University Scholarship

Vira I. Heinz Scholarships

2012 VIH CohortThe Heinz Endowments: Vira I. Heinz Scholarships

In a city known for its active and concerned civic leaders, Vira I. Heinz (VIH) was among the foremost. Born Vira M. Ingham in what is now the Brighton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, she married Clifford S. Heinz, son of the founder of the food processing company. Clifford died three years after their marriage, and over the next four decades, Vira dedicated herself to philanthropic and civic work.

Mrs. Heinz received the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Pittsburgh and honorary degrees from eleven colleges and universities. As a member of the Board of Directors of the H.J. Heinz Company, she was the first woman board member of a multinational corporation headquartered in Pittsburgh.

Vira I. HeinzIn the spirit of generosity that characterized her life, Vira provided in her will for the establishment of a charitable foundation and the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership. Each year women from fifteen university campuses compete to be selected as VIH scholar. Awardees receive a scholarship to study abroad, participation in an intensive leadership development training, and an opportunity to implement a community engagement experience. The VIH Program is exclusively for women who have never been abroad. The program also targets women who meet one (or more) of the following four indicators of diversity: GLBTQQ, disability, racial or ethnic minority, and financial need as defined by receiving a Pell Grant. This unique scholarship, like Vira herself, molds global citizens with a life-long passion for learning and civil engagement.