Virginia Commonwealth University: Wikis


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Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University Emblem
Established 1838
Type Public university
Endowment US 252.903 million[1]
President Michael Rao
Provost Stephen D. Gottfredson
Faculty 3,088[2]
Staff 18,218[2]
Students 32,284[2]
Undergraduates 22,792[2]
Postgraduates 9,492[2]
Location United States Richmond, Virginia, USA
Campus Urban, Monroe Park Campus - 88.2 acres (357,000 m2), MCV Campus - 52.4 acres (212,000 m2).[3]
Colors Black and Gold[4]          
Nickname Rams
Mascot Rodney the Ram
Athletics NCAA Division I, CAA, 16 varsity teams
VCU typeface.svg
All enrollment figures are as of Fall 2008

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a large, public American research university with two main campuses located in downtown Richmond, Virginia. VCU is an urban university with one of the largest enrollments in Virginia, with over 32,000 students.[5]

VCU was founded through a merger between the Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia in 1968.

It is classified as one of three Virginia research universities with high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.



Though officially created with the merger of the Richmond Profesional Institute (RPI) and Medical College of Virginia (MCV) in 1928, VCU's history stretches back to 1854, when the Richmond Department of Medicine broke away from its roots in Hampden-Sydney College and became an independent institution known as the Medical College of Virginia. VCU recognizes the earlier date on its official seal and on promotional materials. RPI traces its roots back to 1917, when it began as the Richmond School of Social Work.


VCU Presidents

Person Years
Warren W. Brandt 1969-1974
T. Edward Temple 1975-1977
Edmund F. Ackell 1978-1990
Eugene P. Trani 1990-2009
Michael Rao 2009-Present
The Egyptian Building, built in 1845, is one of the University's oldest buildings. It is located on the MCV campus.


  • 1838 - The Medical Department of Hampden-Sydney College opens in Richmond
  • 1844 - The Medical Department moves into its first permanent home, the Egyptian Building
  • 1854 - The Medical Department of Hampden-Sydney College receives an independent charter from the Virginia General Assembly and becomes the Medical College of Virginia (MCV)
  • 1860 - In return for a $30,000 appropriation MCV conveys all its property to the Commonwealth of Virginia and becomes a state institution
  • 1893 - College of Physicians and Surgeons, later University College of Medicine, was established by Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire just three blocks away from MCV
  • 1912 - McGuire Hall opens as the new home of the University College of Medicine
  • 1913 - MCV and UCM merged through the efforts of Dr. George Ben Johnston and Dr. Stuart McGuire. MCV acquired the Memorial Hospital as a result of the merger
  • 1917 - Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health established
  • 1925 - Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health becomes the Richmond division of the College of William and Mary
  • 1939 - Richmond division of William and Mary becomes the "Richmond Professional Institute of the College of William and Mary" (RPI)
  • 1947 - MCV Foundation is incorporated.
  • 1962 - RPI separates from William and Mary to become an independent state institution.
  • 1968 - The first heart transplant at the Medical College of Virginia is performed by Dr. Richard R. Lower. This was only the 9th such operation performed in the United States, and the 16th in the world.
  • 1968 - State legislation merges MCV and RPI to become Virginia Commonwealth University. MCV retains the right to use its name.
  • 2000 - VCU Health System authority is established.
  • 2001 - Spring- Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Science opened. It includes a 70-acre (280,000 m2) lake, pine and hardwood forests. In the Summer the Eugene P. and Lois E. Trani Center for Life Science was opened. It features an extensive greenhouse, 18 laboratories for research in genetics to systems biology, and is home to the Bioinformatics program.
  • 2004 - The name VCU Medical Center is adopted to refer to MCV Hospitals and VCU's medical schools, and the VCU Academic Campus is renamed the VCU Monroe Park Campus.
  • 2006 - VCU grew to become the most populated university in Virginia and the state's first to have 30,000 students
  • 2008 - VCU celebrated 40th anniversary

Expansion: VCU 2020

VCU is currently the fastest growing University in the Commonwealth of Virginia, developing a strategic plan for the future known as "VCU 2020." The plan includes concepts for about $1 billion in new academic, medical, recreation, student housing and parking facilities on VCU’s Monroe Park and MCV Campuses.[6] Among its major goals is the creation of a collegiate community promoting student engagement and the campus environment.[7]

