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Fortieth and forward 

VCU marks its 40th anniversary 

II in 2008, celebrating four decades 
II of innovation and a future full of possibilities 

r g I n I a 

Commonwealth University 




S&PSOO Index 


TSX Composite 

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Classroom technology: 2008 

Real-time stock quotes scroll across the 
fully functioning Capital Markets Center, located in Snead 
Hall, the new home of Virginia Commonwealth University's 
School of Business. The 1,400-square-foot room brings a slice 
of Wall Street to the Monroe Park Campus, offering students a 
high-tech learning environment where they receive hands-on 
experience in market analysis. 

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2 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

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O > Fortieth and forward 

This year Virginia Commonwealth University marks 
its 40th anniversai-y. celebrating four decades 
of innovation and untold potential for the future. 

10 > A university's roots 

VCU's anniversary revisits a historic moment 

in higher education, when the General Assembly 

created an urban university in the heart of Richmond. 

12 > The evolution of VCU 

Continuous growth and development since 1968 
transformed VCU into Virginia's largest university 
and the leading economic engine for the Richmond area. 

22 > Bridging the gap 

As state funding declines, unrestricted annual gifts 
provide VCU the flexibility to respond to immediate 
needs and special opportunities. 

28 -* Giving back 

Alumni bequests and planned gifts enhance and 
preserve the university's tradition of excellence 
for years to come. 



2 > Circa 

Classroom technology; 2008. 

5 ^ University news 

Noteworthy news and research at VCU. 

20 > The hig picture 

VCU moments and milestones appear in this 
retrospective look at the university's history. 

24 ^ Alumni connections 

The latest news from the alumni association. 

29 •* Class notes 

Updates from alumni, faculty, staff and friends. 

38 > Datebook 

Upcoming university and alumni events. 

39 > Circa 

Classroom technology: 1970s. 

Fall 200S 

our unpversi 

Much of this issue of Shafer Court Connections 
is devoted to commemorating the birth 4-0 years 
ago of Virginia Commonweahh University. 

VCU is marking its anniversary with a variety of 
opportunities for alumni to share in commemo- 
rative and celebratory activities and programs. I 
hope you will capitalize on this special time in our 
history to make a new connection — or strengthen 
your existing bond — with your university. 

I urge you to visit the "Fortieth and Foi^ward" 
anniversary Web site at, where 
you can revisit VCU's history and share your own 
memories in a virtual time capsule. 

You also can be a part of this historic celebration 
by joining VCU and the Richmond community at 
the Monroe Park Festival, which kicks off at noon 
Saturday. Oct. 25. in Monroe Park. The festival 
will feature the best of VCU today and yesterday 
as well as musical performances from local bands 
nominated by students, faculty, staff, alumni and 
friends. Rumor has it that the infamous "Ask It" 
booth and other alumni favorites might re-emerge 
for this special celebration. 

As always, your alumni magazine showcases 
graduates, students, faculty and staff who represent 
the cherished values that reflect the intellectual 
excellence of your university. 

I hope you will pay close attention to an article explaining the increasingly critical role private support 
from alumni and friends plays in the future of your alma mater, as public funding for higher education 
continues to decline. I've heard it said that VCU has evolved from a state-supported to a state-assisted 
university, and now we find ourselves most accurately described as state-located. Our future margin of 
excellence rests in the hands of our alumni and friends. 

Anniversaries and birthdays mark significant milestones and accomplishments while providing the 
opportunity for reflection, celebration and renewed commitment, enthusiasm and energy to achieve our 
mission, shared vision and goals. 

This year presents an opportunity to celebrate the milestones and accomplishments of VCU across the 
past 40 years while looking ahead to the exciting prospects for future collaborations and discoveries. I 
encourage you to reflect on the role VCU has played — and continues to play — in your life and to take this 
opportunity to get involved- Your university will be enriched by your participation and leadership. 

According to your fellow alumni who have joined the VCU Alumni Association as active dues-paying 
members, the benefits and enrichment go both ways. 

To quote the VCUAA board of directors, "Celebrate VCU!" 

Yours for VCU, 





^ ^irr 










Dan Massey 

President, VCU Alumni Association 

Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr. signs legislation 
in 1968 to create VCU. The commonwealth 
celebrated VCU Day July 1, 2008. 

Pitj i^'^^'^itiS^ wr'i^^iii^ r 


www.vcu-mcvaiumni. org 

Assistant Vice President, 
University Alumni Relations 
Gordon A. McDougall 

Executive Director, 

VCU Alumni Association 

Diane Stout-Brown (B.S.W. '80/SW) 


Kristen Caldwell (B.S. '94/MC) 

Trina Lambert 

Linda George 


Jessica Foster 


Editorial: Ray Bonis (B.S. '88/MC), Jennifer 
Carmean (B.S. '98/H&.S), KeUi Craig, Teri 
Dunnivant, Erin Egan, Claire Hairfield, 
Polly Roberts, Melanie Irvin Solaimani 
(B.S. '96/MC), Kim Witt 

Design: Pamela Arnold (B.F.A. '87/A), Nathan 
Hanger (B.S. 'Ol/MC), Haley Hollenbach 
(B.F.A. 'OI/A), Katie McBride (B.F.A. 'oVA), 
Chris Obrion, Matthew Phillips (M.F.A. 
'87/A), Shannon Wilhams 

Photography: VCU Athletics, VCU Libraries - 
Special Collections and Archives, Allen Jones 
(B.F.A. '82/Ai M.F.A. '92/A), Tom Kojcsich, 
Jennifer Watson 

Shafer Court Connections is published 
semiannually by the Office of Alumni Relations 
and VCU Creative Services for Virginia 
Commonwealth University's alumni, faculty, 
staff and friends. Opinions expressed in this 
magazine do not necessarily represent those 
of the university or magazine staff. 

Send address changes to the Office of Alumni 
Relations, Virginia Commonwealth University, 
924. W. Franklin St., P.O. Box 84304.4, 
Richmond, VA 23284.-3044; telephone 
(804) 828-2586; 

Letters to the editor should be sent to Shafer 
Court Connections, Virginia Commonwealth 
University, 827 W. Franklin St., P.O. Box 
842041, Richmond, VA 23284-2041. ore-mail Please include your 
name, address and a daytime phone number; 
anonymous letters will not be published. Letters 
may be edited for clarity or space. 

Contributions of articles, photos and 
artwork are welcome; however, Shafer Court 
Connections accepts no responsibility for 
unsolicited items. 

© 2008, Virginia Commonwealth University. 
An equal opportunity, affirmative action university. 080520-01 

4 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

University news 

News and research at Virginia 
Commonwealth University. 
For the latest updates, visit 
VCU online at 

Women's b-ball posts winning season 

The women's basketball team heads to the 
court this season on the heels of a record- 
setting 2007-08 campaign. Last season, the 
Rams established school-record totals for wins, 
conference wins, winning percentage, home 
wins, road wins and postseason wins. 

"This was a great year, but in our minds, 
it's only the beginning." says head coach Beth 
Cunningham (M.S. '03/E). 

Picked to finish fourth in the C-AA, the Rams 
began the season with seven straight wins, the 
best start in program history. The team also 
was invited to the Women's National Invitation 
Tournament, where they'll make a repeat 
appearance Nov. 14- 

In another season highlight, Krystal Vaughn 
(B.S. '08/E), named first-team AIl-CAA, 
became the first VCU women's basketball player 
to have her name called in the WNBA draft. 
The foi'ward was selected 34^^ overall by the 
Washington Mystics. 

WNBA draft pick Krystal Vaughn takes a break on 
the court during the record-setting 2007-08 Rams 
women's basketball season. 

Students solve 'simple' challenge 

VCU's da Vinci Center for Innovation m 
Product Design and Development, a program 
that brings together students from VCU's 
schools of Engineering, Business and the Ai'ts, 
unveiled its first project, "Operation Simple: 
The $500 Operating Table for Developing 
Countries, ' in May. 

VCU president announces retiremen : 

^ Eugene P. Irani, Ph.D., announced on 

Aug. 14, 2008, his plans to retire from 

the positions of president of Virginia 

Commonwealth University and president 

f |r; and chair of the VCU Health System, 

^ fj effective June 30, 2009- He will remain at 

VCU as University Distinguished Professor. 

Dr. Irani earlier planned to step down as 

:. t president in June 2007, but at the request 

^ of the VCU Board of Visitors, he agreed 

, to extend his presidency until June 2010. 

i After undergoing quintuple- heart bypass 

surgery in July, Dr. Irani decided to move 
VCU President Eugene P. Trani announces his i- i.- i. 

,. , ^ , , his retirement up a year. 

retirement plans at an Aug. 14 press conference. „. . , , , 

My surgery and recovery have made it 

clear to me that I should listen to my physician's advice, and that stepping down one year earlier 

than planned is the best thing for me to do," Dr. Irani said. "I have had time this past month to 

reflect upon how important it is for me to spend time with my family while I am healthy." 

