The site of the first lasting English colony, Virginia faced a tumultuous early history due to a number of factors including native resistance, disease, and famine. Richmond, the capital of Virginia, was eventually settled by colonists and became an integral economic and social element in the colony’s, and later the nation’s, development.
Explorer Christopher Newport launched an excursion up the James River, planting a cross on a small island near what is now downtown Richmond. Though Newport was unable to establish any permanent livable settlement, John Rolfe a few years later managed to build tobacco plantations in what is now Henrico County, establishing Richmond’s status as a hub of commerce and agriculture. By the year 1645, settlers erected Fort Charles on the James River. Assured by the protection the fort afforded, the area became more widely settled and was a high-traffic point of commerce for furs, hides, and tobacco.
Known as the “Father of Richmond,” Colonel William Byrd visited the area in 1733 and began the planning stages for a city. In 1737, Richmond’s basic founding structure had been formed and was established as an official town in 1742. Richmond was named Virginia’s capital in 1779.
A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Robert Bhat is a financial professional who has held numerous positions with Wells Fargo Bank.
The da Vinci Center at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was recently honored with a substantial grant from Altria Group, Inc. The donation will be delivered annually for the next five years in increments of $300,000 and will support the efforts of the center in four key ways.
First, this money will provide administrative and leadership support for the center. Second, it will help develop the country’s first Master’s degree in product innovation. Third, Altria’s donation will help establish a learning program with the Science Museum of Virginia for the benefit of low-to-middle income students that will seek to enhance their abilities in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. Finally, the donations will aid various entrepreneurial and commercial initiatives.
The da Vinci Center is a multidisciplinary center that joins the School of the Arts, Engineering, and Business to develop students who are prepared for all aspects of current business and technology markets. In the coming year, the College of Humanities and Sciences will also add its expertise and resources to the center’s offerings.
Altria’s donation to the da Vinci Center is just one of the ways that the company has supported VCU over the years. Altria looks to VCU as a top recruitment source for talented students in marketing, engineering, and finance.
Robert Bhat completed his Bachelor of Science in finance at VCU and currently works for Wells Fargo Capital Finance.
Wells Fargo began in 1852, when two men, Henry Wells and William Fargo, partnered to provide express and banking services to clients in the Western United States. They opened Wells, Fargo & Co. in San Francisco during the Gold Rush. After six years, the partners helped found the Overland Mail Company, which delivered items tremendously quickly for the time. The couriers utilized trains, steamships, stagecoaches, and horses. For a short time, Wells Fargo even managed a portion of the well-known Pony Express.
With improvements in transportation, such as the completion of a transcontinental railroad, Wells Fargo began to offer nationwide service. It connected thousands of communities in 25 states and operated with the motto “Ocean to Ocean.” In addition to transporting goods across the country, the company offered rudimentary financial services in numerous small towns. The firm’s team assisted customers with money orders, telegraph fund transfers, and traveler’s checks.
About the Author: Based in Florida, Robert Bhat serves as a Loan Originations Associate at Wells Fargo Capital Finance. He previously completed a training program in credit management at Wells Fargo Bank and contributed to the company as a Relationship Manager. Robert Bhat holds a Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Now residing in Florida, financial professional Robert Bhat maintains connections to Richmond, Virginia, having completed his undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. An avid runner outside of his work with Wells Fargo Capital Finance, Bhat has competed in numerous races, including the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K.
In 2012, nearly 41,000 runners participated in the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K, which follows a course along Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue. The street features statues of numerous Confederate war heroes, including Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Jefferson Davis.
The male and female winners ran the 10-kilometer course in 28:33 and 33:07, respectively. Along the route, 35 bands entertained spectators as they cheered on the runners.
At the conclusion of the event, runners and their friends and families could attend the SUBWAY Festival in Monroe Park, which featured a variety of booths filled by charities, vendors, and sponsors. Other attractions included live music and an awards ceremony, as well as food and beverages specifically for the participants.