Students sitting on steps by the lake

Honor the Future

“This ambitious Campaign is a pathway to inspiring incredible students by igniting their imagination to achieve dreams they never thought possible. It is providing hope to families who might not otherwise afford to send their children to college, where they will be surrounded by a dedicated faculty, caring staff and other talented students. Here, they will expand their knowledge and go into the world to make it a better place for mankind.” — Chancellor Donna Price Henry

Join us in fueling the aspirational goals of the College at Wise

This is a remarkable time in the history of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise as we publicly launch an ambitious Campaign which focuses on impacting the future for students, faculty, staff, community, the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.

We have already accomplished much in this Campaign but many opportunities remain. Increasing need-based and merit-based scholarships is a top priority. Higher education institutions who distinguish themselves for excellence have adequate funds in which to operate and we aspire to endow operational funds for every academic and athletic unit so they, too, can thrive.

We invite you to join us on this journey to make UVA Wise an even more incredible place for the amazing students that we serve.


Lewey K. Lee, Co-Chair
Rhonda M. Perkins, Co-Chair

Give Online
Make a gift to support the UVA Wise Campaign today through this secure online platform.

1. Support student success through scholarships.

Student support is among the highest priorities of the UVA Wise Campaign. With a rich tradition of working hard to make it possible for students to graduate with the least amount of debt possible, we are grateful to the alumni and friends who generously support student scholarships. Throughout the College’s history, we have welcomed students based on their talent and demonstrated potential. Because of the rising cost of tuition and fees, there are many students who have the dream to earn a college education but they lack the financial resources to turn their aspirations into realities. For these students, endowed scholarships can change their lives.

Our goal is to raise $35 million for student scholarship support. Increasing the University’s number of endowed scholarships is critical to the achievement of this goal and ensuring our ability to continue to attract outstanding students, increase our offerings for experiential learning (study abroad, undergraduate research and internship/externship opportunities) and reduce the amount of debt students carry with them after graduation.

You can help by:

  1. Establishing an endowed scholarship.
  2. Creating your legacy.

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2. Ignite competitiveness with athletic support.

Providing exceptional opportunities for students to participate as part of a team is important to the overall development of the students at UVA Wise. Whether students are part of the band, participate on a highly competitive cheerleading squad, participate in intramurals or compete in intercollegiate sports, we aspire to offer first-class facilities in which to practice and compete and to fund scholarships so disadvantaged students are afforded the ability to hone their skills and learn to be successful in a collaborative environment.

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Highland Cavaliers represent the College well on the courts, fields, and in the classroom. Because UVA Wise is committed to supporting the overall development of the student-athlete, academics is a top priority and scholarships play a critical role.

The Commonwealth of Virginia does not allow public funds to support the operations of athletics. Therefore, private support is critically important. Our number one priority is to provide scholarship support for student-athletes. Your support makes it possible for student-athletes to pursue a college education where many may not have the opportunity to do so otherwise.

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3. Inspire experiential learning and academic excellence.

Our academic programs include both exceptionally strong majors and offerings that are unique in the region served by the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Two areas that are seeing rapid growth at UVA Wise are undergraduate research and international study abroad programs. In order to keep pace with the increased demand for these programs long-term we must secure additional endowed funds.

These funds will assist our students in attending and presenting at conferences, travel costs (both domestically and internationally), lodging, summer research stipends, research supplies, etc. The ability to offer these opportunities will directly impact our ability to recruit and retain more students.

Experiential learning has become critically important to our students—97 percent of whom earn jobs or are placed in graduate school following their UVA Wise graduation. As they prepare for graduate school interviews and compete with other outstanding graduates for employment, experiential learning and academic excellence helps them distinguish themselves.

Thank you for considering a gift to make learning outside of the classroom more meaningful to UVA Wise students.

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4. Empower outstanding professors.

Recruiting and retaining exceptional faculty across every discipline is a top priority for the College. The optimum avenue to achieve this is through the incentive of endowed chairs. An endowed chair not only includes compensation but also addresses professional conferences, travel, research (and related supplies), and sabbatical leaves. Having endowed faculty who stay with the College long-term not only positively impacts our students but also the College and our region. These individuals become highly respected both on our campus and throughout Southwest Virginia.

The Impact of Endowed Professorships:

  • Enhanced teaching and advising
  • Increased retention of exceptional faculty
  • Recognition and support for faculty-student scholarship and research

By honoring outstanding teaching, advising, and scholarship with recognition and reward, UVA Wise will create a climate that encourages faculty aspiration and achievement. The impact of such a climate on students—and on the reputation of the College—cannot be overstated. To prepare our students for the competitive environment they will face in graduate school and in employment, they must have the opportunity to engage with the best and the brightest faculty.

Our efforts to attract and retain these top-tier faculty hinges on our ability to create new endowed positions across all departments on campus. The opportunity to do such has been increased through the introduction of the University’s Bicentennial Professors Fund.

  • A gift of up to $3 million (payable over a 5-year period) will be matched at 50% (ex. a gift of $2 million would become $3 million with the match).
  • A gift of $3 million or more will be matched at 66% (ex. a gift of $3 million would become $5 million with the match).

This exciting matching-gift initiative presents an opportunity to greatly expand professorships at UVA Wise.

Make a Gift Online


Valerie Lawson


Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Alumni Engagement
Bill Wendle


Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement & Alumni Engagement