Dr. Irani, 68, has led VCU through a major transformation during what will be a 19-year 

tenure as president, building the university into a major urban research institution and the 

largest university in Virginia. He said a priority for the remainder of his term as president 

will be to ensure a smooth transition as the Board of Visitors conducts a national search 

for his successor. 

Suele Kabir, a graduate engineering student, 
and two fellow graduate students, Hitesh Patel 
irom business and Jennifer Farris from arts, 
spent the spring semester designing a prototype 
for reducing the prohibitive cost of operating 
tables, which can run up to $30.000. 

This fall Phase II of the project vdll involve 
developing the engineering aspects of the table 
to ensure that it can support 300 pounds — the 
industry standard. Phase III, in spring 2009, will 
focus on producing and marketing the table. 

VCU arts school ranks No. 1 in U.S. 

The VCU School of the Arts is ranked the 
No. I public university visual arts and design 
graduate program by U.S. News EWorld Report 
in its "America's Best Graduate Schools 2009." 
The arts school also ranked fourth overall among 
graduate visual arts and design programs — 
the highest ranking ever for a public program. 

In total, 25 different programs at VCU were 
ranked in the U.S. News & World Report gradu- 
ate and first professional progi'ams rankings. The 
Department of Sculpture and the Department 
of Nurse Anesthesia each ranked No. I. 

To see the complete list of VCU graduate 
programs recognized by U.S. News & World 
Report, go to 

VCUQatar plans campus addition 

In May. VCU and Education City officials 
broke ground for an expansion to the 
VCUQ^atar campus in Doha. For lO years, the 
VCU School of the Arts in Qatar has offered a 
Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design, fashion 
design or interior design. With the new build- 
ing. VCUQatar plans to expand its offerings 
to include a master's degree in design as well 
as a library and additional facilities to support 

Fall 2008 I 


Annual convocation honors faculty p^^^ stucjents wIh Goldwatep ScHolarships 

The university recognized four distinguished 
professors for outstanding accomphshments in 
the areas of teaching, scholarship, service and 
overall excellence at the Faculty Address and 
Convocation Sept. l6. This year's honorees were: 

• Distinguished Service Award: Mary Ellen 
Olbrisch. Ph.D.. associate professor. 
Department of Psychiatry, School of 

• Distinguished Scholarship Award: David 
Wojahn. professor and director of creative 
writing. Department of English. College 
of Humanities and Sciences 

• Distinguished Teaching Award: Jeffrey 
South, associate professor. School of Mass 

• University Award of Excellence: awarded 
posthumously to Billy Martin, Ph.D.. 
chair. Department of Pharmacology and 
Toxicology. School of Medicine 

Creative blitz benefits nonprofits 

More than 40 students from the VCU 
School of Mass Communications participated 
in the first CreateAthon onCampus program. 
March 13-14.. The students devoted a portion of 
their spring break to assisting 12 local nonprof- 
its with their advertising and marketing needs. 
Community professionals also volunteered 
during the 24-hour marathon session, serving 
as team mentors. 

VCU is the first university in the countiy to 
adapt this successful professional agency program 
to the college environment. 

Faculty honors 

Brian T. McMahon, Ph.D., professor, 
Department of Rehabilitation Counseling 

Kevin Karr Innovative Rehabilitation 
System of the Year Award 

Raj Rao, Ph.D., assistant professor, 
Department of Chemical and Life 
Science Engineering 

National Science l-oundation Career Award 

Judy VanSlyke Turk, Ph.D., APR, Fellow 
PRSA, School of Mass Communications 

2008 Thomas Jefferson Award for 
Excellence in Public Relations 

Four VCU Honors College students received 
the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, the pre- 
mier national scholarship for undergraduate 
math, science and engineering students. 

VCU is one of only eight schools in the U.S. to 
claim four Goldwater Scholars amongthis year's 
group of recipients. VCU's Goldwater Scholars 
are Jeannette Aiken, a junior from Gainesville, 
Va., majoring in forensic science and biochemis- 
try; John Bajacan, a senior from Springfield, Va., 
majoring in chemistry; Mary Beth Bird, a junior 
from Lexington, Va., majoring in biomedical 
engineering; and Allison de Groot, a junior from 
Washington, D.C., also majoring in biomedical 

"We are proud of these students for earning this extremely competitive honor," says 
Stephen D. Gottfredson, provost and vice president for academic affairs at VCU. "With 
their success, these students illustrate the outstanding scholarship and teaching excel- 
lence at VCU in the fields of math, science and engineering." 

Goldwater Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit. This year, 321 scholar- 
ships were awarded to sophomores and juniors from a field of more than 1,000 applicants. 
The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and 
board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. 

(From left) Mary Beth Bird. Allison de Groot, 
Jeannette Aiken and John Bajacan 

Singers pay tribute to Olympics 

The Commonwealth Singers, a select cho- 
ral ensemble of VCU. appeared in concerts in 
Beijing and Shanghai during a Mid-Atlantic 
Choral Tribute to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 
May 27 to June 5. 

John Guthmiller, director of choral activities 
and chairman of VCU's Department of Music, 
conducted the group as well as ensembles from 
four other schools in concerts at the Forbidden 
City Concert Hall in Beijing and at the Cultural 
Arts Center in Shanghai. 

The concerts showcased the work of more 
than 230 performers, including a Chinese 
orchestra and Chinese soloists, and drew large 
audiences, with more than I.OOO attending the 
Shanghai performance. 

Dr. Irani signs national green compact 

In April. VCU President Eugene P. Trani. 
Ph.D.. signed a national compact among col- 
lege presidents to address global warming by 
working to neutralize greenhouse gas emis- 
sions on campuses. The American College and 
University Presidents Climate Commitment 
represents an initiative to reduce the global 
emission of greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 

Earlier this year. VCU's Student Government 
Association urged university administrators 

to seek ways for VCU to embrace sustainability 
in design and stewardship. 

"This type of formal compact highlights 
VCU's commitment to work with universities 
across the country to demonstrate leadership in 
the community by modeling ways to minimize 
emissions that contribute to global warming." 
Dr. Trani says. 

In addition to efforts already in place across 
VCU's campuses to conserve energy and reduce 
emissions, VCU is constructing several build- 
ings to LEED standards, the nationally accepted 
benchmark for optimal energy and environ- 
mental design and construction. 

VCU, W&M partner on health policy 

VCU and the College of William and 
Mary have formed a signature collaboration 
to address health policy. The VCU-William 
and Mary Health Policy and Law Initiative will 
bring together faculty and students from VCU's 
L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and 
Public Affairs, the VCU School of Medicine 
and the William and Mary Law School to 
conduct research and provide public service. 
The initiative's first service-learning project, 
set for January 2OO9. is a Veterans Disability 

Future plans include offering joint degree 
programs that focus on solving topical problems 
in health policy, law and bioethics. 

6 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Research repor; 

Barnes & Noble @ VCU flags fly outside the Monroe 
Park Campus bookstore. 

Barnes & Noble comes to campus 

VCU welcomed national bookseller Barnes 
& Noble to campus this summer — providing 
new bookstore options filled with a wider range 
of publications and resources, including access 
to more used books. 

Barnes & Noble will integrate its national 
image with VCU's own distinct identity at both 
campus bookstores. Renovations to the Barnes 
& Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park Campus 
were completed this summer, while Barnes & 
Noble @ VCU Medical Center will begin its 
upgrades this fall. 

Grad earns Fulbright Scholarship 

Jessica Langley (M.F.A.'o8/A) has earned a 
Fulbright Student Scholarship to study and pur- 
sue her artistic interests in Iceland. Langley will 
travel to Iceland for the 2008-09 academic year 
to study the country's landscape and to create art 
inspiredby her surroundings. Upon her return to 
the U.S., Langley hopes to increase the exchange 
between Icelandic and American artists. 

Langley is the fourth VCU student to receive 
a Fulbright Scholarship in the past three years. 

Partnership aids ASD instruction 

VCU and 15 public school divisions in 
Central Virginia have formed a partnership 
that will provide training and professional 
development for teachers of students with autism 
spectrum disorders. The Region I Autism 
Education Consortium will provide educational 
opportunities to benefit nearly I.OOO children 
with ASD. The consortium also plans to create a 
structure for schools to access staff development 
resources, implement research-based practices 
and methodologies, and enhance and build 
parent partnerships. 

entifies gene with possible 


VCU researchers have identified a gene associated with schizophrenia that could provide 
further insight about the pathophysiology of the disease. 

