Dean Perdue Smiling

Dean's Opportunity Scholarship Fund Reaches $1 Million

February 15, 2021
Alumni and friends support students in need

Launched in October 2019, the Dean’s Opportunity Scholarship Fund set out with one goal in mind: to make a University of Richmond School of Law education affordable and accessible to students in need. Dean’s Opportunity Scholars are selected based on a combination of financial need, academic excellence, perseverance in the face of adversity, and potential for leadership in the profession. Created with a foundational gift of $100,000 from Dean Wendy Perdue and her husband, David Perdue, the fund quickly drew the attention of alumni and friends who were eager to invest in legal education. Now, just over a year after its launch, Richmond Law is proud to announce that the fund has reached a whopping $1 million in gifts – and counting.

A gift of $10,000 per year for three years, or $30,000 total, sponsors a Scholar. Recognizing law students’ tremendous need, several donors have chosen to sponsor multiple scholars.

“I’m so thankful to our donors who are helping make the Dean’s Opportunity Scholarship Fund such a success,” said Perdue. “Our students graduate with an average debt approaching $100,000. That debt burden deters some students from the legal profession and makes it harder for students who want to devote themselves to public service to do so,” she added. “The goal of this fund is to open the door to deserving students who have significant need — and significant potential to contribute to the profession.”

Through the Dean’s Opportunity Scholarship Fund, “we were able to award scholarships to five students in 2020,” said Courtney Curry, Assistant Dean for Development. “Now, thanks to the generosity of our alumni and other donors, we will be able to make awards to 12 additional students in 2021,” she said. “And that’s just the beginning! We’re so excited about the growth potential for this fund, and the impact it will have on Richmond Law students for generations to come.”

The Dean’s Opportunity Scholarship Fund “is an exceptional example of our community’s commitment to access and affordability University-wide,“ said Ronald Crutcher, president of the University of Richmond. “I’m excited – and proud – to see the commitment shown by law school leadership, faculty, staff, and alumni alike to make a University of Richmond education possible for deserving students who may not have otherwise considered law school due to financial constraints.”

Dean’s Opportunity Scholarship Fund by the Numbers

Dean's Scholarship Fund Infographic