Alumni and staff support scholarships

Virginia Ruchel and library co-workersWhen La Trobe University alumnus and library staff member Virginia Ruchel’s mother passed away earlier this year, her co-workers rallied together and made a donation towards supporting student scholarships in her mother’s name; a fitting legacy for a woman passionate about education and with ties to La Trobe University and the Mildura community.

Virginia’s library co-workers made a gift towards supporting student scholarships in Mildura – the region in which Virginia’s mother spent most of her life.
Virginia’s mother Sue Ruchel had a long and interesting history with La Trobe University.   After graduating from Teachers' College, she moved to the Mildura area where she taught, met her husband and raised a family.  In addition three of her daughters graduated from La Trobe University - one of which is Virginia Ruchel, Library Communications and Public Relations Coordinator at La Trobe.

“As a teacher, mum was passionate about education, ensuring that her daughters had opportunities beyond marrying farmers in Mildura.  She was also a passionate gardener, with a well-known gardening book to her name, so in her funeral arrangements, mum requested that people bring only cut flowers to the funeral, not bought flowers.  However my library co-workers wanted to make some kind of gift to commemorate my mother’s passing and we decided that supporting student scholarships was the best way to honour her memory” says Virginia.

Virginia and her sisters Melanie and Jill are all graduates of La Trobe University.  Melanie Ruchel was the first graduate, finishing with a Bachelor of Arts with Diploma of Education in 1976 and returned to complete a Masters of Education (prelim) in 1990.

Jill graduated in 1981 with a Bachelors of Arts (honours) in history and forged a successful career as a marketing strategist in fundraising for not-for-Profit organisations.  Virginia graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Cinema Studies and went on to work in various marketing and communications roles at the University of Melbourne, Deakin University and returning to La Trobe University in 2008.  

You too can support student scholarships by contributing to Annual Giving.  Every gift counts.