Led by Xiangning Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and human genetics 
in VCU's School of Medicine, and Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., professor of psychiatry and 
human genetics in VCU's School of Medicine, the research team studied variants of 
the gene, MEGFlO, in affected and unaffected individuals from Ireland and Northern 
Ireland. Supported in part by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National 
Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the team found that some 
variants of MEGFlO had a higher frequency in schizophrenia patients than in healthy 
controls, and these variants were associated with higher expression of the gene in the 
brain of affected subjects. 

This "provides evidence that a gene directly involved in apoptosis, or cell death, is 
associated with schizophrenia," Chen says. "Apoptosis has long been speculated to be 
involved in schizophrenia, but no gene directly involved in this process was found to be 
associated with the disease." 

Anti-cancer drug combination induces cell death in CML 

VCU Massey Cancer Center researchers have discovered that a combination of anti- 
cancer compounds kills chronic myelogenous leukemia cells previously resistant to 
conventional forms of therapy. 

Imatinib mesylate inhibits the activity of a mutant protein, known as Bcr/AbI, which is 
responsible for CML; however, patients eventually become resistant to imatinib mesylate, 
often through the development of further mutations in the Bcr/AbI protein. 

According to Steven Grant, M.D., Massey's associate director for translational research, 
and co-leader of the cancer center's Cancer Cell Biology Program and senior author 
of the study, resistance to imatinib mesylate prompted the search for newer agents. 

Working under grants from the National Institutes of Health, the V Foundation, the 
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America, and the Department of Defense, Grant and 
colleagues examined the effects of combining MK-0457, a Bcr/AbI kinase inhibitor, with 
vorinostat, a drug recently approved for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. 
They found that this combination leads to a dramatic induction of programmed cell death 
in CML cells, including imatinib-resistant cells. 

Preclinical studies are under way to test whether it may be possible to develop a clinical 
regimen based on these findings. 

Trend in waterpipe smoking signals future health problem 

More U.S. college students are smoking tobacco using waterpipes, or hookahs, and 
it's becoming a growing public health issue, according to a new study led by Thomas 
Eissenberg, Ph.D., associate professor in the VCU Department of Psychology. 

Under grants from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Dru 
Abuse and the Fogarty International Center, Eissenberg and his research team con- 
ducted a cross-sectional study of approximately 744 students, mostly between the 
ages of 18 and 21. Approximately 43 percent of those surveyed had smoked tobacco 
using a waterpipe in the past year; and 20 percent of them had smoked tobacco 
using a waterpipe in the past month. In addition, users were more likely to perceive 
waterpipes as less harmful than cigarettes compared to those who had never used 
a waterpipe before. 

According to Eissenberg, current and prospective waterpipe tobacco smokers should 
be made aware that waterpipe tobacco smoking is not as benign as they might think. 
Waterpipe smoke and cigarette smoke contain some of the same toxins — disease- 
causing tar and carbon monoxide, as well as dependence-producing nicotine. 


' w'S^ ''Stt. 

Fortieth and forward 

Virginia Commonwealth University 
celebrates its first 40 years with 
an eye toward the future 

The ^Oth anniversary of Virginia Gonunonwealth 
University revisits a historic moment in higher 
education, when in ig68 the General Assembly 
established an urban university in the heart of 
Richmond. With more than 32,000 students, 
VGU today represents the state's largest pubhc 
university and embodies academic and research 
excellence indelibly tied to the histories of its 
founding institutions — the Medical GoUege of 
Virginia and Richmond Professional Institute. 
This year, the university celebrates the important 
milestones that have helped shape VGU and the 
vision for tom^orrow's possibilities. 



Virginia Commonwealth University's legacy continues in the tradition of two celebrated institution^ •* ""-^ 


"■'^i'':- - l"^^i/4*i^ 



/CU Shafer Court Connections 

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orty years ago, 
Virginia General Assembly 
enacted a bold concept 
vhen it used the infrastructure 
of two separate institutions, amedica 
college and an entrepreneurial pro- 
fessional institute, to create Virginia Commonwealth 
University. The founders involved in the university's 
creation might not recognize the current VCU — one 
of the top research universities in the country. Their 
underlying vision of this urban university, however, 

VCU's story begins in the early 1960s when sup- 
port increased for Richmond Professional Institute to 
become a full-fledged university. In 1965 RPI e.\-peri- 
enced the largest enrollment increase in its histoiy. That 
same year, the Higher Education Study ComiTiission, 
chaired by state Sen. Lloyd C. Bird, concluded that the 
Richmond area needed a "bold, new development," in 
other words, a major university. The Bird Commission 
recommended combining two existing institutions, RPI 
and the Medical College of Virginia, to create this uni- 
versity. The rationale behind the proposed union was 
that the two schools would be a formidable combination, 
stronger together than each was on its own. 

The idea of pooling the resources of MCV and RPI 
made sense and, to many people, seemed like a natu- 
ral fit. At the time of the commission's report, the two 
schools already intersected in many areas. RPI's public 
health program had been using MCV facilities and fac- 
ulty since its inception. Plus, a number of cooperative 
programs existed between the two institutions, includ- 
ing a joint doctorate in clinical psychology. By the 1960s, 
MCVstudents were taking English, history, statistics and 
economics courses at RPI or with RPI instructors who 
worked as adjunct faculty at the medical school. 

Following the Bird Commission's report findings, 
the 1966 General Assembly formed another group to go 
forward with a plan for the state university. Edward A. 
Wayne Sr., president of the Richmond Federal Reserve 
Bank, chaired the commission. Wayne's vision for the 
school took the Bird Commission's recommendation 
a step further. He proposed not a merger of RPI and 
MCV. but instead the creation of a completely new entity 
with the two schools as its components. 

The commission's report was unanimous and recom- 
mended the establishment, effective July I. 1968, of "an 
urban-oriented state university in Richinond to embrace 

and build upon the Medical College of Virginia and the 
Richmond Professional Institute." 

Members of the commission contended that "an 
urban-oriented university is unique in that its basic phi- 
losophy concentrates on meeting the needs of an urban 
population living and working in an urban environ- 
ment. "The city is truly its living laboratory. " 

The commission's recommendation, supported by 
the governor and the General Assembly, created VCU. 
After considering other sites for the university, including 
locations in Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover coun- 
ties, the report recommended that the existing location 
realized the ""urban university " concept. 

Any initial concerns about the creation of VCU less- 
ened over the years as the university took shape. Each of 
the university s four presidents — Warren W, Brandt, 
Ph.D., T. Edward Temple, Ph.D., Edmund F. AckeD, 
M.D., D.M.D., and Eugene P. Trani. Ph.D. - built 
on the work and vision of his predecessor to fulfill the 
university's mission of teaching, research, public service 
and patient care. The original concept that emerged 
from the Bird and Wayne commissions of an urban 
university using the city as its laboratory continues to 
resonate today as students on the MCV Campus and 
Monroe Park Campus engage in these areas under one 
very expansive roof. 

Today. VCU stands as the largest public university in 
the state, tripling its student body to more than 32. GOO, 
and ranks among the top lOO universities in the country 
in sponsored research. To commemorate the university's 
anniversary and acknowledge its tremendous growth in 
such a short time, a Virginia Senate Joint Resolution 
introduced by state Sen. Donald McEachin designated 
July I, 2008, as VCU Day. The resolution recognizes 
VCU "as a leader in teaching, research, public service 
and patient care for the city of Richmond, the common- 
wealth of Virginia and the United States. " 

As VCU looks toward the ne.xt 40 years and beyond, 
the university takes pride in the rich history and accom- 
plishments of MCV and RPI. Through the blending of 
campuses, faculties, staffs and academic programs, VCU 
embodies the vision of those who believed in a strong 
single institution shaped by a common mission and 
shared goals. 

Erin Egan is a contributing writer for Shafer Court Connedioru. 

Above: State Sen. Donald 
McEachin (left), joined by 
VCU President Eugene P. 
Trani, Ph.D., and VCU Board 
of Visitors Rector Tom 
Rosenthal, officially declares 
July 1, 2008, as Virginia 
Commonwealth University Day. 

Left: Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr. 
signs the legislation on March 1, 
1968, to create VCU. 


Fall 2008 1 11 



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Four decades of growth propel Virginia Commonwealth University's mission of 


by Erin Egan 

Once the ink dried on Gov. Mills E. 
Godwin Jr.'s 1968 legislation that created 
Virginia Commonwealth University, the 
new entity fashioned from the Medical 
College of Virginia and Richmond 
Professional Institute began to forge its 
own identity. 

Forty years ago, VCU's footprint 
encompassed approximately IIO acres 
and the student body totaled I0,000. 
Today, its size exceeds 140 acres and 
32,000 students. 

"VCU had none of the physical pres- 
ence nor the stature that it does today, " 
says Hugh Keogh (M.S. '81/MC), 

president of the Virginia Chamber of 
Commerce, "but it was impeccable at 
catering to the needs of the full-time 
professional." Like many VCU stu- 
dents then, Keogh worked during the 
day and took classes at night. 