Future Construction

According to the 6 year Capital Plan as of 2009


Monroe Park Campus

  • General Academic building - a $44 million, 102,000 square foot classroom building on Floyd Avenue across from the Student Commons that will house the School of Social Work and the Department of English[9][10]
  • Information Commons/Cabell Library - Renovation and expansion of Cabell Library by 82,000 square-feet, called the "Information Commons"
  • West Grace South Housing, Phase I - The new 459-bed residence hall and 218-space parking deck will be built on Grace Street property already cleared of structures and now used for parking. The two projects, expected to open in fall 2012, together will cost $41 million[11]
  • Siegel Center Renovation - converts 16,000 square-feet of space previously occupied by Recreational Sports

MCV Campus

  • New School of Medicine, Phase I - a 158.6 million dollar, 12 story medical building, encompassing 200,000 square feet. The new VCU School of Medicine would replace the AD Williams Clinic[12]
  • New School of Allied Health Professions - A 109,000 square foot building located on Leigh Street
  • New School of Public Health Building - A 72,000 square foot building adjacent to the new School of Allied Health Professions


Monroe Park Campus

  • Life Sciences II - a 160,000 square foot project that will have two pedestrian bridges connecting to the existing Trani Life Sciences Building and Temple Building. The building will be built at the current location of the Cary Street Tennis Courts[14]
  • Pollack Building Addition - constructs an additional 5th floor of approximately 28,000 square feet
  • Tennis Center - A state-of-the-art, modern Tennis center that will include 6 indoor courts, a spectator viewing space, and 12 outdoor courts

MCV Campus

  • MCV Campus Research Laboratory I - a 125,000 square foot project that will be developed on the Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC) site


Monroe Park Campus

  • General Academic Building II - A second major classroom facility encompassing 102,000 square-feet
  • Broad/Harrison Site Development I - development of grace street as a mixed-use retail-oriented "College Street"
  • Athletics Field House - An indoor training facillity that will support indoor track competitions and recreation

Additional Future Plans

  • Monroe Park Campus Art Gallery - a 20 million dollar art gallery that will be built on the southwest corner of Broad and Belvidere. The new location would establish the gallery as the western anchor for the First Fridays Art Walks.[16]
  • Grace Street Parking - a plan to build two parking decks on West Grace Street just east of Belvidere Street. The five-level decks with a total of 750 parking spaces are expected to be completed by the summer of 2011 at a cost of $15 million.[17]
  • Franklin Street Gym - due to the opening of the new Cary Street Rec Facility, the Franklin Street Gym will be turned into Student Housing[18]
  • Monroe Park - a complete renovation to the historical Monroe Park which will make it a focal point on the Monroe Park Campus[19]

Recently Completed

Cary Street Rec Facility under construction, Monroe Park campus

Monroe Park Campus

  • Cary Street Recreational Complex - a 126,000 square foot renovation and expansion to the historic gym. The original building started its existence in the early 20th century as Richmond's Third Market. It later became the City Auditorium; the remains of the original painted name can still be seen on the building's sides. After a couple of decades of disrepair, VCU obtained the property and converted it into the Cary Street Gym in the 1980s. VCU Recreational Sports operated this facility as well as one in the Stuart C. Siegel Center, until 2007, when the Cary Street Gym was closed for renovation. The interior was gutted, re-roofed, and the exterior restored to reflect the building's historic design. A large addition was added on two sides of the historic building. VCU Recreational Sports moved its operations on the Monroe Park Campus solely to the Cary Street Gym, reopening the facility on January 4, 2010. The renovated building now contains an Aquatic Center with a leisure pool and activity pool, two floors of cardiovascular, strength and free weight equipment, 4 court hardwood gym, indoor turf Multi-Activity Center, 40 foot climbing wall, exercise studios and locker facilities.
  • Snead Hall/ Engineering East Hall - part of the $228 million East Monroe park expansion and located on Belvedere and Main St, Snead Hall/Engineering East Hall is a 260,000 square-feet facility which houses the School of Business and Phase II of the School of Engineering. The building opened January 14, 2008 and facilitates classes and offices since the Spring 2008 Semester and beyond. The building has its own dedicated parking (located on Jefferson St.), student commons, residence hall, café, and career center. Snead Hall (School of Business) encompasses 145,000 square-feet of the building and the Engineering East Hall (School of Engineering) is an additional 115,000 square-feet of the building.[20][21]
  • Hibbs Building - Renovation to the oldest of the major academic buildings and former dining hall. Completed in Fall 2006
  • School of Engineering Addition - a 25,000 square foot state-of-the-art collaborative research environment for a Health and Life Sciences Laboratory School[22]
  • VCU Brandcenter - renovation of the 22,000 square foot Belting Building; new construction of the 8,000 square foot Brandcenter[22]

