About 100 University of Virginia Alumni and friends met in Richmond in April to announce the winner of the Ridley Cain Scholarship Award. Evan Day was granted the award intended for a student planning to enroll at the UVA Law School and pursue a law degree. Morgan Moses addressed his Alma Mater, telling his own story “from the heart.”
Alex Taylor, who has his own law firm in Richmond, was chairman for this event at the Bow Tie and Criterion Cinema just across from Arthur Ashe stadium.
Let Me Start by Saying that We All Know UVA Wants People to Succeed – the Ridley Cain Scholarships Provide A Bridge for our Richmond Area Students to Get There. Tonight, I Just Want You to Think About Opportunities in Your Life and the People and Perhaps Financial Help that was YOUR BRIDGE TO SUCCESS.
Thanks to everyone here who supports the Richmond Ridley Cain Scholar awards and makes it all possible. I am very happy to be here tonight and share some thoughts and ideas. Thanks for inviting me and please continue to give generously.
I’m Morgan Moses, the starting offensive tackle for the Washington Redskins and formerly a UVA Cavalier. Well, I guess you are always a Cavalier, right guys!
UVA Taught Me a Great Deal about Success in Life, Success in the Classroom and Success on the Football Field.
First, let me say I am very proud of our Current Ridley Cain Richmond Scholar, Nena Evans! She’s doing Statistics at UVA! Now we all know that STATS is usually the course in Econ and Math that crushes people! She’s also involved in Athletics like me. Nena is a group exercise instructor at the UVA Fitness and Aquatics Center – so she puts people through their workouts.
Balancing Academics and Athletics at UVA is tough, too. We all know that and working hard is one way to get there.
Alex Taylor and some of the Folks from the Richmond Ridley Cain Scholarship selection team asked me to focus on a couple questions about my time at UVA. It seems almost a lifetime away from when I got my own student athlete scholarship and started playing for Coach London.
Here are a couple of questions the Ridley Cain team asked me to focus on:
1. Why did I choose UVA and overcome my personal situation to get there?
My story is about perseverance really and people seeing some promise in me. Coach London saw something in me and wanted to be sure I had an opportunity to play. Coach London believed in me, and that’s a big part of why I chose to become a Cavalier. I originally committed to UVA based on Coach recruiting me and then had to become academically eligible. I made a verbal commitment and stuck with it when the time came!
You might know that I graduated from Meadowbrook high school here in North Chesterfield, in Richmond, but had a GPA that was under 2.0. I had to spend a year over at Fork Union Military Academy to improve my study habits and my discipline. My mom, Marion, my dad, my uncles who are here also stood by me and wanted what was best for me. I give credit to God, my mom, my family and people who just knew that I could achieve the high academics required of our ELITE SCHOOL.
The important thing, too, for any ballplayer who wants to become a professional is that I wanted to start and play throughout my total four years. So I was able to start 13 Games on the line as a Cavalier. I was chosen by the Redskins in the third round of the 2014 Draft and the rest is history!
2. Why did I choose to stay as long as I did and graduate from UVA?
It was also very important for me to get a degree from UVA and complete my college education and stay all four years! Not everyone in my family has been so fortunate. I felt I owed it to my family and to myself.
Most of my studies were in the African American Studies Department but I also continued my interest by taking courses in Military Studies. I had some good grounding that from Good Old Fork Union!
I was chosen All – ACC and that was very important to me and to my future prospects as an NFL Player.
3. Why should we give back by funding a scholarship that promotes diversity at UVA.
UVA still has the highest graduation rate for African American Students when compared to any public university in the country. This is SURELY one reason alone to support the Richmond Ridley Cain Scholarship Fund.
When I took my African American Studies courses, I was struck by all of the history and all of the people that have gone before us to help gain us our Freedom as a People. I understand we will be watching the historical film “Black Wall Street” and the producer of that film is here with us. Now, today, it’s time for us to give back too for the next generation.
Just in the past year, I started my own Foundation – the Morgan Moses Foundation – which is dedicated to the idea of MOTIVATING OTHERS THROUGH EDUCATION.
Education starting in North Chesterfield here in Richmond was a way up for me. Our family story meant we were moving around a lot and I was seeking a way to make my own name, have my own position in life. I have a firm family foundation based on the care and love of my mom and dad, my uncles and my coaches. I have a family with the Redskins for sure. Now I have my own family with my fiancé Jessica and our little son who is with us, Jeremiah.
You have to ask yourselves, in thinking about our Hoos: How Can YOU Help?
What can you do today? How can you keep the Richmond Ridley Cain Scholarship funded and support a student like Evan Day here. When we have such high caliber people like her and like the current winner Nena coming-out of Mechanicsville, we have to keep the funds coming. I will let the the Cain committee make the ask here but please do what you can to support the fund.