Virginia Commonwealth University
TypePublic university
EndowmentUS$ 438.1 million[1]
PresidentMichael Rao
ProvostBeverly Warren
RectorJohn C. Doswell II[2]
Academic staff2,032[3]
Admin. staff11,041[3]
LocationUnited States Richmond, Virginia, United States
37°32′48″N 77°27′12″W / 37.546615, -77.453255
143 acres (580,000 m2)[3]
ColorsBlack and Gold[4]          
AthleticsNCAA Division I, Atlantic 10, 16 varsity teams
MascotRodney the Ram
All enrollment figures are as of Fall 2011

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a public research university located in Richmond, Virginia. VCU was founded in 1838 as the medical department of Hampden–Sydney College, becoming the Medical College of Virginia in 1854. In 1968, the Virginia General Assembly merged MCV with the Richmond Professional Institute, founded in 1917, to create Virginia Commonwealth University.[5] Today, more than 31,000 students pursue 222 degree and certificate programs through VCU's 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health System supports the university's health care education, research and patient care mission.

With a record $256 million in sponsored research funding in the fiscal year 2011, VCU is designated as a research university with very high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.[3][6] A broad array of university-approved centers and institutes of excellence, involving faculty from multiple disciplines in public policy, biotechnology and health care discoveries, supports the university's research mission. Twenty-eight graduate and first-professional programs are ranked by U.S. News and World Report as among the best in the country.[7]

VCU's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the VCU Rams. They were members of the Colonial Athletic Association, but joined the Atlantic 10 Conference on July 1, 2012.

History[edit | edit source]

Beginnings[edit | edit source]

Though officially created with the merger of the Richmond Professional Institute (RPI) and Medical College of Virginia (MCV) in 1968, VCU's history began in 1838 when the Medical Department of Hampden-Sydney College opened in Richmond. In 1844, it moved into its first permanent home, the Egyptian Building. In 1854, the Medical Department of Hampden–Sydney College received an independent charter from the Virginia General Assembly and became the Medical College of Virginia (MCV). A few years later in 1860, MCV conveyed all its property to the Commonwealth of Virginia and becomes a state institution in exchange for $30,000. In 1893, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, later University College of Medicine, was established by Hunter Holmes McGuire just three blocks away from MCV. In 1912, McGuire Hall opened as the new home of the University College of Medicine. The following year, MCV and UCM merged through the efforts of George Ben Johnston and Stuart McGuire. MCV acquired the Memorial Hospital as a result of the merger.

Richmond Professional Institute traces its roots back to 1917, when it began as the Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health. In 1925, it became the Richmond division of The College of William & Mary. In 1939, this division became the Richmond Professional Institute of The College of William & Mary" (RPI). In 1947, the MCV Foundation was incorporated, and in 1962 RPI separated from William & Mary to become an independent state institution. Then in 1968, state legislation (Wayne Commission Report) merged MCV and RPI to become Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU claims 1838 as its founding date on its official seal and on promotional materials.[8]

Although VCU has sought to promote the combined name as its brand, the 1968 merger legislation specifically provided that MCV was renamed "The Medical College of Virginia, Health Sciences Division of Virginia Commonwealth University". Accordingly, all diplomas issued through May 2012 bore the MCV name. However, attempts to drop the MCV name since have led to controversy.[9]

Recent history[edit | edit source]

In 2009, Michael Rao was appointed the fifth president of VCU and continues in his tenure to focus on VCU’s growth as a premiere public research university.

In 2010, VCU received a $20 million National Institutes of Health grant to join a nationwide consortium of research institutions working to turn laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients.[10] The Clinical and Translational Science Award made VCU the only academic health center in Virginia to join the prestigious CTSA network. In 2011, The Carnegie Foundation elevated Virginia Commonwealth University to “Very High Research Activity," with over 255 million in sponsored research.[10]

Expansion at VCU[edit | edit source]

Warren W. Brandt served as the first president of VCU. During his tenure, 32 degree programs were added, and the School of Allied Health Professions and the School of Community Services were established. In addition, more than $20 million of new construction was completed or initiated on both campuses, including the James Branch Cabell Library, Rhoads Hall, the School of Business building, the Larrick Student Center and a large addition to Sanger Hall.[8]

