Meet our donors

Linnie S. Carter, Ph.D. (B.S.’92/H&S; M.S.’98/H&S)

Linnie S. Carter, Ph.D. (B.S.’92/H&S; M.S.’98/H&S)

Linnie S. Carter, Ph.D. (B.S.’92/H&S; M.S.’98/H&S) has always been an active alumna on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus. She is a member of the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture advisory board and past president of the VCU African American Alumni Council. She has also made near-yearly gifts supporting initiatives across VCU’s Monroe Park Campus since 1994.

“I give to VCU often, and I have made a legacy gift to the university,” Carter says. “I give because VCU changed my life.”

Carter started at VCU in August 1988. While on campus, she made lifelong friends in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., began dating her now-husband and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Humanities and Sciences. After graduating from VCU, she went on to earn her Ph.D. in community college leadership from Old Dominion University. Carter has worked in multiple positions in higher education and is the vice president of college advancement at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.

“Now I am a vice president of the largest community college in Pennsylvania and I can use my power for good,” Carter says. “I stand up for historically underrepresented groups, and that advocacy was stoked at VCU.”

Carter is also the president and CEO of Linnie Carter & Associates LLC. Her consulting group, with expertise in communications services for institutions of higher education, exemplifies her belief that multiple sources of income are essential to financial security. She says entrepreneurship helps people have control over their lives, something she finds especially important for people of color and other historically underrepresented groups. She encourages her mentees from VCU’s AAAC Mentoring Circle to seize any opportunity they have to start and grow their own businesses.

“I know how brilliant VCU students are,” Carter says. “And I would love for them to start their businesses, to make the world a better place for people who don’t have a voice and to make a good living for themselves.”

Education was a path to empowerment for Carter. At VCU, she developed the skills and recognition that earned her respect at institutions where she had previously been automatically dismissed as unqualified because she is a Black woman. Though she also experienced instances of racism at VCU, Carter says, she did not let that undermine her support or love for the university. Now, as a donor and esteemed alumna, she influences change at VCU so that, like her mentees, she can continue to make the world a better place.

“If every Black person stopped supporting organizations where they had a racist experience, we would never support any organization,” Carter says. “What I can do is determine where my giving goes. I can tell VCU how I want my gifts used.”

Carter regularly gives to the Barbara Payton Scholarship, which supports undergraduate students in the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. She has also set up a planned gift by naming the university as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy. She feels strongly about giving back to the alma mater that gave her so much and helping make a difference for future generations of VCU students.

“If I can help while I’m living and upon my death to make it easier for other VCU students, that is my way of paying it forward,” Carter says.

Virginia Commonwealth University* Donor Linnie S. Carter, Ph.D. (B.S.’92/H&S; M.S.’98/H&S)