Back when he was a student at John Marshall High School, Everette G. "Buddy" Allen Jr. thought he'd grow up and get a job counting someone else's beans.
"I honestly didn't think I'd be able to go to college," says Allen, who expected to get a job as a bookkeeper, but is now one of the most powerful corporate lawyers in Richmond. He announced a $2.6 million donation to his alma mater, Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, July 16.
More than $1 million of that endowment is earmarked to provide scholarships to other Richmond Public Schools graduates who might otherwise not have the money to attend college. (The remainder is for athletic scholarships and to help with the college's annual giving campaign.)
"I had great parents -- we were just poor as hell," says Allen, who managed to land enough scholarships for a free ride at Macon. He says he's acutely aware that too many youth equally deserving aren't so lucky.
"Small, private colleges are very expensive I don't know the exact tab at Macon, but it's $33,000 or $34,000," he says. (Tuition, room, board and fees for 2007-008 start at about $34,500).
"What you'd want is that anyone who is admitted to R-MC would be able to go, and cost is not a factor," he says. "That's not the real world. Hopefully our donation will help."
Macon's president, Robert Lindgren, thinks it will: "It help us focus on specific students in the Richmond area where a scholarship might mean the difference on whether or not they'll be able to come here."
Allen says he hopes eventually to fund the scholarship to the tune of $10 million. S
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