MCV Campus

  • Massey Cancer Center - An 80,000-square-foot building with 72 research labs and a two-level, 109-car parking deck at $41.8 million[22]
  • Critical Care Hospital - Central Virginia’s only level-one trauma center, the 15-story Critical Care Hospital specializes in intensive care[22]
  • Medical Sciences Building II - a 125,000 square feet research lab[22]
  • W. Baxter Perkinson, Jr Building - School of Dentistry. A 54,000 square feet addition to School of Dentistry on Leigh Street; housing research, clinic and teaching space[22]
  • New School of Nursing - an additional 70,000 square feet of research and training space to the VCU nursing program[22]
  • MCV Campus Recreation Center - a 31,000 square feet addition to the Recreation and Aquatic Center[22]
  • Larrick Student Center - renovated MCV campus dining court

Campuses and grounds

Many VCU buildings are named after influential people in the school's history or in Richmond history.
  • The Pollak Building, is named after Theresa Pollak, who founded the School of the Arts at VCU when it was the Richmond Professional Institute. Pollak was one of Virginia's more famous artists and who is often credited with bringing modern art to Richmond.
  • The Ginter House at 901 West Franklin Street, the main administrative building on the Monroe Park Campus. It is named for cigarette magnate Major Lewis Ginter (1824-1897), one of Virginia’s wealthiest men who was responsible for developing Richmond’s Ginter Park neighborhood and commissioning the Jefferson Hotel.
  • The "Scott House" at 909 W. Franklin St was originally built for Frederic and Elisabeth Scott by the Richmond architectural firm of Noland & Baskervill (1907-11), reflecting the grandeur of early 20th century Richmond.

VCU has two main campuses in Richmond: the Monroe Park Campus and the Medical College of Virginia Campus. VCUarts also has a branch campus in Education City, Qatar. Informally, the campuses are known respectively as the "academic campus," "medical campus," and "VCUQatar".

Snead Hall, Monroe Park campus

Monroe Park Campus

Home to most of VCU's general education facilities, the Monroe Park Campus is located at the eastern end of the Fan district, a historic neighborhood built adjacent to downtown Richmond in the early 20th century. The Monroe Park Campus begins at Monroe Park on North Belvidere Street and continues west to Harrison Street. Most buildings are located on or between West Main Street and West Broad Street. Originally home to the Richmond Professional Institute and then the Academic Campus of VCU in 1968, the Monroe Park Campus took on its current name in June 2004. This campus blends the old and new; ecompassing over 40 buildings built before 1900. Monroe Park Campus includes

  • Siegel Center - Home of the VCU Rams basketball and volleyball teams
  • VCU School of the Arts
  • Snead Hall/ Engineering East Hall - A 260,000 square foot, state of the art building for the School of Business, the School of Engineering, and the da Vinci Center
  • Cary Street Gym - A 158,000 square foot gym that opened in January of 2010
VCU Molecular Medicine Research Building (MMRB), MCV campus.

MCV Campus

The Medical College of Virginia Campus is home to the VCU Medical Center. This includes the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Allied Health, Nursing, a recently established School of Public Health, and the MCV Hospitals, which is the major component of the VCU Health System. The Campus is also home to the Massey Cancer Center (an NCI-designated Cancer Center). The MCV Campus is an integral part of Richmond in the old Court End district. The neighborhood is located adjacent to the city’s business and financial district near the state capitol. MCV campus includes

James Branch Cabell Library, Monroe Park Campus


The VCU Libraries is the third largest research library in Virginia. The libraries hold more than 2 million print volumes, 50,000 journals, 220,000 electronic books, 3.25 million microforms, and 61,000 audiovisual pieces. Collection strengths include the arts, behavioral sciences, business, chemistry, clinical medicine, education, health and life sciences, public affairs, and social work. The VCU Libraries hosts two million visitors each year.