In the 1980s, and under the leadership of VCU President Edmund Ackell, a major overhaul of the university’s governance system and administrative structure was initiated. Dr. Ackell lead the administration in instituting a new system for both short-range and long-range university planning; establishing faculty convocation and a new set of faculty tenure and promotion guidelines; and establishing greater access to the community by supporting the use of the university’s research and educational resources to meet social needs.[8]

Eugene Trani became the president of VCU in 1990. During his tenure VCU became one of the largest universities in Virginia, growing from an enrollment of 21,764 in 1990, to 32,284 at the time of his retirement. VCU was the state's first university to enroll over 30,000 students.[11] Under Dr. Trani’s leadership VCU and the VCU Health System undertook more than $2.2 billion in capital construction and renovation projects.[12] In February 2006, VCU established VCU 2020 Vision for Excellence, a strategic plan to continue to fulfill VCU’s mission as a leading urban research institution for the 21st century and develop more than $1 billion in new academic, medical, recreation, student housing and parking facilities on VCU's Monroe Park and MCV Campuses.[13][14][15]

VCU Quest for Distinction[edit | edit source]

Quest for Distinction, the university’s strategic plan, was launched by Dr. Rao in 2011. It sets priorities of academic excellence, research that enhances the quality of life, human health and well-being, and ongoing contribution to the economic vitality and cultural richness of the community.[16][17] Specific initiatives include the continued recruitment of high-quality faculty and resource development aimed at enhancing the overall student experience.

Campuses[edit | edit source]

Virginia Commonwealth University has two main campuses in Richmond, Va.: the Monroe Park Campus, located west of downtown Richmond, and the MCV Campus in the urban center. Additionally, VCU has a branch campus in Education City, Qatar, along with numerous regional facilities.

Monroe Park Campus[edit | edit source]

File:VCU Snead Hall by Jeff Auth.JPG

Snead Hall, Monroe Park campus

Named after the city park, the 90.6-acre Monroe Park Campus took its name in June 2004, replacing the former name, the Academic Campus of VCU. The Monroe Park Campus houses most of VCU's general education facilities, and is situated on the eastern end of the Fan district, a historic, late 19th-century neighborhood adjacent to downtown Richmond. Prior to the merger of the Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia, the campus was the home to the entire Richmond Professional Institute. Today, the campus has a mixture of modern and vintage buildings, with over 40 structures built before 1900.

MCV Campus[edit | edit source]

File:VCU Medical Science Building 2 by Jeff Auth.jpg

VCU Molecular Medicine Research Building (MMRB), MCV campus

The 52.3-acre MCV Campus is home to the VCU Medical Center. This includes the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Allied Health, Nursing, and the medical center, which is overseen by the VCU Health System Authority. The campus is also home to the Massey Cancer Center (an NCI-designated Cancer Center) and the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. 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. VCU's Health Sciences schools comprise the School of Allied Health Professions, the School of Dentistry, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing and the School of Pharmacy.

VCUQatar[edit | edit source]

VCUQatar (VCUQ) is VCU School of the Arts' branch campus located in Education City, Qatar. VCUQ was established in 1998 and was the first university to open its doors in Education City.[18] VCUQ provides students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design, Interior Design, Fashion Design or Painting and Printmaking and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Design Studies.[19] In addition to smart classrooms, the VCUQ campus is primarily composed of studios and workspaces for its art programs, an international gallery and a library. The campus also contains things needed for daily student life such as a café, prayer rooms, a student lounge, and a central hall which can be used for a variety of events.[20] Through its programs, VCUQatar's mission is to "develop the individual capacity to lead innovations in the creative and cultural professions in Qatar and the region."[21]

VCU satellite and research locations[edit | edit source]

  • Virginia Bio-Technology Research Park was incorporated in May 1992 as a joint initiative of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), the City of Richmond and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The research park is home to more than 60 life science companies, research institutes and state/federal labs, employing more than 2,200 scientists, engineers and researchers.[22]
  • Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences is located on 494 acres along the James River. The center has a primary focus of research on the science and policy of large rivers and their fringing riparian and wetland landscapes.[23]
  • VCU Medical Center at Stony Point, in southwestern Richmond[24]
  • VCU School of Medicine Inova Campus[25]
  • VCU School of Pharmacy Inova Campus[26]
  • VCU School of Pharmacy University of Virginia Campus[27]

Academics[edit | edit source]

Enrollment by college in 2011[28]
School Enrollment
College of Humanities and Sciences 15,664
School of Business 3,838
School of the Arts 3,033
School of Education 1,769
School of Engineering 1,632
School of Medicine 1,276
School of Allied Health Professions 1,060
School of Nursing 954
School of Social Work 820
School of Pharmacy 608
School of Dentistry 516
Life Sciences 414
School of the Arts – Qatar 272

Schools[edit | edit source]

Programs[edit | edit source]

VCU offers Baccalaureate, Master's and Doctoral degrees, as well as Professional and Certificate courses.[47]

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 222 certificate, undergraduate, graduate, professional and doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences and humanities.

