Chris Vance ’17


“I used up almost all of my funds, so the only way school was going to get paid for was through scholarships.”

The first career choice may not always be the right one. WVU student Chris Vance made the decision to follow another career path after realizing his true passion was a desire to work with others. And with the help of private giving, his aspirations are becoming a reality.

Born and raised in Franklin, W.Va., Vance made a decision to join the military after graduating from high school, then moved to California where he received a degree in political science from the University of California.
Always dreaming of becoming a lawyer one day, Vance decided to make a drastic change after spending time in Iraq.

“I was in Iraq in 2003 with an artillery unit. There was this little girl and this [explosive] had severed both of her legs. We bandaged her up, but it was from that point on that I knew I wanted to help people.”

Following his return from Iraq, Vance was accepted into the WVU School of Nursing and is currently working toward his bachelor of science degree.

While a benefit of the military is education assistance, Vance had exhausted the financial help given to him halfway through his nursing education because of his earlier college degree from California.
“I used up almost all of my funds, so the only way school was going to get paid for was through scholarships,” he said.

Unsure and disappointed by the uncertainty of whether or not he would be able to continue his education, Vance had plans of putting his education on hold for a semester in order to save money. And carrying a 4.0 GPA at WVU, Vance said putting that dream on hold was not something he wanted to do.

Thanks to the Sue Ann and Raymond F. Morgan Nursing Scholarship, Vance was able to receive the financial assistance he needed to continue in the nursing program, and will graduate next August with his bachelor’s degree.

“Without this scholarship, I don’t know if I’d be here. I’m definitely going to give back through scholarships after I graduate.”

Through the opportunity he was given because of private philanthropy, Vance will continue to fulfill his dream of making a difference in the lives of others.

“I’m just a [certified assistant] now, but I’ve been able to make a huge difference. Having people come up and tell me what kind of difference I’ve made and how I’ve helped them get through a major car accident or something—that’s the rewarding part of being in the healthcare field.”

Vance plans on attending graduate school to become an acute care nurse practitioner where he hopes to continue making a difference in his patients’ lives.
“People can tell when you’re genuine. People can tell when you love what you do and it makes a big difference.”