The James Branch Cabell Library supports the Monroe Park Campus. It houses one of the largest book art collections in the Southeast and the fifth largest graphic novel and comic book collections in the United States.[23] The library has collections that include rare and specialized collections that serve as repositories for the papers of numerous Virginia writers, artists, and social activists. Areas of particular note are the Archives of the New Dominion, a collection of historical materials from Virginia’s under-documented communities, and the archives of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award.

The Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV Campus has the largest medical collection in the state, with extensive journal collections dating back to the nineteenth century. Special collections maintain the papers of health care practitioners and the history of health care in Virginia. Its Medical Artifacts Collection has over 6,000 instruments and equipment related to the history of health care in Virginia over the last 150 years. The VCU Libraries offers electronic access to some of its unique collections, including papers, images, and sound files relating to civil rights, Richmond architecture, civil war medicine, comic-book and cartooning arts, medical artifacts, and the history of VCU. The VCU Libraries is a repository for federal and state publications and maps.

Brandt Hall, Monroe Park Campus.


VCU's residential hall capacity is 4,986 students[24]

Rhoads Hall, Johnson Hall (VCU), Brandt Hall, GRC, and Cabaniss Hall are the primary freshman communities on campus. Together they house approximately 3,273 students.[25] Most of these halls are set up for coeducational living with each floor designated for female or male students, except for Brandt hall which is comprised completely of suites allowing for coeducational floors. Brandt Hall is the newest residence hall facility on campus and houses 640 students, with floors reserved for freshmen and selected suites reserved for honors students. The West Grace Street Honors Residential College is adjacent to Rhoads and Johnson. It houses male and female freshman honors students in single rooms with a capacity of 177 students. The Gladding Residence Center suites offer a more independent living option for freshmen in a community with upper-level students. Cabaniss Hall at the VCU Medical Center is a freshman community especially of interest to students in the life and health sciences.

Upper-class students may choose to live in Ackell Residence Center, Broad and Belvidere, RAMZ Hall or the Cary & Belvidere apartments(the last of which are primarily reserved for Arts, Engineering, and Business majors).

Safety at VCU

VCU's police force is one of the top five largest campus police forces in the country.[26] The police force consists of 82 sworn officers and over 200 security personnel.[27] It also includes an accredited training academy.[28]

VCU also provides a free Security Escort service to students and faculty to assist them in reaching their destination.[29]

In every VCU dormitory there are Residence Hall Security Officers that enforce VCU residence hall policies and help watch over the safety of the residents by ensuring every guest brought into the dorm has to sign in and present a valid ID. Dorm security works 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Shafer Court Dining Center, Monroe Park campus


Undergraduate students living in a university residence hall (not students living in university apartments), are required to choose a residential dining plan. VCU Dining Services offers block plans at 200-, 250- and 300- meal levels with additional Dining Dollars added. Block plans allow a specific number of meals to be used over an entire semester. All unused block meal swipes and dining credits are forfeited at the end of each semester. These unlimited-serving meals are served in the Shafer Court Dining Center and the Larrick Dining Center. A wide variety of foods are offered for every type of diet, including vegetarian options, vegan foods, and low-fat foods. Fruits and vegetables are fresh daily. Dining Dollars allow students the opportunity to purchase tax-free meals at any VCU retail restaurant. Commuter students and students living off campus have the option of purchasing a nonresidential dining plan.


VCUQatar, also known as VCUQ offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design, Fashion Design or Interior Design, through a comprehensive four-year curriculum. The only fully accredited design program in the Middle East, VCUQatar is a branch campus of the prestigious VCU School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia.[30] Through its programs VCUQatar prepares graduates to become productive citizens who are able to contribute to the professional and cultural growth of Qatar and the Persian Gulf area.[31]

VCU Regional Facilities

Inova Campus (part of VCU School of Medicine)

VCU Rice Center for environmental life sciences

Virginia BioTechnology Research Park


Schools and departments

VCU Engineering West Hall, Monroe Park campus.