The university's medical campus provides students with several opportunities for postgraduate study. Under the Guaranteed Admission Program,[48] select incoming undergraduates who maintain a high academic standard are guaranteed a spot in a number of professional health science programs.

VCU Living-Learning programs[edit | edit source]

VCU’s new Academic Scholars Program in Real Environments (ASPiRE),[49] combines the living-learning experience with community engagement. Launched in fall 2012, VCU ASPiRE links students with their community and with each other through a coordinated educational and service-learning curriculum and living experience.[50]

The VCU Honors College[51] is available to students meeting specific SAT/ACT and GPA criteria. Through the Honors College eligible students are offered the Guaranteed Admission Program,[48] which offers a variety of options for gaining early admission into the professional health science and graduate programs at VCU. In addition, the Honors College also offers students the ability to enroll in classes open only to honors students, live in honors-only residence halls, apply for scholarships only available to honors students, and participate in The Honors College Mentorship Program and other learning experiences that supplement general classroom study.

The newest living-learning program, Virginia Commonwealth University Globe, is scheduled to open in fall 2013. The program prepares undergraduates to live and work in a global environment, expanding students' identities as global citizens through course work, co-curricular activities and the residential experience.

Life Sciences[edit | edit source]

VCU Life Sciences[52] combines elements of teaching, research and public service in the study of biological complexity. The highly interdisciplinary, systems-based program relies on hundreds of faculty members. With activities at the local, regional and national levels, VCU Life Sciences helps increase public literacy in the life sciences and provides an assessment of American public attitudes toward the field.

VCU da Vinci Center[edit | edit source]

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 one 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.[53] In addition to the current collaboration, the College of Humanities and Sciences[54] joined the Center late in the fall 2012 semester.

VCU's International Partnership Universities Initiative[edit | edit source]

VCU's International Partnership Universities Initiative provides faculty and students the opportunity for involvement and collaboration in an international and multicultural arena. Fifteen international Partnership Universities and VCU School in Qatar are strategically located in 11 countries.[55]

  • Beijing Foreign Studies University (China)
  • Curtin University of Technology (Australia)
  • Fudan University (China)
  • Hadassah Medical Center (Israel)
  • Harris Manchester College (United Kingdom)
  • Indian Institute of Technology (India)
  • Oxford (United Kingdom)
  • Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (India)
  • St. Petersburg State University (Russia)
  • University of Córdoba (Spain)
  • University of Guadalajara (Mexico)
  • University of KwaZulu–Natal (South Africa)
  • University of Messina (Italy)
  • University of São Paulo (Brazil)
  • University of the West of England (United Kingdom)
File:VCU business engineering by Jeff Auth.JPG

The da Vinci Center "Octagon", Monroe Park campus

Rankings and recognitions[edit | edit source]

University rankings
ARWU[56] 69-89
Forbes[57] 567
U.S. News & World Report[58] 170
Washington Monthly[59] 200
ARWU[60] 151-200
QS[61] 451-500

According to the 2012 US News & Report, VCU is classified as a Tier 1 University with an overall National University rank of No. 170 and holds a rank of No. 94 among all public colleges and universities in the country.[62]

The Academic Ranking of World Universities conducted in 2005 by the Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranks VCU in the top 100 universities in North & Latin America and one of the top 200 universities in the world.[63]

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts) is ranked the No. 1 public university school of arts and design in the country (#4 among public & private institutions) by U.S. News & World Report (2009).[Out of Date] VCUarts is the only public university arts and design school in the country to ever be ranked this high in overall ranking. The VCU Brandcenter, the School of Mass Communication's graduate program in advertising, has also been ranked 1st in the nation by Creativity Magazine and as one of the top 60 design schools in the world by BusinessWeek.[64][Out of Date]

File:VCU Fine Arts Building by Jeff Auth.JPG

The Fine Arts Building, Monroe Park Campus.