A more mature student body was the 
norm at that time. "The movement 
in Virginia toward everybody get- 
ting a higher education was on," says 
Ed Peeples Jr., Ph.D., (B.S. 57/E). 
VCU associate professor emeritus of 
preventive medicine and community 
health, "so people were showing up at 
the door." 

12 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Division of the 
University — later 
called the Academic 
Campus and now known 
as the Monroe Park Campus 
encompassed a handful of buildings, 
many of them historic landmarks, within 
a few-block radius. "It was just a small, cobble- 
stone campus back in those days . ' says Ken Magill, 
Ed.D., (B.S. '65/B; M.S. 'Gg/E), retired associate 
professor in the VCU School of Education. 

The Elealth Sciences Division — now known as 
the MCV Campus — was equally compact, sitting in 
a square between Broad and Leigh streets. Many of 
the instructors were local physicians who taught as 
adjunct faculty in whatever rooms were available. "The 
MCV Campus was very much a town medical school." 
Peeples remembers. 

Facilities did not immediately improve with the 
stroke of Godwin's pen. Witnesses to VCU's emer- 
gence from its two parent institutions, however, 
recall it as an exciting time. "In the early days of 
VCU, it was a kind of a Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland 
kind of school," says Lester Van Winkle, professor 
emeritus in the School of the Arts, who joined VCLf 
in 1968. "It was like, "\eah. we've got an old building 
over here and we've got some students. We'll make 
some classrooms. ' There was that sort of flavor to the 
school. " 

The vital faculty and engaged students enlivened 
the place, but space was certainly at a premium in 
those early days. The Anderson Building, home 
to the current Anderson Gallery, was the de facto 
library. Needless to say. the site was inadequate even 
though the volume of titles and journals was expo- 
nentially fewer than the number VCU has today. 



ot Histor)' had 
about six or eight 
cardboard boxes of books 
on the third floor of that 
building and that was the com- 
plete histoi'y holding. " says William 
Blake Jr., Ph.D., a professor of history 
since 1965, at RPI, then at VCU. "Now, we've 
got thousands of history books. We went from a few 
hundred books to literally thousands and thousands 
of history volumes. " 

Peeples remembers teaching in the Anderson 
Building among the piles, giving new meaning to 
library "stacks. " "The books were all over the floor, " 
he says. "If somebody tipped them over, they would 
never find what they were looking for." 

At this time of transition, VCU used the resources 
available to accommodate students and faculty while 
working out its growing pains. As Keogh says, VCL^ was 
still clearly emerging and beginning "to flex itself a 
little bit as an attractive option for higher education 
in Virginia. " 


Fall 2008 j 1 




With the naming of Warren W. Brandt, Ph.D., as 
VCU's first president, the wheels began moving to mold 
the university into a place where students could earn a 
top-notch education in a stimulating and comfortable 
environment. Brandt also had the very difficult job of 
uniting the two administrations — each with its different 
facilities, processes and rules — into one cohesive unit. 
Combining the two previous insti- 
tutions was not an easy sell at first, says 
Blake, who as the first president of the 
^^ — * "^ VCU Faculty Senate helped bridge the 
^^^V ^B gap between the two campuses. It was a 

^K pH bit of a challenge, he says, "because the 

^Jmy' -^^^tk people at MCV had a long tradition." 
4MBJPUMP|H|M John Borgard, Ph.D., associate 

dean of undergraduate academic affairs 
from 1999 to 2004, first came to VCU in 1971. He says 
RPI traditions fueled corresponding feelings on the 
Academic Campus, with some faculty resisting change. 

"A lot of people wanted the university to continue to be an RPI 
atmosphere because it was kind of an 'in' atmosphere and to go 
big would not be true to the beginnings of this school." 

- John Borgard, Ph.D.. former associate dean of undergraduate acac/emic affairs 

"A lot of people wanted the university to continue to be 
an RPI atmosphere because it was kind of an in atmo- 
sphere and to go big would not be true to the beginnings 
of this school." 

Slowly, faculty members became energized by the 
direction the university and Brandt were headed. He had 
definite ideas of how to enhance the student experience 
and pushed for summer orientation programming in 
which each freshman student talked with an adviser for 
30 minutes. "It was something that Brandt talked about 
and we said. That's a good idea, " says Borgard. It was a 
big part of getting students off to a good start." 

During Brandt's administration, VCU became 
Virginia's largest university with 17,000 students. 
The university responded to the demand by adding 32 
new degree programs and the schools of Allied Health 
Professions and Community Service. Just as important, 
the construction and acquisition of numerous build- 
ings strengthened the university's infrastructure in order 
to emphasize Brandt's vision for expansion of research 
opportunities, programs and schools to come. 

The structures built or acquired during Brandt's ten- 
ure included the James Branch Cabell Library (just the 
first floor; the other three would be built in 1975)' Rhoads 
Hall and the School of Business building on the Academic 
Campus, and an addition to the TDmpkins-McCaw Library 
and expansion to Sanger Hall on the medical campus. 

Despite the flurry of building, the campus still felt 
spread out, "When I arrived, I was really kind of unsure 
about where VCU was, " says Greg Wingfield (B.S. 
'74/H&S; M.U.R.R '76/H&S), president and CEO of 
the Greater Richmond Partnership. "It wasn't like you 
walked through the gates and said, 'Here I am.' VCU was 
here, there and evei-ywhere. " 

Students had no real gathering place. The University 
Student Commons did not exist; it would not be built 
for another decade. Students soon discovered the Shafer 
Court corridor and it became the unofficial hangout. 
"That was kind of ground zero for student life back 
then," Wingfield says. 

Marsha Shuler (B.S. '74/B), senior vice president of 
the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, recalls having her 
business classes in various old buildings on Franklin Street. 
Wlien the School of Business building was finished in 
1972 "that made a huge difference as far as students get- 
ting to know one another and having die capability to study 
together, " she says. 

Brandt's tireless efforts to establish VCU as a university of 
high academic standing ended with his retirement in 1974 
and laid the gi-oundwork for his successor. 


Inaugurated in 1975' VCU's second 
president, T. Edward Temple, Ph.D., 
died after only 21 months in office. 
Still, he managed to create a lasting leg- 
acy. As president, he revamped VCU's 
administrative structure and developed 
a "traveling road show " to showcase the 
university to the public. 

"He had a magic with people, ' Peeples notes. "He 
served the great purpose of legitimizing VCU among 
state people." 

Temple also campaigned for a new hospital on the 
medical campus, which improved relations between 
the two campuses. "He would take in people s opin- 
ions and he'd put them to work." Peeples says. "But Ed 
Temple added a social-psychological dimension that 
was so necessary and he underscored the urban mis- 
sion and the service side of things." 

After H.I. Willett served as interim president for 
one year, Edmund E. Ackell, M.D., D.M.D.. becaine 
VCU's third leader. A former dentistry professor and 
the vice pi-esident for health affairs and special assistant 
for governmental affairs at the University of Southern 
California, Ackell further united and expanded the 
two campuses. 


Ackell's 12 -year tenure 
marked the beginning of a 
period of inajor develop- 
ment for the university. 
VCU experienced its larg- 
est growth spurt up to that time, with a budget that 
ballooned from $135 niillion to $43^ million. The 
student population topped 20,000, so one of Ackell's 
main focuses was additional construction. During this 
stint, a new hospital, a cancer center (now the Massey 
Cancer Center), a student commons, a performing- 
arts center, a pharmacy building, a residence hall, 
athletic facilities and two parking decks added to the 
growing campus footprint. 

With the addition of the first phase of Gladding 
Residence Center, completed in 1979' VCU moved 
from strictly a commuter school to a more traditional 
university where students lived on campus. "Students 
now had a chance to engage themselves on the campus 
in ways that they didn't in the 1970s and before that," 
Borgard remembers. 

As more students remained on campus, VCU 
branched into the safety business. "VCU really was on 

"The obvious change is the diversity. Where it was a black-and-white 
campus 30 years ago, it's now international. It mirrors society today.' 

- Jerry Wittiams (B.F.A. '71/A), writer, director and producer of commercials and videos 

the cutting edge of that. " Borgard says. "The univer- 
sity was doing card swipes to get into dorms and having 
24/7 presence at the front door before lots of colleges 
and universities. " 

At the same time, VCU's commitment to education 
continued as increased numbers of community college 
and transfer students found a home at the university. The 
university's population gi'adually shifted from mature 
working adults to more full-time coUege-age students. 
However, VCU still offered nontraditional students a 
place to earn an e.xemplai-)' higher education and created 
innovative new degree programs to suit them. 

