Virginia Tech receives $15 million, university's largest scholarship gift ever

The Clark Scholars program will grow from 10 students this school year to 40 students in 2020.
The Clark Scholars program will grow from 10 students this school year to 40 students in 2020. (Virginia Tech)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech President Tim Sands announced a $15 million gift from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation, the largest scholarship gift ever made to the university.

The gift endows the Foundation's signature A. James Clark Scholars Program, which provides students with a full-tuition scholarship and a holistic approach to engineering education. This fall’s inaugural class of 10 students from the College of Engineering and the Myers-Lawson School of Construction will grow to 40 in-state students by 2020.

The foundation was started by the late A. James Clark, who built Maryland-based Clark Construction Group into one of the nation’s leading construction companies.

As part of Virginia Tech’s campus-wide initiative to increase access and double enrollment among underrepresented minorities by 2022, the university will provide additional funding to ensure that Clark Scholars attend tuition-free and have their room, board, and fees covered. The Beyond Boundaries Scholars program, championed by Sands, has a similar aim. It was launched last year, and is supporting more than 130 students this fall.

The first Clark Scholars are:

  • Richard Cotman, of Newport News
  • Xueming (Erica) He, of Virginia Beach
  • Nefetari Heath, of Roanoke
  • Clemence Hidalgo, of Newport News
  • Trent Kinney, of Newport News
  • Makenzi Moore, of Midlothian
  • Ricabelle Pagara, of Alexandria
  • Mia Taylor, of Manassas
  • Julio Villarroel, of Falls Church
  • Ezekiel Volk, of Hampton

The Clark Foundation made its gift in June, capping a record-setting fiscal year for fundraising at Virginia Tech – $162.28 million in new gifts and commitments were received.