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, 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.[65] The School of Business currently ranks as the No. 51 part-time MBA program and No. 97 best undergraduate business program in the United States according to Bloomberg Businessweek and U.S. News & World Report, respectively.

According to the 2012 U.S. News & World Report VCU School of Social Work is ranked 11 [66] and the Public Affairs graduate program is currently ranked 53 in the nation.[67] VCU School of Business Part-Time MBA is Nationally Ranked </ref> 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.[68] Additionally the VCU School of Public Affairs holds a national university ranking of 53.

VCU is among the top 100 institutions according to the National Science Foundation (NSF) rankings.[69]

Faculty[edit | edit source]

In its history, one faculty member and one alumnus have won a Nobel Prize: Baruj Benacerraf, an alumnus of the Medical College of Virginia, was awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and John Fenn, a professor in the College of Humanities & Sciences, was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

File:VCU commons.JPG

VCU Student Commons, Monroe Park Campus

In the medical field, VCU has had four professors elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Institute of Medicine, most recently Steven Woolf in 2001.[70] 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.

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. Also Gevork Minaskanian, cofounder of Aderis Pharmaceuticals, developers of Rotigotine, a dopamine agonist for treatment of Parkinson's disease, teaches at VCU.

The VCU Counseling Psychology Graduate Program was ranked 3rd in the nation in the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index in 2007.[71] 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.[72]

Libraries[edit | edit source]

File:James Branch Cabell Library VCU.jpg

James Branch Cabell Library, Monroe Park Campus

The VCU Libraries is the third largest research library in Virginia. The libraries hold more than 2.28 million volumes, 61,000 journals, 445,000 electronic books, 3.28 million microforms, and 111,000 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 2.1 million visitors each year.[73]

The James Branch Cabell Library supports the Monroe Park Campus. Its Special Collections and Archives department 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.[74] It also includes records of local organizations and papers of numerous Virginia writers, artists, and social activists 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.

Student life[edit | edit source]

The student body consists of 57% female students and 42% male students.[75] Out-of-state students have increased to 15% as of the fall of 2011, and the remaining 85% of students are from Virginia.[3] Demographically, the student body is 55% white, 16% African American, 11% Asian, 5% Hispanic, 5% International, less than 1% Native American and 8% Unknown.[3]

Virginia Commonwealth University 2012 Admissions Statistics[76]
Applicants 14,336
Acceptance Rate 66%
First Year Students 86% in state, 14% out of state
High School GPA 3.52
Average SAT (1600) 1088
Freshman Class Size 3,575
Undergraduate Student-Faculty Ratio 18:1
Freshman Retention Rate 84.2%

Residential life[edit | edit source]

File:VCU Brandt Hall by Jeff Auth.jpg

Brandt Hall, Monroe Park Campus

More than 79% of VCU freshmen live on campus. VCU's current residential hall capacity is around 5,400 students, but will have a capacity of around 5,800 students by 2013.[77][78] Because of the prominent location within the city of Richmond, many upperclassmen live in student apartments located around the campus, specifically in The Fan, Oregon Hill or the Carver neighborhood, and are still able to walk or bike to their classes.[79]

File:VCU Shafer Dining Center by Jeff Auth.jpg

Shafer Court Dining Center, Monroe Park campus

Dining[edit | edit source]

Dining Services at VCU is contracted to ARAMARK Higher Education.[citation needed] 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 that 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 is 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.[80]

Activities[edit | edit source]

Student organizations[edit | edit source]

VCU has more than 400 registered student organizations in which students can be involved. VCU boasts a well-established net of ethnic and cultural, religious, Greek, recreational and special interest organizations. There are two student government associations at VCU, one for each campus.

VCU is also an academic partner to the largest French Film Festival in the United States.[81] Founded in 1993, the total participation in 2012 has grown to more than 22,000 entries for the 27 films.[81]

Student media[edit | edit source]

VCU offers many media outlets that allow students to express themselves.

  • "Blackbird" – An online journal of literature and the arts produced with the help of faculty, staff, students and alumni
  • The Commonwealth Times - The independent student-run and -written newspaper published twice a week during the school year.[82]
  • Ink Magazine- Multi-ethnic student news magazine published four times during the academic year
  • "Poictesme" – The undergraduate student literary journal distributed every spring to the student body and surrounding community[83]
  • "VCU Insight" – A monthly television program produced and staffed by students in the School of Mass Communications
  • Rams Review – VCU's student-run sports media outlet[84]
  • WVCW – VCU's Radio Station[85]
  • The Horn – VCU's student-run multimedia website about the local music scene in Richmond[86]
  • Compass Art – The Compass is in the heart of the Monroe Park Campus. Compass Art is a genre of site=specific performance art many students partake in.

