scholarships that VCU gave me. I’m proud that I can go to college without taxing them. Getting a scholarship symbolizes to me that someone else values my education as much as I do and that they want me to grow as a person and have an impact on the community.”

Anubhav Thapaliya

College of Humanities and Sciences, Class of 2023

Family values

Scholarships enable pre-medical student to honor his parents’ sacrifices

Anubhav Thapaliya and his family immigrated in 2006 to the U.S. from Nepal to escape political unrest. When they settled in Woodbridge, Virginia, Thapaliya’s father worked in sales until he finished his training to become a nurse. His father set an example that taught him to value education and its role in making a difference for others, Thapaliya says.

“He always said that it doesn't matter how much money you make after your education,” he says. “He taught me that an education helps you see more perspectives, become a better human being and be able to understand more about the world.”

By the time Thapaliya graduated in 2019 from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a magnet school in Alexandria, Virginia, he was set on a career in medicine that would combine his social nature and his passion for helping others. He chose VCU because of its Guaranteed Admission Program in medicine.

“I want to go into medicine because I want to directly impact people's lives,” says Thapaliya, a second-year student in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences double majoring in biology and chemistry, as well as a member of the VCU Honors College.

Thapaliya has received a number of scholarships since joining VCU, including the Harkirat and Vijaylaxmi Singh Scholarship, an award for undergraduate science majors. His scholarships, he says, have enabled him to achieve his goals without burdening his family.

“My parents don't have to pay for my college because of the scholarships that VCU gave me,” Thapaliya says. “They worked hard and would do anything to make my education possible, but at the end of the day, if I were putting them into debt, I wouldn’t be satisfied. It prides me that I can go to college and even go through medical school without having to tax them.”

Thapaliya aspires to become an orthopaedic surgeon, ideally focusing on underserved patients through community medicine. He is motivated to live up to the investment others have put into his education.

“Getting a scholarship symbolizes to me that someone else values my education as much as I do and that they want me to grow as a person and have an impact on the community,” Thapaliya says. “When I graduate, I'll get to give back through my work as a physician and then one day, I can hopefully pay it forward by giving back as a donor.”

Sarah Henderson
Experience »

“My scholarship gave me relief from financial stress and more time to spend more time improving health outcomes in my local community. It inspires me to continue incorporating my passions into a career rooted in service, access to public health and working to bridge the gap between communities and health care resources.”

Sarah Henderson

School of Pharmacy, Class of 2022

Prescribing change

Scholarship rewards Pharm.D. student’s commitment to community service and public health

Sarah Henderson developed her passion for social justice and advocacy while earning her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Now a Pharm.D. candidate in the VCU School of Pharmacy, that passion is driving her toward a pharmacy career “rooted in service, access to public health and working to bridge the gap between communities and health care resources,” she says.

When she’s not in class, Henderson spends much of her time volunteering. She works with the VCU Health Hub at 25th, a health education and wellness activity center in Richmond’s East End. She is also active in the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, a service association that focuses on improving health outcomes in minority communities and expanding minority representation in pharmacy and health care. 

Henderson’s commitment to community service and public health earned her a scholarship from the School of Pharmacy in 2020. Awarded annually, the Pharmacy Social Justice Award provides scholarship support for a fourth-year pharmacy student who demonstrates leadership and accomplishment in addressing social justice issues through the profession of pharmacy.

“My scholarship gave me relief from financial stress and more time to spend more time improving health outcomes in my local community,” Henderson says. “Receiving that support is tremendously empowering and inspires me to continue incorporating my passions into my career.”

Henderson’s ultimate goal for her pharmacy career is to pay it forward by empowering others.

“It’s really important to me that health care professionals approach patient care with a person-centered focus and take the time to listen, acknowledge and support community members to better improve public health,” Henderson says. “Educating others on the safety and efficacy of their drugs, or any matter related to their health and wellness, is a form of social justice that I am proud to continue as a future pharmacist.”

By the numbers

The Invest in Me campaign launched in 2019 to raise funds to enhance the VCU experience. So far:

5,500+

donors have supported
Invest in Me.

650+

funds are benefitting from support for Invest in Me.

150+

new funds have been established.

$33.8M

has been raised during
the campaign.