Gale Crowder (B.G.S. '86/H&S), who volun- 
teers in the Richmond arts community, earned a 
Bachelor of General Studies — now called a Bachelor 
of Interdisciplinary Studies — after a 25~year hiatus in 
her education. "It was a vei-y unique program origi- 
nally set up for older people who had some college or 
university but who hadn't finished. " she says. 

While Crowder was nervous about returning to 
school, she felt welcome at VCU. In fact, she was 
often recognized around town. "Never did it dawn on 
me that I stuck out, " she says. "One day 1 thought. "I 
guess that's how they know me because 1 don't look 
like everyone else. " 

VCU was and still is known for the individuality of 
its students. "It used to be it was long hair and then 
it was piercings and now it's tattoos, but you still see 
the same kind of kids," says Jerry Williams (B.E.A. 
'71/A), a writer, director and producer of coinmer- 
cials and videos. "The obvious change is the diversity. 
Where it was a black-and-white campus 30 years ago, 
it's now international. It mirrors society today. " 

Fall 2008 i 15 






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Think you know VCU's history? 

Test your Knowledge in our special 40tn anniversary quiz. 


1. Homecoming float from the 1970s, a precursor to today's events during the Rams basketball season 2. VCU men's basketball star Eric Maynor, an 
instant Rams legend after his game-winning jumper over Duke University in the 2007 NCAA Tournament 3. 12-story Johnson Hall, housing students near 
Monroe Park since 1964 4- George J. Oliver, Ph.D., RPI president from 1959 to 1967 5- Award-winning Shafer Court Dining Center, feeding the VCU com- 
munity since 2004 6. "Grace Street from Claddings," an oil-on-canvas painting by artist Theresa Pollak, who was instrumental in creating what is now 
VCU's nationally ranked School of the Arts 7. Entrance to the student commons shared by Snead and East halls on the 11-acre Monroe Park Campus 
Addition 8. David Hume, M.D., (far right) founder of MCV's clinical transplant program, and H.M. Lee, M.D., (second from left) with members of the 
Department of Surgery transplant section in the 1960s ?• Students in front of the University Student Commons, providing space for student activities 
and events, particularly for VCU's growing residence hall population, since 1984 TO. The Shafer Court compass, a Monroe Park Campus gathering spot 
surrounded by Hibbs Hall, the Shafer Court Dining Center and James Branch Cabell Library W. Grace E. Harris, Ph.D., former VCU provost and name- 
sake for Harris Hall, formerly the School of Business building 12. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, 1973 performers at the Franklin Street Gym 
(photo by Jeff Crossons) ^Z. The white coat, ceremoniously given to incoming medical, pharmacy and dental students since the late 1990s to mark the 
start of their education 14. Jim Elam, a 1973 graduate of the School of Social Work and the university's first African-American student government presi- 
dent 15. William E. Massey Jr., Gordon D. Ginder, M.D., and Morgan Massey, in 2008 celebrating the 25th anniversary of the naming of the VCU Massey 
Cancer Center - Source: "Virginia Commonwealth University" by ftay Bonis, Jodi Koste and Curtis Lyons, available from Arcadia Publishing j 

"I tend to think of VCU and Richmond as sort of one entity now. 
You really don't think of one without the other." 

- David Batdacci (B.A. '85/I-I&S). best-selling author and VCU Board of Visitors member 

A 21st-century university 

By 1990, VCU ranked 64th among the top lOO 
federally funded research institutions. When Eugene 
P. Trani, Ph.D., became VCU s fourth president, he 
built on Ackell's vision and prepared the university 
to enter the 2Ist century with explosive growth in the 
areas of community outreach, research opportunities, 
and services and resources for students. 

"The expansion of buildings and programs has 
allowed for a lot more diversity at VCU and has set 
the foundation for us to be a true player for years to 
come in so many different arenas." says Nina Sims 
(B.S. (j'^/MC), director of marketing and sales for the 
Community College Workforce Alliance. 

With a student body of 2I.OOO. more than double 
the size of what it was at the university's beginning, 
VCU needed room to expand. President Trani looked 
north toward Broad Street, which largely consisted 
of abandoned warehouses and storefronts. The $105 
million investment into renovating the area, including 
building residence halls, a sports arena, a bookstore 
and an arts building, spurred more than $IOO million 
in private investment by developers. 

"That's just a perfect example of where growth needs 
to occur to accommodate the university in an area that 
needed revitalization," says the Greater Richmond 
Partnership's Wingfield. "It was a marriage that was a 
win-win on both sides.' 

VCU's development north included the creation of 
the Carver-VCU Partnership, a joint venture to build a 
safe and nurturing environment for those in the neigh- 
boring Cai-ver community. The VCU Police increased 

patrols while working with residents, and VCU students 
began mentoring the community's children. 

At the same time, four new residence halls, as well 
as expansion to the University Student Commons, 
allowed VCU to offer its students a more complete col- 
lege ex-perience. As an undergraduate living in Rhoads 
Hall and then Gladding Residence Center, Michelle 
Ferrera (M.S. 'Ol/AHP) appreciated what life in the 
residence halls had to offer. On the weekends, the 
university scheduled programs and events to keep stu- 
dents engaged, "The university made the effort to give 
students a true campus feel, " Ferrera says. 

Tlie continued gi'ovrth, recognition and sense of pur- 
pose created a feeling of pride across the university. " It was 
the first time 1 felt there was a sense of shared aspirations, " 
professor emeritus Van Winkle says. "Suddenly, everybody 
had a very positive attitude about the place. People telt 
there was acknowledgment of successes, " 


But "the watershed moment " for VCU, Keogh of the 
Virginia Chainber of Commerce says, occurred in 1995 
with the establishment of the School of Engineering. "TTiat 
was a veiy important public-private partnership between 
the commonwealth, the university and the business 
community, " he says. "The area begged for [an engineer- 
ing school] and they said they'd do it and they did it." 

Uniquely designed with a biomedical focus tied to the 
biotechnology and industrial needs of the Richmond 
region, the engineering school — a key component of 
President Trani's vision for VCU — followed on the heels 
of another economic endeavor. 


Fall 2008 j 17 

CDNCtii mm HHiu in 

\ IttU »i Ulf ft* JtW «S( It 

VCU aunches time capsu e 

Alumni from the 1970s and 1980s 
will remember the Ask It Booth — once 
a fixture on Virginia Commonwealth 
University's Academic Campus. Students 
volunteered at the booth, located next 
to Shafer Street Playhouse, and provided 
directions and information. 

What do you remember from your days at VCU? 

Share your VCU experience — your memories, photos and videos — 
through VCU's virtual time capsule. No matter your tie to the university, 
we want to hear from you. Share your story online at 

The opening in 1995 of the Virginia BioTechnology 
Research Park, a partnership between VCU, the city 
of Richmond and the state, expanded the university's 
research possibilities and provided a catalyst for increased 
collaboration and economic development. Situated 
on 34 acres adjacent to the VCU Medical Center, the 
BioTech Park serves as the state's only science park dedi- 
cated exclusively to the advancement of biosciences. 

VCU soon began to place a stronger einphasis on this 
burgeoning area, and in 2000, launched a university- 
wide life sciences initiative that combined the resources 
and interests of the two campuses. 

"Gene Trani has always said the past two centuries 
have been chemistry and physics and the 2 1st century 
is the century of life sciences," says Leonard Smock, 
Ph.D., VCU professor since 1979 ^i^d chairman of the 
Department of Biology since I990- 

With the creation of VCU Life Sciences, the 
link between the science departments and the MCV 
Campus strengthened. Additional facilities, such as the 
VCU Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental 
Life Sciences — a 342-acre living laboratory on the James 
River in Charles City County — offer even more chances 
for partnerships. 

Back in the city, the collocation of the schools 
of Business and Engineering exemplifies VCU's vision 
for increased collaboration among disciplines. 

A major component of VCU's largest capital campaign, 
which raised more than $410 million from 1999 'o 20o8, 
the Il-acre Monroe Park Campus Addition includes 
Snead Hall, home to the School of Business, and East 
Hall, the second building for the School of Engineering, 
joined by a student commons and shared facilities. 


The expansion of VCU's campuses has not only 
improved the university, but it also has sparked a surge 
in economic development in the city from the Fan to 
downtown. "VCU has been the driving force, " says David 
Baldacci (B.A. 'Ss/H&S), best-selling author and VCU 
Board of Visitors member. '1 tend to think of VCU and 
Richmond as sort of one entity now. You really don't 
think of one without the other. " 

After 40 years of sustained growth, VCU contin- 
ues to move forward, at home and abroad. Today, 
VCU maintains partnerships with 16 international 
universities, including the VCU School of the Arts in 
Qatar. Additionally, the university opened campuses 
in Northern Virginia for the schools of Medicine. 
Pharmacy and Social Work and plans to further expand 
its mission locally, regionally and globally. 

