Photo of Vincent Ratcliff

Vincent Ratcliff

Cedar Valley Campus

Adjunct Criminal Justice professor

Criminal Investigator, U.S. Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General

Federal agent and Cedar Valley Campus adjunct instructor Vincent Ratcliff learned generosity from his parents, and with his brothers established scholarships to honor their memory and legacy.

For Vincent Ratcliff, founding scholarships in memory of his parents both honored them and satisfied his own desire to encourage others. “I’ve been a scholarship recipient myself,” says Vincent. “You may not be able to give back to the people who invested in you – parents, teachers and coaches – but you can pay it forward, by reinvesting in others.”

In 2009, Vincent, along with his brothers, Leotis and Lee Ratcliff, established two scholarships in memory of their parents. Both scholarships are targeted to benefit students in selected zip codes of the Oak Cliff area in Dallas where they grew up, honoring their parents’ commitment to helping those in need. “Both of my parents were very giving people,” he says. “We established these scholarships in their memory because we wanted to give back too.”

Photo of Vincent Ratcliff and Jonathan Umelo
Vincent Ratcliff and Jonathan Umelo

Thelma B. Ratcliff Memorial Scholarship

The Thelma B. Ratcliff Memorial Scholarship supports students earning health-related associate degrees, honoring Mrs. Ratcliff’s nursing career of more than 30 years in hospital and private care. “She always had close relationships with those she served and ended up being like one of their extended family,” says Vincent.

The application of this year’s Thelma B. Ratcliff scholar, Jonathan Umelo – a student from Nigeria who helped care for his mother before she passed away – stood out. “He wanted to help not only her but go into medicine and help other people,” says Vincent of Jonathan. “One of the things he said that impressed me is that he wanted to pass along what he’d been given by serving others in the field of medicine.”

Lareese Ratcliff Memorial Scholarship

The Lareese Ratcliff Memorial Scholarship is a merit- and need-based scholarship for African-American males pursuing a career in federal law enforcement or accounting. An added factor is that Vincent, a federal agent himself, provides personal mentoring and encouragement. “Mentoring has been important in my life,” he says. “The journey is not just about getting there but reaching back and bringing others along the way.”

A criminal investigator for the federal government for more than 30 years, Vincent has also served as an adjunct professor in Criminal Justice program since 2006. “Teaching is a fulfillment of helping to direct young people on their path,” he says. “Someone might have a dream, but it’s another thing figuring out the steps to fulfill it. Being educationally prepared to accomplish your dreams and take advantage of opportunities is very important.”

For Vincent Ratcliff, giving back is simply the way he learned to live from his parents’ examples. “If we all did a little more giving, the world would be a better place,” he says. “Besides, it just feels good to give.”

“To whom much is given, much is required.”

— Vincent Ratcliff