Radford University is a special place for Darin ’93 and Jennifer ’96 Ely, who met at Radford University and married while Jennifer was a senior at the University. Darin was a resident assistant for three years while a student and said it helped him break out of his shell. “I was very shy in high school, and something about Radford helped me grow into who I am today,” he said.
Darin and Jennifer recently established the Darin M. Ely and Jennifer W. Ely Virginia Asset Group Scholarship for the College of Business and Economics. The scholarship is for a full-time undergraduate or graduate student in the College of Business and Economics, with preference given to students from Washington County or Chesapeake, Virginia.
As owner and president of the investment firm Virginia Asset Group in Virginia Beach, Darin knows the value and importance of a quality education. “I love being a small business owner. Students need an opportunity to learn about the importance of small business in our economy. They will gain basic life lessons from business classes and be better employers and employees,” said Darin.
He said that it was important to him and Jennifer to support Radford and its students. “Education is one of our priorities, and it made sense that Radford University would be the school that we support,” said Darin.
He and Jennifer specifically wanted to support students from near Abingdon and Chesapeake. “I grew up in Abingdon and my wife grew up in Chesapeake, so we have a particular affinity for students from those regions. We like the idea that students from our hometown will benefit from the scholarship. There are a number of students that are deserving, who work hard and don’t have the means to afford a college education. We believe that if everybody gave some back, students would have less of an issue with affordability,” said Darin.