Meet our donors

Irene Burlock and Joseph Holicky III (B.S.’76/B; B.S.’77/H&S; M.S.’78/B)

Irene Burlock and Joseph Holicky III (B.S.’76/B; B.S.’77/H&S; M.S.’78/B)

Irene Burlock and Joseph Holicky III (B.S.’76/B; B.S.’77/H&S; M.S.’78/B), have been generous donors to Virginia Commonwealth University for decades. The couple has made near-yearly gifts supporting initiatives across VCU’s Monroe Park Campus since 1985, including ongoing support for the scholarships they established in VCU’s College of Engineering and School of Business.

In 2019, the Carl Linwood Burlock Scholarship in Electrical Engineering and the Joseph Holicky Scholarship in the School of Business got a boost when the couple made a commitment to support each scholarship equally.

“We had heard about estate planning for many, many years,” Burlock says. “When you”re younger, estate planning is hypothetical. The older you get, the more real it becomes.”

When it came time for the couple to organize their estate, they chose to make a planned gift to VCU because they both recognize the importance of higher education — and the cost that comes with it.

“You can see the growing cost of education becoming prohibitively expensive sooner rather than later,” says Holicky, who attended VCU on the GI Bill, which covered the cost of his tuition for the 48 months he spent to earn two undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree. “We need to help educate people so that they have good critical thinking skills and can actually think about what they”re doing and how to accomplish the task before them.”

Burlock and Holicky both wanted to make a gift that supports VCU students. The Burlock Scholarship and the Holicky Scholarship are awarded to meritorious students in their respective college and school. They also have supported other scholarship funds and community initiatives over the years to help make education more accessible to succeeding generations of students. They plan to keep giving toward this goal for as long as possible.

“We have the ability and the desire to do it,” Holicky says. “I will continue to give because it’s the right thing to do.”

Burlock agrees. Planned giving enables donors to give a gift that continues helping others for years to come, she notes.

“So what do you do with your estate?” she says. “You put it where it will do some good.”

Virginia Commonwealth University* Donor Irene Burlock and Joseph Holicky III (B.S.’76/B; B.S.’77/H&S; M.S.’78/B)