Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Over his 45-year career, Northern Virginia Community College math professor Richard Semmler has made a profound impact in the classroom, and beyond.

NVCC math professor Richard Semmler

Dr. Semmler has lived a frugal life and worked additional jobs on the side. And he has donated a total of $1,008,350 to fund NVCC student scholarships over his professional life.

“Some people helped me along the way, so I thought it was necessary for me to help others,” Semmler told Washington TV Station WRC.

“My dollars go to very specific projects, so I know what I’m funding. And, I get to witness it firsthand every day in my classroom.”

Tom Motak, one of the students to receive a grant due to Semmler’s gifts said, “It’s incredibly selfless and inspiring….this has made a huge difference in my life.”

Of Semmler, NVCC President Scott Ralls said, “The notion of a faculty member giving $1 million to a college is unbelievable. He is truly as generous an individual as I have ever seen.”

The son of an electrician and a secretary, Semmler has done without the luxuries that most people crave. In addition to his gifts to NVCC, Semmler has made huge donations to other charities and has helped to build more than 100 homes with Habitat for Humanity.

“If I had to do it all over again, I would do it this way.” – Richard Semmler.

Read NVCC’s news release and see links to other videos here.'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

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