Share Your Wealth

The students in our programs benefit from gifts and support from alumni and friends who invest in expanding opportunities. These include endowed scholarships, a program excellence endowed fund, and an endowed lecture. Gifts are made in two categories.

Annual Gifts

Unrestricted donations directed to the English Department are used at the discretion of the department head. By giving the flexibility to distribute the funds where most necessary, such gifts enhance every aspect of student life in the department. Unrestricted gifts also enable us to respond to our needs by providing administrators and faculty with resources to nurture programs and initiatives that may shape the future direction of a program.

Most unrestricted support is made through annual gifts. Ongoing annual gifts recognize the value of our programs and a desire to see our department and students thrive.

Annual gifts can be made online at the University Development web page.

Please designate your annual gifts to the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management or a specific program area.

Major Gifts

Endowed funds provide a permanent source of income to meet the needs of English faculty and students. Endowed funds may be unrestricted, such as a program excellence fund, or restricted for a specific purpose, such as scholarships, chairs, distinguished professorships, or fellowships. They may be established through a gift of cash, securities, a planned gift, or a bequest.

Undergraduate scholarships support undergraduate tuition, research opportunities, professional development, and study abroad. Undergraduate scholarships can be awarded according to merit-based and/or need-based criteria.

If you wish to make a major endowed gift, please contact English Department Head, Joseph Eska, call our College Development Officer at (540) 231-8734, or visit University Development.

Share Your Expertise

Participate in career fairs



We invite you to attend our career and leadership weekend in the spring. This event connects students with alumni. A series of resume reviews, mock interviews, and workshops on professionalism are offered. We want you to share your knowledge and experience with our students.

If your organization would be interested in participating in career fairs, please contact Jen Barton.

Provide internship, undergraduate research, and service-learning sites


We encourage students to engage in hands-on learning that supports course content. Many students are interested in participating in an internship in a business or community organization and you may be able to help them locate such an opportunity. You may also know of research or service learning projects that would support classwork. Please contact us if you can help in this way.

Give a lecture


We welcome alumni to speak with students and faculty about their work. From globalization to community impact, we host presentations to inform our students about a variety of industries. We want to encourage them to take action in the world around them. If you wish to volunteer to speak to a class or provide a lecture, please contact Department Head, Joseph Eska.

The Distinguished Alumni Board

Our Distinguished Alumni Board represents a diverse group of alumni. Formed in 2003, the board plays an active role in representing the department, raising funds, enhancing visability, developing connections, and mentoring students. Among their projects is the annual Career and Leadership Weekend. Board members visit campus to work one-on-one with students reviewing their resumes and conducting mock interviews. The members established the Distinguished Alumni Board Scholarship, supporting current students.

The twenty members have successful careers in law, teaching, financial services, management of nonprofits, development, creative writing, editing, technical writing, and media services.

Distinguished Alumni Board Members

Dan Bailey, Pilot, United States Air Force (retired), Texas

Allen Brizee, Assistant Professor of Writing and Internship Coordinator, Loyola University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Lisa Derx, Vice President for Government Relations, Best Buddies, Washington, D.C.

Gina Desiderio Edmison, Director of Marketing and Communications, Healthy Teen Network, Baltimore, Maryland

Charles Epes, Assistant Director of Media Relations, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Richmond, Virginia

Karen Gibbs, Alliance Liaison, National Geographic, Washington, D.C.

Richard Glancy, Superintendent (retired), Caroline County Schools, Warsaw, Virginia

Wanda Hankins Dean, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment and Degree Management, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

Carl Hankla, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

Timothy Larson, Information and Technology Services Engineer, Northrop Grumman, Washington, D.C.


Katherine Lynde, Teacher, Blacksburg High School, Blacksburg, Virginia

Darrel Mason, Lawyer, Glen Allen, Virginia

Stuart Price, Environmental Communicator, Amelia County, Virginia

Sandy Seay, Chairman, Seay Management Consultants, Orlando, Florida

Dawn Watkins, Vice President for Client Engagement, Being Plaid, Alpharetta, Georgia

Sharon Will, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge (retired),  Henrico, County

Allan Wolf, Author, Poet, Educator, Performer, Ashville, North Carolina

Erv Blythe, Vice President for Information Technology, Virginia Tech

Elizabeth Crowther, President, Rappahannock Community College

Marie Paretti, Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech

Jenny Telwar, America’s National Teenage Scholarship Organization

Kathryn Crowder Yarzebenski, Development Officer, Lynchburg College

Mark Scroggins, Professor of English,  Florida Atlantic University

Mike Yergovich, Government, Reston, Virginia