$1 Million Gift Establishes Trani Scholars program

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Dianne and C. Kenneth Wright
Dianne and C. Kenneth Wright

Virginia Commonwealth University today announced the creation of the Eugene P. Trani Scholars program, which will provide full tuition and fees to exceptional, deserving undergraduate students.

The Trani Scholars program is made possible with a $1 million gift from longtime VCU supporters C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright.

"Dianne and I are excited to have the opportunity to once again support Virginia Commonwealth University and to honor VCU President Eugene Trani and his indelible imprint, not just on VCU, but also on the city of Richmond and the state of Virginia," Mr. Wright said.

The Trani Scholars will be selected annually by a blue-ribbon committee chaired by the president of the university and composed of former members of the Board of Visitors. A member of the Wright family also will participate in the selection. This committee will determine the criteria for the Trani Scholar recipients and determine how many will be awarded each year. The first Trani Scholars will begin classes at VCU in the fall of 2007.

"The faculty, staff and students at VCU join me in thanking the Wrights for this generous gift and for their tireless support of the university over the years," Trani said.  "I am honored to have the program carry my name."

To date, the Wrights have given $13.5 million in gifts and pledges supporting VCU, including $1.5 million to the Massey Cancer Center and $350,000 to the Wright Scholars in Cardiology. A $10.5 million gift in April 2002 to the School of Engineering Foundation kicked off a $65 million fundraising campaign. In 2000, the Wrights established the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Freshman Merit Scholarship Fund, providing financial assistance to an incoming, Virginia resident pursuing a career in engineering. 

The gift was announced Nov. 16 at the eighth annual Monroe Park Campus Scholarship Dinner in Richmond, which honored scholarship recipients and their donors.