VCU offers Baccalaureate, Master's and Doctoral degrees, as well as Professional and Certificate courses. [46]

Over 40 of VCU's programs are unique to Virginia, such as the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness major in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, as well as the Real Estate and Urban Land Development degree in VCU's School of Business. The university also offers a wide range of study options with more than 170 certificate, undergraduate, graduate, professional and doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences and humanities in fifteen different schools of discipline.

In addition to its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as its honors program, VCU now hosts the Illustration Academy.

The university's medical campus provides students with several opportunities for postgraduate study at VCU. This has led to the development of "guaranteed admission programs," where under select incoming undergraduates are guaranteed a spot in a variety of professional schools so long as a high academic standard is maintained throughout their undergraduate studies. Schools with such a program include medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, pharmacy and others.

An accelerated program in the School of Education offers a combined undergraduate, teaching certificate and master's degree in five years.

VCU da Vinci Center

VCU schools of the Arts, Business, and Engineering have collaborated to create the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation in Product Design and Development. Student teams from these schools take on a product development or design challenge posed by on of the Center's industry partners. Such cross-disciplinary educational opportunities prepare students for management roles in the global, technology-driven workplace of the 21st century. [47]


VCU holds a number of national rankings, US News & World Report graduate rankings include:

  • 1st - Sculpture
  • 1st - Nurse Anesthesia
  • 4th - Interior Design
  • 4th - Fiber Arts
  • 4th - Fine Arts
  • 4th - Graphic Design
  • 4th - Health Services Administration
  • 5th - Glass
  • 8th - Painting and Drawing
  • 9th - Multimedia/Visual Communications
  • 12th - Ceramics
  • 13th - Dentistry[48]
  • 13th - Occupational Therapy
  • 13th - Rehabilitation Counseling
  • 14th - Social Work
  • 17th - Printmaking
  • 18th - Community Health
  • 18th - Women's Health
  • 21st - Pharmacy
  • 25th - Physical Therapy
  • 39th - Secondary education
  • 40th - Education
  • 47th - Nursing
  • 50th - Creative Writing[49]
  • 57th - Clinical Psychology
  • 57th - Public Affairs
  • 67th - Medical School (Research)
  • Top 50 - Teacher Preparation
The Fine Arts Building, Monroe Park Campus.

Academic University

VCUarts Rankings

  • Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts) is ranked the #1 public university school of arts and design in the country (#4 among public & private institutions) by U.S. News & World Report (2009). VCUarts is the only public university arts and design school in the country to ever be ranked this high in overall ranking.
  • VCUarts Department of interior design graduate program was ranked as the #4 Interior Design graduate program in the South and #6 nationally by the journal DesignIntelligence in its 2008 edition of "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools". The undergraduate program was ranked #5 regionally.

VCU Brandcenter

VCU Medical Center

  • VCU’s Masters of Science in Health Administration program was ranked second by Modern Healthcare. The University's Health System earned national Magnet nursing designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and has twice been named one of the Solucient Top 100 Hospitals in the U.S. by Solucient Corporation. In research the school has been ranked as a top American university by Lombardi Program on Measuring University Performance and a top 100 university by the National Science Foundation.

VCU Engineering

  • VCU Engineering, started in 1996 has seen tremendous growth and completely new facilities. William F. Goodwin, Chairman of the VCU School of Engineering Foundation Board of Trustees, has set an ambitious objective for the engineering program. He's aiming for "25 in 25"- a top 25 engineering-school rank within 25 years.[52]

VCU Sportscenter

  • The VCU SportsCenter is a graduate program offering a Master's Degree in Sports Leadership. David Maraghy co-founded and served as Executive Director of the program until 2002. It is currently directed by Nathan Tomasini. One of the program's elite events is known as Villa 7 which began as a forum where athletic directors could share ideas and meet with the country’s elite assistant basketball coaches.[53]

VCU Profile

Enrollment Facts

VCU Student Commons, Monroe Park Campus.

