Ridley Regional Chapters
For additional information on Regional Chapters of the Ridley Scholarship Fund, please contact Kate Redding at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ridley Richmond Chapter
The Richmond Ridley Chapter began as a committee of the U.Va. Club of Richmond in 2002 with a mission to create a scholarship fund to help attract talented African-American students from the Richmond area to the University of Virginia. The initial fundraising efforts of the committee led to the establishment of a “Richmond Ridley” scholarship under the national Ridley Scholarship Fund umbrella and enabled the committee to award a partial academic scholarship on an annual basis. By the end of 2012, with the generous support of the U.Va. Club of Richmond, donors, and the hard work of many volunteers, the committee had secured endowment funds totaling over $800,000, enough to award an annual, four-year $10,000 per year scholarship to an incoming student. To honor the memory of Clarence Cain, an African-American student at U.Va. in the 1970s who had a profoundly positive impact on a number of Richmond Ridley donors, the committee changed the name of the scholarship to the Richmond Ridley Clarence Cain Endowed Scholarship. In order to support its new mission of raising funds for a full scholarship to the University of Virginia, the committee formalized its relationship with the national Ridley Scholarship Fund as a regional chapter.
In November of 2013, the Richmond Ridley chapter launched the John Merchant Book Award (JMBA) in honor of Mr. Merchant who founded the Walter Ridley Scholarship Fund at U.Va. The book, an autobiography entitled A Journey Worth Taking: An Unpredictable Journey, in part chronicles his time at U.Va. as he went on to become the first African-American student to graduate from the University of Virginia School of Law (1958). The JMBA seeks to identify and recognize outstanding high school juniors who best reflect the ideals of John Merchant by promoting diversity, leadership, and scholarship and to prompt their interest in applying to the University of Virginia. The first JMBA was awarded in the spring of 2014 and was presented by Richmond Ridley representatives at the recipient’s high school annual awards ceremony. Richmond Ridley presented 50 juniors with the JMBA in its first year.
In March of 2014, the Richmond Ridley chapter reached another milestone when its endowment fund topped $1M. As a result of this accomplishment, the Richmond chapter can now award the annual tuition amount of $12,500. Richmond Ridley’s larger goal is an endowment of $2.5M which would allow for a full scholarship that would include tuition, fees, room and board. The Richmond Ridley chapter is currently working towards that goal.
Richmond Ridley continually seeks alums, volunteers, and any interested parties to join our group. Among our goals is the desire to increase awareness of the scholarship in the Richmond area. We also provide opportunities for African-American and other U.Va. graduates and friends to network and partner together for scholarship, social, and sporting events.
For more information on Richmond Ridley, contact Alex Taylor at (804) 400-9473.
|Richmond Ridley Cain Board of Directors|
|Alexander Taylor, CLAS '84: Chair||Jasmine Roberts, COMM '01: Vice-Chair|
|Crystal Strickland, CLAS '92: Secretary||Carla Miles Woods, CLAS '85: Treasurer|
|Linda Baskerville Poole, COMM '85||Benita Johnson, CLAS '91: Events Chair|
|Tillman Breckenridge, CLAS '98, LAW '01||Rob Jones, COMM '88|
|Carlos Brown, CLAS '92, LAW '96||John Morris, CLAS '71, LAW '74|
|Damon Davis, SEAS '97: Schools Chair||Margaret Smith Ivey, CLAS '85|
|Lisa Hicks-Thomas, CLAS '91||Daniel Watkins, LAW '12|