Heartfelt Thanks: Ken & Dianne Wright

“All of us at the VCU Pauley Heart Center are grateful to Ken and Dianne for their ongoing support and their friendship,” said Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, chairman of Pauley’s division of cardiology. “Their generosity is truly an inspiration. The C. Kenneth Wright Professorship will help us recruit an outstanding scholar to our faculty.”

The couple has previously supported the MCV campus with generous gifts to the Massey Cancer Center and the Cardiology Division.

The Wrights’ deep-rooted commitment to VCU includes the Monroe Park campus as well. They gave a transformative, $10.5 million gift to the School of Engineering Foundation and also created the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Freshman Merit Scholarship Fund for engineering students. A $1 million gift by the Wrights established the Trani Scholars program, which provides full tuition and fees to exceptional, deserving undergraduate students.

Dianne Wright is the former owner of Ambassador Travel & Tours, Inc. Ken Wright is the president and owner of Wright Properties and Wright Investments. He is the retired chairman of Rent-A-Car Company, Inc., an Avis franchise that he started in 1954. Over the next 45 years, he expanded the business to more than 24 locations in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. In 1999, the Wrights began their philanthropic relationship with VCU by donating the building that once served as Rent-A-Car’s headquarters to the VCU Brandcenter.

Over the years, the Wrights have donated more than $17 million in gifts and pledges to the university, and have also provided valuable leadership support. Ken is a member of the VCU School of Engineering Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Dianne is a Trustee of the MCV Foundation and is serving her second term on the Massey Cancer Center’s Advisory Board.

In June, VCU honored Ken with its highest accolade—an honorary doctorate.

“There is nothing more meaningful to us right now than our affiliation with VCU,” he said, upon receiving the award.

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