On Friday, Dec. 11, Virginia Commonwealth University announced that longtime benefactor C. Kenneth Wright has made a $16 million gift to name the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research at VCU.
The gift is the fifth-largest single gift in the history of the university and will be used to establish six C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Distinguished Chairs in Clinical and Translational Research as well as the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Physician-Scientist Scholars program.
“The gift by Mr. Wright will provide important support to catalyze continued growth in the CCTR in its mission to accelerate translational research for the betterment of human health,” said F. Gerard Moeller, M.D., director of CCTR. “It is a major commitment by Mr. Wright and VCU to the CCTR for advancement of clinical translational research and education, including education of future physician scientists. This gift is an indication of the importance of research and education supported by the faculty and staff of the CCTR to VCU and the VCU health system.”
The endowed chairs, established with $12 million of the gift, will enable the university to recruit distinguished clinical and translational researchers from around the country. Initially, faculty whose research is focused in the Pauley Heart Center and the Massey Cancer Center will be awarded the chairs, which will be held for five years. The chairs can then be renewed or shifted to other areas of excellence in the health sciences.
The additional $4 million will launch the physician-scientist scholars program, which will help VCU prepare the best and brightest students for careers in clinical and translational research, providing tuition and stipends for M.D.-Ph.D. candidates in the VCU School of Medicine.
“The Center for Translational Research is improving the lives of patients at VCU Health,” Wright said. “I am excited about helping to put the very best faculty and students in the laboratories and clinics so new discoveries can be made and new treatments can be developed. I know that Dianne would be very pleased about this gift and the impact it will have across VCU.”
Follow CCTR in the coming months as we undergo an exciting and major brand change to reflect becoming a named center due to the generosity of C. Kenneth Wright.
- Longtime VCU benefactor makes $16M Gift to VCU’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research; VCU News, 12/11/15
- Rao: VCU’s research will change the world; Richmond Times Dispatch, 12/13/15