Making A Difference

November 22, 2021

Business alum’s scholarship awarded to inaugural recipient

Like many Spiders visiting campus for the first time, Brent Clark, '97, immediately knew he wanted to attend the University of Richmond. A Kentucky native, Clark was touring colleges with his father the summer before his senior year of high school.

"My dad and I were driving down what I call Snake Road [the winding road that leads to campus], and when we got there, he looked around and said, 'you're going here, aren't you?'" Clark said. "And I said, 'yeah, I think I am.' It was just that immediate gut feeling."

Due to a generous scholarship and financial aid package, Clark was able to afford a Richmond education and graduate with no debt. "As I progressed year to year, my grades got better and my loans got smaller and smaller," he said.

An economics and finance major, Clark decided to attend graduate school to pursue a Master of Healthcare Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University. "I ended up borrowing more per semester than [the total amount] I left Richmond with after four years," he said.

After graduating from VCU, Clark began a successful career in healthcare administration that led to his current role as vice president of capital deployment at HCA Healthcare, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.

Clark has consistently supported his undergraduate alma mater through gifts to the UR Annual Fund and the Robins School of Business, among others. In 2018, he decided to make an even bigger impact. He pledged $50,000 to create the Fleming Scholarship, honoring the memory of his maternal grandfather.

Isaac Lee

"I realized the opportunity that was given to me, and I wanted to help someone else receive the same opportunity," Clark said. "My grandfather did not graduate from high school — he was a tobacco farmer in Kentucky, but he was the smartest man I've ever met. He encouraged his children and grandchildren to get an education, and he instilled a love of learning in me."

The scholarship was awarded for the first time in fall 2021 to Isaac Lee, '24, a New Jersey native double majoring in psychology and health studies. "I enjoy helping people, and it's the direction I see myself taking in the future," he said. "I think the field of psychology will blossom in in the next 10 to 20 years as the stigma fades around [seeking] mental health care."

Lee said receiving the Fleming Scholarship felt very gratifying, given the hard work he's done in high school and so far in college. "On a personal level, [it's great] to feel like someone recognized me, especially during COVID-19. I am so thankful to Mr. Clark for the opportunity."

Clark said that by continuing to support the Fleming Scholarship, he hopes that his generosity will provide ample opportunities for students like Lee in the future.

"I want to help the student that wants to come to UR but can't because of financial reasons," he said. "I want to help eliminate that obstacle because I don't think that should ever be part of the equation. Students should be able to experience everything that UR has to offer."

There are many ways to help provide financial aid to students, including establishing an endowed scholarship fund or a named annual scholarship. To learn more about scholarships at the University of Richmond, visit our Giving page or contact us at donorrelations@richmond.edu.