VCU has an acceptance rate of 58%.[54]

The average GPA for the incoming class in the fall of 2008 3.45.[55]

The average SAT score for the incoming class in the fall of 2008 was 1103.[56]

Freshman retention rate is 82.2%. [57]

Student Body

77% of First-year students live in college housing, while 22% of all undergraduates live in college housing.[58]

The student body consists of 59% female students and 41% male students.[59] Out-of-state students have increased to 14% as of the fall of 2008, with 86% of students from Virginia.[2]

Enrollment by college[60]

School Enrollment
College of Humanities and Sciences 15,497
School of Business 4,005
School of the Arts 3,242
School of Education 2,281
School of Engineering 1,439
School of Medicine 1,262
School of Allied Health Professions 1,036
School of Nursing 967
School of Social Work 849
School of Pharmacy 617
School of Dentistry 465
VCU Life Sciences 295
School of the Arts - Qatar 240 lists VCU as the 4th most diverse student body in America.[61]

Race/ Ethnicity Percentage
White 53%
African American 17%
Asian 10%
Hispanic 5%
International 3%
Native American <1%
Not Reported 12%


Outside Shafer Court Dining Center, Monroe Park Campus.

Notable faculty members include analytical chemist Dr. John B. Fenn, who in 2002 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions to the field of mass spectrometry, and Religious Studies professor Amina Wadud, who caused controversy in 2005 by leading an Islamic prayer service of men and women.

In the medical field, VCU has had four professors elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Institute of Medicine, most recently Dr. Steven Woolf in 2001.[62] Historically, notable faculty members include Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard, M.D., for whom Brown-Séquard syndrome is named. Hunter McGuire, M.D., was the Confederate surgeon for General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson before he founded the "University College of Medicine", which later merged with Medical College of Virginia where he became the Chairman of Surgery. The Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center is named in his honor.

Dr. Jennifer Johnson's (Professor of Sociology) work at the Department of Defense in the area of Social Network Analysis won her the 2006 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, which is the highest-ranking civilian service award given by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dr. Johnson was also awarded the 2004 Analyst of the Quarter by the Joint Warfare Analysis Center for her work on the Social Network Analysis Methodology Team.

Faculty Scholarly Productivity

  • The VCU Counseling Psychology Graduate Program was ranked 3rd in the nation in the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index in 2007.[63]
  • The VCU Public Administration program in the L. Douglas Wilder School for Government and Public Affairs was ranked 9th in the nation by the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index in 2007.[64]

Notable faculty


VCU Rams Logo

Having competed at the NCAA Division I level for little more than 30 years, Virginia Commonwealth University has built a rather notable list of athletic accomplishments. Priding itself on sponsorship of a broad-based program of intercollegiate athletics, VCU has won in excess of 30 conference championships, participated in numerous NCAA post-season championship events, and fostered an impressive number of All-Americans---both academic and athletic.[68] VCU currently sponsors sixteen varsity teams in NCAA Division I play through the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).

VCU Rams Men's Basketball


VCU Rams Men's Basketball

VCU Rams Basketball (men's)

Without a football team, VCU men's basketball is the most popular sport on campus. The team has won a total of 7 conference championships with the most recent coming in 2009. The VCU Rams currently play at the Stuart C. Siegel Center where they hold the 16th highest Home Court winning percentage in Division I basketball with a winning percentage of .8462[69]

The Rams were coached by Anthony Grant, who on March 27, 2009 took the vacant head coach position for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Following a national search, on March 31, 2009, VCU picked Florida Assistant, Shaka Smart, to replace Grant as the VCU Men's Basketball Head Coach.

The 2008-2009 season was another successful one for the VCU program. The Rams finished the season with a mark of 24–10 overall, going 14–4 in a hotly contested CAA and sealing the deal on a three-peat as CAA regular season champions for only the second time in CAA conference history and the second time in school history, the first coming during the Rams time in the Sun Belt Conference. VCU captured the CAA Conference Tournament Championship for the fourth time since joining the conference, capped by a 71–50 rout of rival George Mason in the final. The Rams headed to the NCAA Tournament as a #11 seed in the East region, where the #6 seeded UCLA Bruins eliminated them by 1 point, in a 65–64 loss when a last second shot by Maynor bounced off the front of the rim.

VCU Rams Basketball (women's)

Former WNBA player and Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer Beth Cunningham coaches the VCU Rams women's team.

