Jessie Ball duPont Fund Supports VCU Leadership Role in Bridging Richmond


JACKSONVILLE, Florida, February 24, 2010 – Trustees of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund awarded $175,000 to Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, to enable the university to lead Bridging Richmond, a region-wide initiative to improve educational outcomes from early childhood through college.

The award was among 14 grants, valued at $1.9 million, made by the trustees during their February meeting.

The Richmond metropolitan area, like many large urban areas, posts weak statistics when it comes to educational success: graduation rates are low and truancy and dropout rates are high. Bridging Richmond seeks to improve the academic preparation, performance and completion rates for students in the metro area by coordinating educational goals and aligning resources across the region.

Specifically, Bridging Richmond brings together leaders from K-12 and higher education, philanthropy, business and the community, across multiple jurisdictions, to address five major goals: ensuring that all children 1) are prepared to enter kindergarten 2) are supported inside and outside of school 3) succeed academically 4) enroll in some form of post-secondary education and 5) graduate and enter meaningful 21st century careers,

With the grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, VCU will provide a project coordinator and serve as the principal convenor for Bridging Richmond.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund makes grants to more than 330 eligible organizations identified by Mrs. duPont in her will. The Fund has assets of more than $265 million and has awarded $291 million in grants since 1977.

Sherry Magill, president
904-353-0890 /

Mary Kress Littlepage, KBT & Associates
904-384-8496 /