Meet our donors

Our Donors - Virginia Commonwealth University*

Greg Turner

Greg Turner (B.S.’87) grew up in a small town outside of Roanoke, Virginia. Turner had developed a passion for science at a young age and his high school guidance counselor helped him to find good college biology programs nearby. This search led him to apply to Virginia Commonwealth University. Then, he visited a cousin who went to VCU and felt drawn to the city. He enjoyed seeing bands play at Shafer Court, hiking near the James River and venturing to Belle Isle. By the time Turner enrolled in the College of Humanities and Sciences in 1983, he was excited to live in Richmond.

“When I was picking a university, I wanted something different than what I was used to,” Turner says. “Richmond was a cool and funky place, and VCU was right in that city environment.”

Throughout Turner’s studies, grants and scholarships funded his education, giving him opportunities such as researching alongside biology professor Donald R. Young, Ph.D., and participating in work that led to a published paper. Later, faculty members encouraged Turner to pursue a scholarship that allowed him to study for a summer at a field station in southwest Virginia. His graduate school was funded through the GI Bill, and he completed his Ph.D. with the support of a fellowship and teaching assistantship.

“As I get older, I look back and see how impactful the help I received was,” Turner says. “Those small scholarships gave me unique and enriching experiences. So much of that help came from others’ giving. I am where I am now because I believe in opening doors, however large or small, for students.”

Today, Turner is a biology professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania and his position has helped him to become more familiar with the many donors that uplift a university’s initiatives. Thinking about his own impact on future students, Turner decided to name VCU as the beneficiary of a percentage of his life insurance. This gift will create a scholarship that honors both Turner and his late sister, Nina. The Nina and Greg Turner Scholarship will support undergraduate students studying biology.

“I went to VCU with my sister for a time. She loved VCU and Richmond,” says Turner. “We had some great years in Richmond together, and I gave this gift in honor of those memories and the experiences we had. I want to give to the people who are experiencing what we did.”

Virginia Commonwealth University* Donor Greg Turner