Stephen Riddick

Meaningful Gift Made Possible Through Bequest

College ’85

A visit to Grounds as a high school senior sealed Stephen A. Riddick’s decision to attend the University of Virginia.

“You can read about the tradition, the legacy, etc., but it really wasn’t until I was on Grounds, walking around, running into former classmates, that I felt a connection,” he said. “There is something about the University, with its rich academic heritage, culture of independence and deep sense of tradition that was so much greater than at any of the other institutions that I visited.” That feeling proved irresistible.

Although Riddick (Col ’85) knew he would study either economics or business, a course on business law and corporate planning taught by John O. Wheeler, assistant professor at the McIntire School of Commerce, cemented his decision to pursue a career in corporate law. Riddick went on to obtain his J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For 21 years, he specialized in corporate law at three global law firms, making partner and serving as a leader at each.

In July 2009 Riddick formed his own strategic legal consulting firm, APTA Strategies, which advises publicly traded and privately held companies on significant transactional and corporate governance matters.

Through conversations with friends, Riddick learned more about the support the U.Va. Alumni Association provides to alumni and students. He joined the Alumni Association’s Board of Managers and served as its chair last year. As a recipient of two merit-based scholarships while a student, Riddick is committed to bringing the best and the brightest students to the University.

This commitment motivated him to include the University in his estate. In 2008 Riddick informed the University that the Alumni Association and the Ridley and Jefferson scholarship programs were among the beneficiaries of a testamentary trust he had created.

“When I was planning my estate, the bequest tool was the best way for me to show my support where I could allocate a meaningful sum of money without having to fund it at present,” he said.

Riddick considers his bequest to the University to be the most meaningful philanthropic gift of his life.

He hopes the University will continue to foster accessibility and enrich the student experience through expanded diversity of the student body in terms of gender, race and socioeconomic background. He also would like to see the University’s offerings better reflect global connectivity.

“My hope is that U.Va. really takes it up a notch in terms of developing a truly global curriculum,” he said.