A gift made in fall of 2019 by Patricia T. Kirkpatrick established a need-based student scholarship. Patricia, a retired Richmond native who now lives in Northern Virginia, made the gift on behalf of herself and her late husband, David W. Kirkpatrick, to support the College of Humanities and Sciences, which houses VCU’s core disciplines in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and is home to two schools, 19 departments and programs and four institutes or centers. Nearly 60% of VCU undergraduates have at least one major in the college.
Kirkpatrick said she has always believed that “education is the great equalizer” and that expanding access to higher education will be key in making the world a better place. “My husband and I, we didn’t have any children, so I was musing over what to do with the estate,” she said. “And in my opinion, we are headed so far backwards [as a country] that it’s hard for me to believe. We’re fighting battles on science, on civil rights, on human rights, on women’s rights that were won when I was a child. We’re going back over history and fighting them again. … So I decided [expanding access to education] is what I wanted to do, and I hope it will change people’s lives. We’re fighting battles on science, on civil rights, on human rights, on women’s rights that were won when I was a child. We’re going back over history and fighting them again. … So I decided [expanding access to education] is what I wanted to do, and I hope it will change people’s lives.”
“Words of gratitude are hardly enough to recognize Pat’s support,” said Don Young, Ph.D., former interim dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences. “As we seek to balance access, affordability, and excellence, having scholarship support for our students is vital. Pat’s recent gift to establish a scholarship for College of Humanities and Sciences students who have interest in serving or bettering the lives of underrepresented minorities and women will transform the lives of not only the student recipients but also those who are on the receiving end of the students’ work.”