The VCU Rams Women's team enjoyed the most successful season in their history in the 2008-2009 season. The team finished the season with a mark of 26-7 overall and a 15-3 conference record. Notably the team was a perfect 16-0 at home. After finishing second in their conference the team headed to their first ever NCAA tournament game as the 10th seed, where the #7 seeded Rutgers eliminated them 57-51 on their home court.[70]

Other VCU athletic teams

  • VCU Men's Tennis

VCU Men's tennis is one of the school's most successful programs. The team is coached by Paul Kostin who is one of five Division I coaches to reach the 800-victory mark. The Men's tennis team holds 11 CAA Championships, 16 NCAA tournament appearances, and 17 years of finishing in the top 25 rankings in the country.[71] In 2000, VCU men's tennis had its most successful season, finishing runner up to Stanford in the NCAA Finals Championship match. The team finished with a #9 ranking in the country. [72]

  • VCU Women's Tennis

Under leadership from Paul Kostin, VCU's women's tennis team has 2 CAA championships, 9 NCAA appearances, and 6 years in the top 25. In 2006 the women's team enjoyed their most successful season by making it to the NCAA sweet sixteen and an overall ranking of 12 in the country.[73]

  • VCU Baseball

VCU Baseball has won a total of 3 CAA Championships and has been to a total of 8 NCAA Regionals. VCU Baseball's head coach is Paul Keyes.

  • Men and Women's Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Men and Women's Soccer
  • Men and Women's Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Club teams

VCU also has many student run club teams. These sports not sponsored by the university include coed & allgirl cheerleading, baseball, men's[74] and women's[75] rugby union, ice hockey,[76] ultimate[77] ,men's and women's lacrosse, and cycling. Previous club sports have also included rowing, wrestling, and tennis. VCU does not support a football team.


The previous university president, Eugene P. Trani, has been quoted as saying that he will not allow football to come to VCU under his watch due to the extra incurred cost. However, with Trani's resignation VCU officials are once again revisiting the possibility of starting a football program[78]


The interior of the Verizon Wireless Arena, within the Siegel Center, home court of the VCU basketball team.

The Diamond (Richmond, Virginia)

  • Baseball

Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center

  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Cheerleading

Sports Backers Stadium

  • Soccer
  • Track and Field

Cary Street Field

  • Field Hockey

Thalhimer Tennis Center Leigh Street Field

  • Men's and Women's Rugby


VCU has numerous student organizations, including the Black Awakening Choir which won first place in the 2005 Baptist Student Union National Choir Competition in Atlanta, GA. Also, 2007 is the first year that STRUT has become an official organization at VCU. STRUT is an annual fashion show that has grown into a week long celebration on campus. In addition, VCU boasts a well-established net of ethnic and cultural organizations such as the African Student Union (ASU), Afghani Student Association (ASA), Ethiopian students Union (ESU),Latino Student Association, Queer Action and the Vietnamese Student Association, among many others. Similarly, VCU offers a variety of religious organizations, such as Aletheia Campus Organization, Muslim Students' Association, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Catholic Campus Ministry, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship house, BSU, Hillel @ VCU, Sikh Student Association and Lotus Buddhist Group. VCU also offers many different special interest organizations such as the (S.H.H.O.) Student Hip-Hop Organization, which allows students to network with VCU’s thriving hip-hop community and to utilize hip-hop as a tool for creating unity within this vibrant culture on campus.

Student government associations There are two student government associations at VCU, one for each campus.[79] According to the Monroe Park Campus SGA Web site, it "serves as the unifying voice for all students to members of Virginia Commonwealth University administration, faculty, staff, and the Board of Visitors as well as to the City of Richmond." It is the stated goal of the SGA "to represent the concerns and interests of all students to the various groups that have an influence on student life," and it "oversees more than 200 student organizations."[80]

Student media

VCU's media organizations fall under the jurisdiction of the VCU Student Media Commission. Organizations include news journals The Commonwealth Times and Ink Magazine, radio station WVCW, and literary journals Amendment and Poictesme.[81]

The Rowdy Rams

French Film Festival VCU is home to the largest French Film Festival in the United States.[82] Founded in 1993, the total participation in 2008 has grown to more than 21,000 entries for the 25 films.[82]

Rowdy Rams

VCU's basketball fans are known as the Rowdy Rams. The Rowdies have enjoyed one of the best home court winning percentages in men's basketball partially due to their loud and intimidating presence.

