Developer David Walentas and his wife Jane have made a $100 million gift to the University of Virginia
Walentas is a 1961 alumnus of UVA and 1964 graduate of its Darden School of Business. He was the first in his family to attend college.
The bulk of the gift — $75 million — is committed to scholarships and fellowships for first-generation students, with the remaining $25 million dedicated to fellowships and professorships through the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and Darden School of Business.
The Jefferson Scholars Foundation expects to enroll 60 Walentas Scholars undergraduate students who have achieved academic excellence, possess strong leadership potential, and have demonstrated the type of resilience and tenacity that made Walentas so successful.
The merit-based scholarships will cover the full cost of attending the University.
“Growing up I didn’t know anyone who had been to college, but I knew that it was a way out of poverty and a path to opportunity,” Walentas said.
“Thanks to a scholarship, I was the first in my family to attend college, and my time at UVA completely changed my life. There are so many talented young people in this country who can help make our society a better place if given the opportunity. I can’t wait to see how these first-generation college students change the world.”