Recreational sports[edit | edit source]

Recreational Sports[87] offers facilities on both campuses. Opened in spring 2010, the newly renovated Cary Street Gym[88] includes the 18,000-square-foot fitness center, a rock climbing wall, two pools, racquetball and basketball courts, a track and an aerobics mezzanine.

The MCV Campus Recreation and Aquatic Center provide space for basketball, volleyball, racquetball and other sports. A 25-meter, six-lane pool is available for lap swimming, water basketball and volleyball. Outing Rental Center offers equipment such as backpacks, sleeping bags, tents and canoes as well as books, maps, videos and trail guides at affordable rental rates.

The VCU Outdoor Adventure Program[89] provides a full schedule of day trips and weekend excursions focused on such outdoor activities as camping, kayaking, white-water rafting, canoeing and caving.

Service learning[edit | edit source]

Service learning at VCU is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets community-identified needs. More than 3,000 VCU students are enrolled in service learning at VCU.

Greek system[edit | edit source]

Virginia Commonwealth University hosts 39 international fraternities and sororities across four governing councils with over 2,300 students. Within the student body, a total of 6.3% of women join a sorority and 8% of men join a fraternity.[90][91] VCU's fraternity and sorority community 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 fraternity and sorority experience.[92]

List of VCU's Fraternity and Sorority Chapters[93]

Interfraternity Council[94] College Panhellenic Council[95] Multicultural Greek Council[96] National Pan-Hellenic Council[97]
Alpha Epsilon Pi – Epsilon Pi Chapter Alpha Epsilon Phi – Beta Theta Alpha Kappa Delta Phi – VCU Colony Alpha Phi Alpha – Theta Rho Chapter
Alpha Kappa Lambda – Beta Nu Chapter Alpha Gamma Delta – Theta Nu Delta Phi Omega – Kappa Chapter Delta Sigma Theta – Eta Tau Chapter
Delta Chi – Virginia Commonwealth Alpha Omicron Pi – Rho Beta Kappa Phi Gamma – Theta Colony Iota Phi Theta – Delta Delta Chapter
Lambda Chi Alpha – VCU Colony Alpha Sigma Alpha – Epsilon Gamma Lambda Phi Epsilon – VCU Colony Kappa Alpha Psi – Eta Xi Chapter
Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) – VCU Colony Phi Kappa Psi Virginia Eta Chapter Alpha Xi Delta – Iota Sigma Chapter Omega Psi Phi – Phi Delta
Phi Kappa Sigma – Delta Upsilon Phi Sigma Rho – Omega Lambda Theta Phi – Interest Group Phi Beta Sigma – Delta Upsilon Chapter
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia – Rho Omega Sigma Sigma Sigma – Epsilon Sigma Lambda Upsilon Lambda – Alpha Psi Chapter Zeta Phi Beta – Eta Theta
Pi Kappa Alpha – Lambda Chi Phi Mu – Lambda Gamma Sigma Beta Rho – Lambda Chapter
Pi Lambda Phi – VA Omega Rho Zeta Tau Alpha – Lambda Eta Chapter Sigma Lambda Upsilon – Alpha Zeta Chapter
Sigma Alpha Epsilon – Virginia Chi Lambda Theta Alpha – Interest Group Theta Nu Xi – Alpha Kappa Chapter
Sigma Phi Epsilon – Virginia Beta SEC
Theta Chi – Theta Xi
Triangle Fraternity – VCU Colony

Security[edit | edit source]

VCU's police force consists of 82 police officers and 200 security personnel.[98][99] VCU also provides a free Security Escort service to students and faculty to assist them in reaching their destination and have stationed 326 Emergency Reporting Telephone Systems in various areas throughout campus.[100]

Athletics[edit | edit source]

Having competed at the NCAA Division I level for little more than 30 years, Virginia Commonwealth University has sponsored a broad-based program of intercollegiate athletics. The VCU Rams have won in excess of 30 conference championships, participated in numerous NCAA post-season championship events, including a run to the Final Four in men's basketball in 2011, and had a number of All-Americans — both academic and athletic.[101] VCU currently sponsors sixteen varsity teams in NCAA Division I play through the Atlantic 10 Conference (A10).

