University of Maryland

Why We Give

By Avis Richards '80 and Bruce Richards

Avis Richards Portrait

Avis ’80 and Bruce Richards

The University of Maryland holds a special place in our hearts, having provided an enduring education and enriching experiences for our daughter, brother, sister, niece and nephew. UMD’s renowned, world-class academic rigor helped mold members of our family into the leaders and visionaries they are today.

For years, we have considered how we can thank the University of Maryland, and given our good fortune, our time had come to pay it forward, by providing scholarships to a very special group of students we honor, people who represent the fabric of what has made the United States the greatest country in the world.

Our $1 million donation is specifically designated to provide scholarships to military veterans attending the University of Maryland to support tuition, room and board, and other expenses. Veterans exemplify many attributes that we so greatly admire: loyalty, dedication and hard work. Veterans represent one of this nation’s greatest economic resources, as they own 9 perfect of America’s small businesses, employing 5.8 million people.

Our goal is to ease their transition from military service to the classroom in a seamless manner, as veterans attending the University of Maryland currently carry an average student loan burden of $17,290.

The University of Maryland’s unwavering commitment to our nation’s veterans is a model that every college should emulate. We thank the University of Maryland for enabling us to be part of this distinct and noble cause as we are forever grateful to veteran serviceman and –women for their dedication to our country.

Avis (Gold) Richards is CEO and founder of the nonprofit Birds Nest Foundation and Bruce Richards is CEO of Marathon Asset Management LLC.