Friends of VCU Libraries' Rising Scholars: Luncheon in the Library


10th anniversary Friends of VCU Libraries Rising Scholars Luncheon in the Library

Featuring author David Baldacci (B.A.’83/H&S; H.L.D.’01) and VCU President Michael Rao

On June 1, join fellow Rams supporters and raise money for scholarships!  

Cost: $100 for an individual ticket or $800 for a table of eight; $55 of each ticket or $440 per table is a tax-deductible contribution. 

Register here by May 18. Seating is limited 

The Friends of VCU Libraries Rising Scholars Book and Author Luncheon (previously Monroe Scholars) features best selling alumnus author David Baldacci (B.A. ‘83/H&S; H.L.D.‘01) as the keynote speaker and honored guest VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. Books will be available for purchase and signing including Simply Lies, to be published in April, 2023, and The 6:20 Man.This is the 10th anniversary year for the fundraising luncheon that supports scholarships for Central Virginia high school students at VCU.

In 2009, VCU Alumni board member Robert A. Almond (B.S.’74/B; M.Ed.’85/E) had an idea to recognize outstanding high school students in the Richmond, Va, area while promoting Virginia Commonwealth University as a university of choice. The concept was simple: Award books and recognition certificates to top high school juniors as identified by their guidance counselors and bring them to campus for visits in their senior year. If the students enrolled at VCU, they would receive a scholarship of at least $1,000 from VCU Alumni. Through Almond’s gift and the efforts of a dedicated group of alumni, a scholarship and awards program was created. VCU Alumni administered The Monroe Scholars Book Award program for 11 years.

In 2022, the program became one of VCU Libraries’ outreach and engagement efforts. Alumni and members of the Friends of VCU Libraries Board now administer this scholarship program, under the new name, the Friends of VCU Libraries Rising Scholars Program.

What began in Richmond now involves all high schools in Central Virginia. Each school nominates one deserving student. The 43 students honored are invited to a fall reception, which is also attended by VCU students who received these scholarships. 

The project includes an annual spring luncheon featuring a bestselling author to build awareness and raise funds for the scholarships. Authors who previously presented at this event include David Baldacci ((B.A.’83/H&S; H.L.D.’01), Phyllis Theroux, Rita Mae Brown, Nancy Wright Beasley, Sharyn McCrumb, Howard Owen (M.A.’81/H&S), Jill McCorkle and Lee Smith. VCU Libraries welcomes volunteers to join the committee that helps organize this program. Contact:

For special accommodations, or to register offline, please contact Ryan Pander, event manager, or 804-828-0593.