"I think we will continue to see a real strengthening 
of our research capabilities, our scholarly productivity," 
Smock says. We will continue to attract more and more 
of the top students and it will continue to get harder and 
harder to get into VCU." 

Additional growth vnW come, and as many of VCU's 
administrators, faculty and alumni know, evolution can 
happen quickly, spur change and lead to greatness. 

"The last time I was at VCU, I noticed a lot of banners 
up, Ferrera says. "1 thought, "Wow! VCLl seems to be 
veiy proud.' The colors are showing. The banners are 
flying. Today when kids see all of the state-of-the-art 
facilities, that bodes well for the school." 

Enn Egan is a contnbuting writer Jor Shafer Court Connections. 

18 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

m^'- 1 

.X^sdMH^fery marKS the donation of its namesake c5l 

^ay Bonis 

Above, from left: Francii 

president. Margaret Freem 
Cabell and Maurice Duke- 

rendering of the proposed 
Tames Branch Cabe!! Librar 

The April 26, 1968, issue of Richmond Professional 
Institute's student newspaper, Prescript, announced 
plans to name the new Virginia Commonwealth 
University library after famed Richmond author James 
Branch Cabell. 

The reclusive writer gained national atten- 
tion in the 1920s after New York state 
attempted to suppress the publication 
of his romantic fantasy, "Jurgen," on 
grounds that it was pornographic. A 
renewed interest in Cabell's writing 
1 surfaced in the late 1960s - a decade 
after his death - just as plans for the 
\ new library were under way. 

In January 1967, Edgar MacDonald, 
Ph.D., (B.S. '52/H&S), an English profes- 
sor at Randoiph-Macon College, spoke 
I at the Woman's Club of Richmond 
^ about Cabell's relevance to the city. 
E. Allan Brown, Ph.D., (1919-1985), chair of RPI's English 
department, attended the lecture and walked away 
with the idea to name the new library after Cabell. 
'Allan was concerned that the proposed univer- 
sity or the new library might be named after Sen. 
Harry F. Byrd Sr. or some other politician," says 
MacDonald, author of "James Branch Cabell and 

That same year, RPI English professor Maurice 
Duke, Ph.D., began compiling a catalog of Cabell's 
3,000-volume personal library for his dissertation. 

"I personally handled and described every book in 
the collection," says Duke, now professor emeritus of 
English at VCU. "I did all the work after meeting with 
classes each day i typed the whole [catalog] on the 
black marble-top table using Cabell's ancient type- 
writer, both of which are now in the Cabell Room" on 
the library's fourth floor. 

Duke and MacDonald overwhelmingly supported 
Brown's naming campaign and so did RPI's Board 
of Visitors. 

"Cabell would have been childishly delighted with 
the idea of a library named after him," MacDonald 
says. "It would have meant a type of acceptance from 
Richmond that he didn't receive when he was alive." 

In the wake of the board's decision, Margaret 
Freeman Cabell, James Branch Cabell's second wife, 
donated the library's first collection — Cabell's exten- 
sive library, which includes F. Scott Fitzgerald first 
editions signed by the author and early editions of 
Mark Twain's work. 

In 1975, the collection and the Cabell Room 
opened to the university community along with 
the library's top three floors; the first floor opened 
in 1970. At the library's formal dedication, in 1976, 
then VCU President T Edward Temple, Ph.D., com- 
mented on the tremendous role libraries play in 
academic life: "Without a library, there is indeed no 

Ray Bonis (B.S. '88/MC) is assistant archivist 
at the James Branch Cabell Library. 


20 i VCU Shafer Court Connections 

RETROSPECTIVE > Photos taken throughout the years capture moments in Virginia Commonwealth University's history. 
See how many milestones and memories you can identify and then turn to Page 37 to check your answers. 

Fall 20p84 


Annual gifts replenish the resources needed 
to offer education at an affordable cost 

When Debby Engelbrecht MacArthur 

(B.F.A. '72/A), a Connecticut-based jewelry 
designer, visited Richmond. Va.. recently, 
the Floyd Avenue apartment she called home 
during college looked exactly the same. But 
her alma mater sure didn't. 

"The school looks wonderful, " she says. "1 
couldn't believe how much it has expanded. " 

In the 36 years since MacArthur grad- 
uated, Virginia Commonwealth University 
has undergone a major evolution. 

In 1968, the General Assembly fashioned 
VCU from the Medical College of Virginia 
and Richmond Professional Institute. At 
that time, the state-supported university 
offered lO.OOO students approximately 
80 degree programs in 13 schools and two 
departments. Today, VCU enrolls more 
than 32,000 students in 205 certificate and 
degree programs in the arts, sciences and 
humanities. Sixty-five of the programs are 
unique in Virginia, many of them crossing 
the disciplines of VCU's 15 schools and one 

In addition, new buildings have sprouted 
up throughout the city and others have 
undergone significant renovations, dras- 
tically changing the landscape of VCU's 

As VCU has transformed, support from 
the commonwealth of Virginia has not kept 
pace, echoing a growing trend in higher 
education across the nation, says Provost 
and Vice President for Academic Affairs 
Stephen D, Gottfredson, Ph.D. 

'When I began my career as a university 
educator, about 75 percent of any public 
university's budget came from its state's gen- 
eral fund, and about 25 percent came from 
all other sources. And by all other sources — 
I mean tuition and fees, I mean private gifts 
and endowments and I mean federal, state or 
industry grants and contracts for research 
and services," he says. "Today, 30 years later, 
that picture is just about reversed: about 25 

percent of a major public university's bud- 
get comes froiTi its state's general fund, and 
about 75 percent comes from those other 

That's where alumni such as MacArthur 
help make a difference. 

For more than 20 years, MacArthur has 
made annual gifts of unrestricted dollars to 
the VCU School of the Arts. Now in a finan- 
cial position to give back, she says she sees it as 
an important responsibility. 

I read a lot, and I know schools cannot 
survive on tuition and state support alone, " 
she says. 

Unrestricted annual gifts support the 
most-pressing initiatives at a certain time, 
such as student scholarships, improvements 
in clinical and classroom facilities, faculty 
support, technology advancements and 

Retired SunTrust executive Bill Ginther 
(B.S. '69/B; M.S. '74/B) reiterates the 
importance of annual giving in bridging the 
gap between the priorities funded by the state 
and the hopes and dreams of the university. 

"VCU is state-supported, which means its 
budget is affected by the economy," he says, 
"With the state budget, a lot of institutions 
are vying for the same dollars. As VCU con- 
tinues on its upward trajectory in terms of 
education, it just can't make many inroads 
relying on an ever-fluctuating state budget. " 

Likewise, Gottfredson points out that 
families are being asked to foot more and 
more of the bill for higher education while 
students are having a tougher time borrow- 
ing money. 

"Students from less affluent families are 
having a harder time attending college. " he 
says. "The average student leaving VCU today 
with an undergraduate degree takes with her 
an educational debt of more than $20,000. 
And the problem is only going to get worse. " 

Ginther thinks it is time for more alumni 
to step up to the plate. 

There were people who 
were giving to VCU when 
was a student and providing 
for me. It is now my 

responsibility to provide. 

- Bill Ginther (B.S. '69/B: M.S. '74/B} 1 jg 

"I have the belief that there were people 
who were giving to VCU when I was a student 
and providing for me, " he says. "It is now my 
responsibility to provide. " 

U.S. News & World Report rankings heav- 
ily emphasize the percentage of alumni who 
give, says Ginther, a ineinber of the School 
of Business Foundation board of trustees. 
According to Ginther, VCU's record falls 
below other universities of its stature. "If we 
could get a donation from every graduate." 
he says, "we'd be in great shape." 

Melanie Irvm Solaimani (B.S. 'gS.^'MO is a contributing 
writer for Shafcr Court Connections. 

Fall 2008 I 23 


C Alumni I • 

News, highlights and event photos from the 
Virginia Commonwealth University Alumni Association 
and the African-American Alumni Council. 

.Above: Lynn Davidson Spanglei' (left). 

|-^nbbe Lynne Urchin Kennedy. 

Ijureen (McGmnis) Cassada and 

"- V Alice Mae (Gaskill) Taylor, 1966 gradu- 

llk ates of the arts school, enjoy a welcome 

W reception at the new Snead Hall on 

the Monroe Park Campus Addition. 

Left: Sculptor Charles Ponlicello speaks 

to alumni at the site dedication of the RPl 

commemorative .sculpture, "Tableith." 

Reunion celebrates RPI's storied history 

Graduates from Richmond Professional Institute visited the VCU 
campus April 25-27 for the annual RPl Reunion Weekend. Alumni 
enjoyed a welcome reception and tour in Snead Hall, the new home 
of VCU's School of Business. 

During the weekend festivities, alumni dedicated the site of the RPl 
commemorative sculpture, Tableith, and artist Charles Ponticello 
(M.F.A. '94/'^) gave an overview of the project, explaining his 
vision and the symbolism of the artwork. 

