School of Social Work

No. 28 M.S.W. Program in the U.S.

Category results for: Donors

‘Oh my, I got a scholarship!’ Fostering Success supports child welfare focus

Originally published in VCU’s December 2020 Impact magazine. Ebony Mack (M.S.W.’18/SW) couldn’t help but exclaim. She had just received an email, in 2017, naming her the first recipient of the VCU School of Social Work’s Fostering Success Scholarship. “I think I was at work, and it came through. ‘Oh my, I got a scholarship!’ I […]

Back stories: Named scholarships represent lost loved ones, legacy of care

The roots go back nearly three decades for three VCU School of Social Work scholarships that honor two former faculty members and an alumna. Family and friends have supported the legacy of these loved ones – and made a significant difference in the lives of current social work students – through the Pamela B. Nystrom Memorial […]

’73 classmates form volunteer dream team for social work fundraising campaign

Sherry Peterson (M.S.W.’73/SW) knew what a successful fundraising campaign looked like. Katharine Webb (M.S.W.’73/SW) was as connected an alumna as you could hope to find. Together, the VCU School of Social Work classmates – along with Sherry’s husband and fellow classmate, Bill (M.S.W.’73/SW) –  formed the perfect team, serving as volunteer chairs for the school’s […]

Going the distance: Colbys’ philanthropy will aid students from underserved populations

After earning his master’s degree at the VCU School of Social Work, Ira Colby, D.S.W. (M.S.W. ’75/SW), did a little bit of everything to make ends meet as a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. When a federal grant fell through a month before classes started, he took out student loans, worked with faculty […]

Beckett and Purnell’s support increases student access by honoring an old friend

Joyce Beckett, Ph.D., laughs heartily and acknowledges that, yes, after all these years she is still an “autumn.” Beckett, who retired as professor in 2005 after 20 years at the VCU School of Social Work, is explaining how she became friends with Rita Schleuter (M.S.W.’88/SW) – and why she chose to fund a scholarship in […]

‘Essential for the future’: Biggerstaff’s gifts support doctoral research

As a graduate student in social work in the 1960s, Marilyn A. Biggerstaff was the beneficiary of the era’s ample federal grants, bolstered by the Higher Education Act of 1965. Times have changed. Forbes reported in early 2020 that student debt is a record $1.56 trillion – the second-highest consumer debt category in the country.  […]

Gilbreath’s giving helps students who want to follow in her macro footsteps

With a laugh, Allison Gilbreath (B.S.’11/GPA; M.S.W.’16/SW) explains that she’s a law school dropout. It turns out that macro social work was really the career she was looking for.  “Law school was the only pathway I knew to do what I know now as macro social work,” says Gilbreath, who was accepted to – but […]

Social work supporters contribute $3.2 million to Make It Real Campaign

“Giving 110 percent” is one of the oldest cliches in the books. But the VCU School of Social Work’s network of donors, alumni and friends have turned a trite saying into an amazing reality. When the university closed the books on the eight-year Make It Real Campaign at the end of June, giving to the […]