Greek alumni name study room as memorial to two brothers
VCU Triangle Fraternity alumni have named a study room in honor of two deceased fraternity brothers. With the passing of two fraternity brothers, Dante Johnson (BS ’15/En) and Chris Ducic (BS ’16/En), VCU Triangle Fraternity Alumni President Zachary Cullingsworth (BS’16/En) and Adam Kirmes (BS’13/En) knew they wanted to do something to honor them and decided to name a space at Cabell Library. “The libraries hold a lot of memories for us at VCU from studying together to meeting as a group, we knew it was the perfect place to honor Dante and Chris,” said Cullingsworth.
Fourteen donors, all graduates of the last 10 years, combined efforts to name the Dante Johnson and Chris Ducic Memorial Study Room (room 201A) on the second floor of James Branch Cabell Library. Chris Ducic died during his senior year of engineering school at VCU in 2015 and Dante Johnson died the summer of 2016, after graduating from VCU’s School of Engineering in December 2015.
“This sort of donation from young alumni is a first for VCU Libraries,” said Sarah Neely, who managed the gift. “I hope this opens the possibility for more Greek life and organizational alumni groups to follow suit as a way to give back to their university and leave a legacy behind.”
Triangle Fraternity is a social fraternity founded in 2011 for science, engineering and architecture students.
“When recent alumni give, it is usually their first interaction with the university as a donor and the first time they have ever made a charitable donation,” said Neely. “This was the case with most who contributed to the $10,000 room.”
Ryan Harding BS’13/En shared his experience: “After being educated on payment options and how pledges work, it was an easy ‘yes’ for me to honor a dear friend. It was just like paying for a Netflix subscription. The best part was learning that my company would match my gift, which I didn’t know was possible before participating in this opportunity.”
According to Neely, this sort of gift honors the memory of their brothers and also makes a statement that Triangle values education and wants to provide a place for collaborative study to help students succeed.
Honoree Chris Ducic’s parents participated in the dedication ceremony. “This is truly the perfect place to honor our son,” said his mother Susan Ducic. “This was his favorite spot to study on campus and he would mention in calls home about the updates to Cabell Library and how excited he was for the new resources.”
“VCU holds a lot of memories for us and having a room in the newly renovated side with his name, he would think it was so cool,” added his father, Paul Ducic.
A naming opportunity makes it easy for groups to honor members, celebrate anniversary years and support their alma mater by giving back to a space where many hours were spent and memories were made all showing students that they support educational success.
VCU Triangle Fraternity alumni and family members of honorees of the Dante Johnson and Chris Ducic Memorial Room. Pictured L to R: Ryan Harding BS’13/En, Valerie Johnson (mother of honoree Dante Johnson BS’15/En), Susan Ducic (mother of honoree Chris Ducic), Zachary Cullingsworth BS’16/En, Adam Kirmes BS’13/En and Paul Ducic (father of honoree Chris Ducic).
VCU Libraries has many naming opportunities available at varied financial levels. Reach out to Sarah Neely, VCU Libraries Annual Giving Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details on how your group can leave a legacy.