After the site dedication, RPl alumni enjoyed a seated dinner in 
the VCU Scott House, where VCU President Eugene P. Trani, 
Ph.D., spoke and encouraged them to continue their support of VCU. 
The RPl Planning Committee is currently exploring the feasibility of 
financially supporting scholarships in the name of Richmond 
Professional Institute. 

AAAC enjoys annual weekend of activities 

The annual African-American Alumni Council reunion, held 
April 25-27 during Reunion Weekend, drew approximately 350 
alumni and guests to the VCU Monroe Park Campus for weekend 
activities, such as a dance, Sunday breakfast and park outing that 
attracted the highest turnout since its inclusion in reunion events. 

To kick off the weekend, Richmond favorite and national 
recording artist Plunky and Oneness wowed the crowd at Friday 
night's jazz social, 
while Saturday night's 
annual dance fea- 
tured live music from 
the band F.R.E.N.S. 

Sunday's farewell 
breakfast included a 
keynote address by 
the Rev. Duane T. 
Kay (B.A. '97/H8lS), 
pastor of Ebenezer 

Baptist Church located ^^^^^ members celebrate at the annual reunion dance 
in Alexandria, Va. featuring a performance by F.R.E.N.S. 

Alumni receive break on insurance rates 

As a VCU graduate, you have access to high-quality security and 
protection through Liberty Mutual's insurance at competitive, special 
group rates for auto, home and renter's policies. 

Auto insurance benefits include emergency roadside assistance, 
while home insurance offers 24-hour emergency home repair, personal- 
property replacement service and a safe homeowner program. 

And if you're renting. Liberty Mutual can help you, too. by protecting 
your possessions, providing liability protection and allowing for 
a housing backup plan if your apartment is rendered unlivable. 

To learn more, visit or call (800) 
835-0894. Be sure to identify yourself as a VCU graduate using group 
No. 6545. 

In addition to group rate insurance, the VCU Alumni Association 
offers a number of services to benefit its members, including: 

• Eligibility for the VCU Legacy Scholarship, available only 
to the children and grandchildren of members 

• Reduced-priced admission to home athletic events 
(subject to availability) 

• Discounted alumni merchandise at the new Barnes & Noble 
university bookstore and at 

24 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

[alumni connections] 

Association welcomes new board members 

The VCU Alumni Association board of directors met in July for 
a planning retreat where they worked to revise the boards mission 
statement and set goals ior the coming year. The board also elected 
the following new members: 

• Leah L.E. Bush (B.S. 'So/H&S, M.D, '84/1^1), chief medical 
examiner, commonwealth of Virginia 

• Gregory B. Fairchild (B.S. '88/MC), professor, Darden School 
of Business, University of Virginia 

• Aaron R. Gilchrist Jr. (B.S. '03/MC), anchor, WWBT-NBC12 

• Christopher R.Jones (B.S. Ol/En), engineer, Qimonda 

• Paul D. McWhinney (B.S. '74/SW; M.S. 'yg/SW), director 
of family services, Virginia Department of Social Services 

• Presidential appointee John S. Philips (M.S. '78/B), 
investment adviser. Clear Point LLC 

Leah L.E. Bush 

1 ■ ■I'ft'.' 

Gregory B. Fairchild Aaron R. Gilchrist Jr. 

Christopher R.Jones 

Paul D. McWhinney John S. Philips 

What is that tower behind Ginter House? 

If you've walked along or driven down 
the 900 block of West Franklin Street, just 
before you get to Shafer Street, on the right, 
you may have noticed a 14-foot-tall tower 
of brownstone-colored discs. 

"Tableith," the first sculpture erected 
on the Monroe Park Campus in recognition 
of VCU's history, tells the story of Richmond 
Professional Institute, but the culmination 
of the project has an interesting story all 
of its own. 

Three years ago, a group of alumni, 
meeting to plan a larger-than-usual annual 
reunion, decided to recognize the begin- 
nings of RPI and its founder, Henry Hibbs, 
Ph.D. Established in 1917 — just before 
America entered World War I — to edu- 
cate social workers and public health 
nurses, RPI remained under Hibbs' lead- 
ership until the establishment of Virginia 
Commonwealth University in 1968. With 
a campus location for the commemora- 
tive sculpture provided by the university, 

the RPI alumni group established a com- 
mittee to plan a fundraising campaign, 
invite submissions from artists, and then 
judge and ultimately select the winning 

Today, 'Tableith," created by Richmond 
sculptor Charles Ponticello (M.F.A. '94/A), 
stands majestically between the historic 
Ginter House — or the "Ad Building," short 
for the Administration Building — and the 
Scott House awaiting its formal dedication 
in October, during the celebration of VCU's 
40th anniversary. 

Weighing more than 20 tons, "Tableith" 
consists of 51 cast discs representing RPI's 
growth from 1917 until the founding of VCU 
in 1968. Each disc represents a year in the 
life of RPI and features an inscription along 
the edge with a key event from that year. 

"The solidarity and power of monolithic 
structures inscribed with information have 
been burned into our minds for centuries," 
Ponticello says. "The marriage of object and 

text provides viewers a new and enlightening 
perspective of RPI. Viewers will experience 
a spiral tapestry that narrates the historical 
past of VCU. As the discs build upon one 
another, they merge and mesh into a strong, 
interlocking structure, symbolic of harmony, 
synchronicity and change." 

The final phase of the project will be 
a cobblestone terrace and landscaping 
around "Tableith," utilizing the 300 origi- 
nal cobblestones saved from the repaving 
of the alley that led to the old library, now 
Anderson Gallery. 

All RPI alumni and friends, as well as VCU 
staff, faculty, students, parents and others are 
invited to attend the RPI Commemorative 
Sculpture Presentation on Saturday, Oct. 25, 
or view online at 

For more details on the event, contact 
the VCU Alumni Association at (804) 
828-2586 or 

-ContnhuleilbyBobLmdholm (B.S. '50/H&S). 
RPI Planning Committee r/iflir 

[alumni connections] 

School alumni boards 
appoint new members 

School of Business Alumni Board 
Frank A. Cavallo Jr. (M.B.A. '06/B) 
Director of sales 

Hamilton Beach Brands Inc. 

Brian 1 Epley (B.S. 97/B; M.B.A. bVB) 
Senior manager, program operations 

and business development 
Northrop Grumman Information Technology 

Christopher M. Grandpre (M.B.A. bo/B) 
President and CEO 
U.S. Structures Inc. 

Karen A. Gregory-Williams {M.B.A. '05/B) 

Lead scientist/project manager of QC microbiology 

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals 

John W. Heist Jr. {M.B.A. ■96/B) 
Vice president of syndications 
CCA Financial Services LLC 

Craig A. Robinson (B.S, '02/B) 

Vice president 

Bank of New York Mellon 

Gaurav "G" Shrestha (B.S. '03/B) 

Financial adviser 

Virginia Asset Management 

Mary Ann Steiner (B.S. '98/B) 

Senior manager, information systems audit 

Capital One Services Inc. 

Curtis E. Stephens (M.B.A. '97/B) 

Marketing Xchange Worldwide LLC 

Matthew latum (B.S. 'os/B) 

Vice president, private financial adviser 


Garland G. Taylor {B.S. ■86/B) 
Advertising executive/founding partner 
Taylorweirup Marketing 

Jia L. Zhu (B.S. '06/B) 
Financial analyst 
Genworth Financial 

School of Education Alumni Board 

Deborah Marks (M.Ed. '83/E; Ph.D. •02/E) 


Clover Hill High School 

School of Engineering Alumni Board 

M. David Allen (B.S. bl/En; B.S. bl/H&S; M.S. 04/6) 

Lead database tech engineer 

Mitre Corp. 

Britton P. Ellis (B.S. by/En) 
Simulation analyst 
U.S. Army 

Qui Nguyen (B.S. b7/En) 
Control system product engineer 
Alstom Power Inc. 

Brian McKelvey, his wife, Susan McKelvey. School of Education Office of Assessment director, and .Michael Hulfman. 
School of Education Student Services Center director, hit a few practice balls. 

Golf tournament helps supports education scholarships 

The VCU School of Education alumni-sponsored golf tournament took place May 12 
at Virginia Crossings Golf Club in Glen Allen, Va. The 13 teams that participated in the event 
raised $5.800 to support student scholarships and special seminars, such as grant writing. 

Schools, council recognize outstanding alumni service 

The schools of Business and Social Work 
and the African -American Alumni Council 
honored alumni this spring for their career 
achievements and their service to the com- 
munity and VCU. 

