Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A Donor Eagerly Awaits Adcenter

Rick Boyko has been the Adcenter's director for four years.
Noah Adams, NPR /
Rick Boyko has been the Adcenter's director for four years.

One morning in Richmond, Va., Rick Boyko borrowed some hardhats and walked through the graceful old red brick structure that will soon be the new home of Virginia Commonwealth University's Adcenter.

In a century long ago, the building was the carriage house for a grand hotel — not just a shelter for a buggy and a couple of horses, but two-stories high, with a manually operated elevator that the carriages would ride up to their appointed stalls.

Boyko can see the finished Adcenter in his mind, with much of the original wood, high ceilings, lots of light and room for creative teams to gather.

It's a $9 million project, designed by the architectural firm Clive Wilkinson, whose clients include Disney, Wolfgang Puck and Google. Rick Boyko and his wife have contributed $1 million to the building-fund campaign. He told me, "I think you have to have some 'skin' in the game if you're going out asking other people for money."

Boyko has been the Adcenter's director for four years. Most recently, he was the chief creative officer and co-president of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, working in New York. He had thought entering the academic world might be a semi-retirement.

"I wanted to learn to play the piano, a foreign language, to fly a plane, travel more, paint again. I'm working just as hard now but it's more rewarding."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Noah Adams
Noah Adams, long-time co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, brings more than three decades of radio experience to his current job as a contributing correspondent for NPR's National Desk., focusing on the low-wage workforce, farm issues, and the Katrina aftermath. Now based in Ohio, he travels extensively for his reporting assignments, a position he's held since 2003.