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 900-victory mark. The Men's tennis team holds 12 CAA Championships, 18 NCAA tournament appearances, and 17 years of finishing in the top 25 rankings in the country.[102] In 2000, VCU men's tennis had its best season, finishing runner up to Stanford in the NCAA Finals Championship match. The team finished with a No. 9 ranking in the country.[103]

Also under coach Paul Kostin, VCU's women's tennis team has 3 CAA championships, 12 NCAA appearances, and 8 years in the top 25.

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, and games are played at The Diamond (Richmond, Virginia).

Other intercollegiate sports include Men and Women's Basketball, Men and Women's Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Men and Women's Soccer (played at Sports Backers Stadium), Men and Women's Track and Field, and Volleyball.

VCU also has many student run club teams. These sports not sponsored by the university include coed & allgirl cheerleading, baseball, softball, men's[104] and women's[105] rugby union, ice hockey,[106] ultimate,[107] men's and women's lacrosse, cycling, and dodgeball. Previous club sports have also included rowing, wrestling, and tennis.

VCU Rams men's basketball[edit | edit source]

File:Interior stuart c siegel center VCU richmond VA.jpg

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

VCU reached the Final Four in the 2011 NCAA tournament. The team has won a total of 8 conference championships with the most recent coming in 2012. The VCU Rams currently play at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, where they hold the 11th highest Home Court winning percentage in Division I basketball with a winning percentage of .8579[108]

The Rams are currently coached by Shaka Smart.

In the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, VCU qualified as an at-large bid, having to play in the newly formatted tournament's "First Four" against USC. The decision to allow VCU to participate in the tournament was widely criticized among pundits and the media.[109] VCU defeated USC 59–46 in the "First Four" play-in game. VCU then went on to upset Georgetown 74–56 in the round of 64. The 11th-seeded VCU Rams then upset 3rd-seeded Purdue 94–76 to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. In the sweet sixteen, VCU defeated 10th-seeded Florida State 72–71 on a last second bucket in overtime to advance to the Elite 8 for the first time in school history. VCU beat the No. 1 seed Kansas in the Southwest Regional final by a score of 71–61. It was the Rams' first trip to the Final Four. Against Butler in the Final Four, VCU lost 70–62. The 2010–11 VCU Rams men's basketball team finished 6th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll at the end of the season.[110] This was the highest ranking in VCU's history and the highest ranking of any team from the CAA.[111]

VCU Rams women's basketball[edit | edit source]

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 No. 7 seeded Rutgers eliminated them 57–51 on their home court.[112] In the 2009–2010 season Cunningham led the Rams to the NIT Sweet Sixteen where they were eliminated by the Syracuse.

Rivals[edit | edit source]

File:Rowdy Rams.jpg

Rowdy Rams (far back) spelling out "VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH!"

VCU's main rival is Old Dominion University. The "VCU-ODU basketball rivalry" is often regarded as the best college basketball rivalry in the Commonwealth of Virginia.[113][114] The Rams' intra-city rivalry with University of Richmond ("Black & Blue Classic"),[115] is bound to heat up now that the two schools are playing in the same conference again for the first time since 2001.[116]

Rowdy Rams[edit | edit source]

The Rowdy Rams is a student-run athletic support organization that focuses on VCU men's basketball, while also attending and supporting the university's 15 other varsity teams. The group began during the 2002–2003 basketball season when a group of VCU Pep Band members and other students began coordinating cheers together and taking road trips to away games. The following year, the Rowdy Rams procured funding from the SGA and sponsorship from VCU’s Athletic Department, solidifying themselves as an official organization.[117] The Rowdy Rams offer members priority seating to all VCU men’s basketball home games, a discount card for local restaurants and businesses, a free T-shirt, and free bus trips to road games.[118]

In April 2011, The Rowdy Rams followed the men’s basketball team to Houston for the Final Four. Despite the team’s upset by Butler University, the fan organization never regretted their trip. “Our Rowdy Rams came here in full force; the spirit was on the court; you could feel it all around the arena.”[119]

Notable alumni[edit | edit source]

VCU has a total of 159,683 alumni with 60,534 alumni living in the Richmond Metro Area.[120]

References[edit | edit source]

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  64. Adcenter Named Top Design School by Businessweek Retrieved on 2007-11-18
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External links[edit | edit source]

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