#ThanksRAF.... Getting to Know: Chuck and Deb Bailey

Today marks the fifth and final day of Ram Athletic Fund Appreciation Week, where VCU Athletics will spend the entire week focusing on the 2,000-plus donors that make their success on the court and in the classroom possible.

Each day featured giveaways, donor profiles, tweets and much more to show our appreciation for the passion and dedication shown by the Ram Athletic Fund.

We've profiled former student-athlete Rodney Ashby , VCU grad Glenn Davis, who is the President and CEO of BranCore Technologies, Richmond native and local real estate expert Bill Gallasch and current VCU dentistry student Greg Mullins. Today we chat with longtime Ram fans and VCU grads, Chuck & Deb Bailey. 

VCUAthletics.com: Why do you feel it is important to support VCU Athletics?

 As alumni of the school, we have been very excited about the strides that the University has made both on and off the playing field.  We give because we love our University and are proud to be associated with such a successful institution. 

VCUAthletics.com: How would you like to see your gift impact today’s generation of VCU students?

C&DB: As we give primarily to the athletic dept, we hope our gift helps level the playing field and provide VCU student athletes the resources to compete at the highest level. Facilities and operating budgets are the key to attract the best coaches and the best student athletes and provide the best chance at success.

VCUathletics.com: With so many great charitable organizations you could choose to support, why do you include VCU among your philanthropic priorities?

C&DB: We are tied to VCU. The success of VCU is a reflection on us. The continued success of VCU is a source of pride for our family.

VCUathletics.com: Please share one of your most memorable experiences as a Virginia Commonwealth University student/fan…

C&DB: Although it would be hard to top watching VCU playing in the Final Four, actually the previous weekend, in San Antonio, resonates as our most memorable experience.  The combination of a great city, great VCU fans and staff and winning two games to advance to the Final Four will forever be one of our favorite experiences. We have been following the Rams for over 30 years and there have been many fun moments, but the current run we are on and the national acclaim we have received is at times surreal to us.

VCUathletics.com: Do you have a game day routine, or could you describe your experiences cheering-on the Rams on game day (coming to games, other?)…

C&DB: We do not have any “set” routine. We love the Saturday evening/afternoon games as it gives us all day to anticipate, peruse the game day articles, get there early to enjoy the City, head to the SC to meet up with other fans and let the excitement build. One recent requirement is to make sure we are in the building prior to the band’s rendition of “Africa”. We know we have timed it perfectly if we manage that. After the games we sprint to the car to make sure we catch Robby’s post game show on the radio. We enjoy listening to him wax eloquently on what we just witnessed, hear from Shaka or a player or two and get a recap of the stats. I am not sure how Robby does it but the post game show ends as we are pulling into our drive way. Our experience does not end there, as that Sunday morning we gather around to watch the game that we have taped. We like to stretch the” game day” to fill the whole weekend!

VCUathletics.com: How have you seen VCU change since you were a student/ over the years?

C&DB: As early 80’s graduates we could write a book on the differences then and now.  The reality is the VCU of today is a powerful force that energizes the City both economically and socially. It is truly a vibrant part of Richmond’s landscape.  As far as VCU basketball goes, we have enjoyed the roller coaster ride of VCU’s rise, fall, and rise again.  We were screaming in the coliseum in the 80’s when JD Barnett led the Rams to national prominence and we were still sitting there with the other true Black and Gold fans during the less than stellar late 80s and early 90s. We will always remember the excitement that came with the building of the Siegel Center as well as all the facility upgrades and campus improvements.  

VCUathletics.com: What would you say to a friend who was considering joining the Ram Athletic Fund? 

C&DB: Invest in the future; get on the train that is VCU basketball. Most bang for your buck than any other event you can find…and its tax deductible!

VCUathletics.com: What are you most looking forward to in the 2013-14 season?

C&DB: The maturation of the returning players and the excitement of seeing the new players for the first time.  Our style of play under Shaka and the incredible atmosphere at the Siegel center makes VCU basketball a must see event.  The game experience is incredible, band, dance team, cheerleaders, crowd, just off the charts!