For the 2008-2009 season, VCU started the Student Ram Athletic Fund (SRAF). For 25 dollars a student received early admission to all men's basketball games and discounts at the local restaurants. The initiative helps fund other VCU Ram's sports while establishing a relationship between the student fans and the VCU basketball team.[83]


Virginia Commonwealth University hosts 32 inter/national fraternities and sororities across four governing councils with almost 1000 students.[84] VCU's Greek system has grown particularly rapidly in the last few years. Plans for a Greek row on Grace Street in the VCU 2020 Masterplan is just one of the many steps VCU is taking to create a stronger Greek life community.

List of VCU's Greek Chapters[85]

Notable alumni


Improperly awarded bachelor's degree

In May 2008, an anonymous email led to an investigation that discovered VCU [86][87] awarded an undergraduate degree to former Richmond Police Chief Rodney Monroe improperly after he enrolled to receive just 6 credits from the University, with the bulk of his credits taken through the online University of Phoenix and the FBI Academy.[88][89] [90]

VCU officials announced they had taken personnel actions in response to the improper degree but did not indicate what actions were taken or who was held responsible.[91] In the wake of the internal investigation, five high-ranking administrative officials resigned [92][93], some vocally in protest of the investigation itself due to threats made against the tenure status of one professor if she did not cooperate and other high-pressure tactics.[94][95]

The University submitted a report[96] about the improperly awarded degree and the subsequent investigation to its accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which at its annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, Dec. 8-9, concluded that VCU "had taken adequate steps to ensure that this was indeed a one-time phenomenon." SACS concluded that no warnings or sanctions would result and complimented VCU on the professional way it handled the situation.

In the report, VCU admitted to making 37 exceptions to university policy in granting an undergraduate degree to Monroe, who had satisfied only 15 of 28 requirements for his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.[97] Unlike other cases of improperly awarded degrees,[98] VCU did not rescind the degree. The Virginia General Assembly is looking into the University's actions both in improperly awarding the degree and in conducting the investigation.[99]

International relationships

VCU has international agreements with 14 universities in 11 countries.[1]


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  3. ^ "About VCU". Virginia Commonwealth University. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  4. ^ Graphic standards - Web equivalents - VCU Identity
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  32. ^ VCU College of Humanities & Sciences
  33. ^ VCU School of Mass Communications
  34. ^ VCU School of World Studies
  35. ^ VCU :: L Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
  36. ^ VCU School of Allied Health Professions
  37. ^ VCU School of the Arts
  38. ^ VCU School of Business
  39. ^ VCU School of Dentistry
  40. ^ VCU School of Education
  41. ^ VCU School of Engineering
  42. ^ VCU School of Medicine
  43. ^ VCU School of Nursing
  44. ^ VCU School of Pharmacy
  45. ^ VCU School of Social Work
  46. ^ A complete degree inventory is available from the Web site of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
  47. ^
  48. ^ The most recent ranking of dental schools was completed by U.S. News and World Report in 1993. To see the position of the ADA and ADEA on ranking visit:
  49. ^ The most recent ranking of graduate programs in creative writing was completed by U.S. News and World Report in 1997.
  50. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Retrieved on 2007-05-04
  51. ^ Adcenter Named Top Design School by Businessweek Retrieved on 2007-11-18
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  62. ^ VCU News Center – VCU professor recognized by institute of medicine
  63. ^ “The Chronicle of Higher Education.” January 12, 2007
  64. ^ Chronicle Facts & Figures: Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index
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  74. ^ Untitled Document
  75. ^ Ram Rugby
  76. ^ VCU Ice Hockey
  77. ^ VCU Ultimate: Beware of the biscuits
  78. ^ "". 
  79. ^ Vcu - Sga
  80. ^ Vcu Sga
  81. ^ VCU Student Media Center
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External links

Coordinates: 37°32′53″N 77°27′12″W / 37.5481°N 77.4533°W / 37.5481; -77.4533


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