The School of Business Alumni Board 
honored Frederick D. Facka (M.S. '92/B) 
with the 2008 Alumnus 
of the Year in recogni- 
tion of his outstanding 
career achievement and 
his commitment to the 
community and the 
school. Facka recently 
started his own com- 
pany, Tuckahoe Asset 

Management, after spending lO years as a fully 
licensed financial adviser in the Richmond, 
Va.. office of Smith Barney Inc., where he 
advised families, endowments and pension 
funds. A longtime member of school's alumni 
board and chair of the branding committee, 
Facka was the founder and first president of 
VCU's Association of Real Estate Alumni and 
was instrumental in establishing an endowed 
scholarship fund for real estate students. 

Audrey Jordan (M.S. W. 'go/SW; Ph.D. 
'gg/SW) received the second Making a 

Difference award from the School of Social 
Work. Tire award recognizes doctoral alumni 
who have distinguished themselves as leaders 
and innovators in social work scholarship, 
education, practice/policy or service. Jordan 
is a senior associate with the Community 
Change Initiatives unit of the Annie E. Casey 
Foundation in Baltimore, where she leads the 
foundation's efforts to define and develop a 
portfolio of work concerned with strength- 
enincT families' positive social networks. 

The AAAC selected 
Rebekah Pierce (M.A. 
■02/H&S) to receive 
Its Outstanding Alumni 
award for 20o8. Pierce 
was honored during the 
Department of African 
.American Studies' "Black 
History in the Making" 
awards ceremony Feb. 28. Pierce, editor of 
Average Girl Magazine, is an avid playwright 
with her works focusing on contemporary 
women and their search for purpose and 
identity. In January 2008, Pierce released 
her first, widely praised short film, "The 
Briefcase," a story of faith and the American 

Rebekah Pi^ce 

26 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

[alumni connections] 

VCU Alumni Association travel programs 

The VCU Alumni Association has teamed 
up with AHI Travel and Gohagan and Co. to 
develop an extensive program of adventures 
abroad for 2009- Whether observing unique 
Vidldlife while cruising down the Amazon, 
experiencing the stunning coastal scenery 
of Italian villages or exploring the Gothic 
cathedrals and medieval castles of Europe, the 
VCU Alumni Association offers a multitude 
of adventures for the avid traveler. 

For more information on these exciting 
opportunities, visit 

Legends of the Nile 
Jan. 6-17, 2009 

Journey to Cairo, Egypt, where you'll visit 
the Egyptian Museum, shop at the Khan 
el-KhaliH bazaar and discover the religious 
heritage of Coptic Cairo. You'll explore the 
Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza and cruise the 
Nile River to the Luxor and Karnak temples 
and the Valley of the Kings and Queens. 

Cruise the Panama Canal 
Feb. 5-16, 2009 

Set sail from Caldera, Costa Rica, and 
marvel at the Panama Canal — one of the 
world's most impressive feats of engineering. 
You'll also journey to Aruba, admire the 
beauty of St. Maarten, explore the tropical 
paradise of St. Barthelemy, Guadaloupe, and 
stroll the stunning white beaches of Tortola. 

Coastal Life: Cruising Thailand 
and the Malay Peninsula 
Feb. 26-March 8, 2009 

Explore the e.xotic treasures of Thailand 
and the Malay Peninsula while sailing the 
fabled Andaman Sea. You will stroll the bus- 
tling markets of Bangkok, discover the beauty 
of idyllic islands, visit enticing Singapore 
and experience the diversity and hospitality 
of Southeast Asia's people during a village 
forum with local residents. 

Amazon River Expedition 
March 6-15, 2009 

Cruise down the untamed waters of the 
exotic Amazon River, where you will trek 
through lush rainforests and take special 
excursions dowTi hidden tributaries to visit 
traditional villages and observe unique wild- 
life, including gray and pink river dolphins, 
capuchin monkeys and three-toed sloths. 


July 26-Aug. 3, 2009 

Walk in the footsteps of William Wallace 
and Prince Charles Edward Stuart on this 
adventure showcasing the countryside and 
fascinating history of Scotland. Visit Oban, 
the Isle of Mull and its 13th-century Duart 
Castle, the Isle of Skye's Armadale Castle, 
the stately castle in Stirling, the Slate Islands 
and The Trossachs, and enjoy a drive through 
the scenic Highlands. 

Swiss Alps and the Italian Lakes 

Sept. 20-28, 2009 

Experience the elegance of St. Moritz, 
where you'll visit the Alpine village of Zuoz, 
cross the Alps aboard the Bernina Express 
and journey to Tirano, Italy, as well 
as experience the turquoise waters of Lake 
Como and cosmopolitan Milan, then cruise 
Lake Maggiore to the Borromean Islands. 

Budapest, Vienna and Prague Discovery 
Oct. 4-14, 2009 

Travel to Budapest, Hungary, where you'll 
marvel at its gothic Parliament Building. 
Opera House and Heroes' Square; Vienna, 
Austria, where the Ringstrasse, Burgtheater 
and Hofburg Palace await; and admire 
the Charles Bridge and Old Town Square, 
with its Astronomical Clock, in Prague, Czech 

Voyage of Discovery: Wonders 
of the Galapagos Islands 
Feb. 20-28, 2009 

Join us in the Galapagos Islands and dis- 
cover a region unmatched in its beauty and 
its role in the history of natural science. You'll 
also visit mainland Ecuador, where you can 
browse the colorful Andean market of Otavalo, 
explore the magnificent colonial section 
of Quito and visit a traditional Inca village. 

The Great Journey through Europe 
June 15-25, 2009 

Explore the cultural and scenic treasures of 
the heart of Europe, beginning in Switzerland 
in the lakeside town of Lucerne and the alpine 
resort of Zermatt, followed by a five-night 
voyage down the Rhine River through France, 
Germany and Holland to Amsterdam. 

Italian Riviera 
Oct. 17-25, 2009 

Explore the village of Sestri Levante and 
the church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia 
before cruising to Portofino and its Punta 
del Capo lighthouse. You'll also discover 
Christopher Columbus' house in Genoa, 
visit Portovenere and Vernazza, review marble 
sculptures in Carrara and explore the city 
of Lucca. 

Austrian Moliday Markets Discovery 
Nov 24-Dec. 2, 2009 

Visit Austria's Salzburg and Vienna, 
where you'll visit the tovin of Melk and its 
stunning baroque Abbey, and enjoy optional 
excursions to featured sites from "The Sound 
of Music." a full-day adventure in the Alps 
and Grinzing, famous for its traditional 
Henriger restaurants. 

Fall 2008 I 2:^ 

Alumni benefit from reinvesting in their alma mater 

I Vine 


what is the secret to making a gift to Virginia 
Commonwealth University that holds meaning 
for you and makes a lasting impact? A bequest. 

"Bequests are a great way to ensure future 
excellence at VCU," says Tom Burke, executive 
director of the VCU Foundation. 

Because the needs of students and the 
university change each year, the unrestricted 
funds generated from bequests give the presi- 
dent flexibility to respond to the most pressing 
needs of the moment, Burke says. 

"We are glad to be 'last in line' and are always 
thankful to be included in an alumnus's will 
or even considered for a bequest," he says. 

James Lester: Embracing opportunity Joseph Holicky III: Supporting student scholarship 

James Lester (B.S. '62/B), a former president of the RPI A three-degree alumnus of VCU and longtime state employee. 

Alumni Association, likes to stay involved with his alma mater Joseph Holicky III (B.S. '76/B; B.S. '77/HS,S; M.S. '78/B) recog- 

because engagement helps keep him sharp 

"At 73' ^ "^ very interested in staying 
mentally active. The more 1 stay involved, 
the more I learn and the better I am," 
he says. 

One way he has stayed connected is 
through the VCU Heritage Society. He 
and his wife, Faye. gained membership 
to this group by including VCU in their 
estate plan. The society offers mem- 
bers special opportunities for attending 
lectures, performances and other events. 

"Planned giving allows you to determine what you would like the 
gift to support and lets you meet with your advisers to determine 
the most effective giving method for ta.x purposes," Lester says. 
"This was the most efficient tax venue for our charitable giving and 
gives us flexibility during our lifetime." 

James Lester 

nizes the skyrocketing costs of education. 

"The cost of education is in the strato- 
sphere," he says. "There is no good or 
easy answer to making college education 
more affordable." 

To help make a difference for students, 
he and his wife, Irene Burlock, have 
established endowed scholarships in the 
schools of Business and Engineering. 

But they want to do more and plan to 

include VCU in their wills. 
Joseph Holicky III ,,-,., 1 , i 1 ■ 1 

With scholarships, we can see the 

immediate impact and interact with our recipients," Holicky says. 

He says he hopes his planned gift, however, will continue to 
provide benefits to the university long after he's gone. 

"The school has gone in unbelievable directions, " he says. "I'm 
proud to be part of the evolution." 

If you are interested in learning more about planned giving strategies and the benefits they can offer, contact Tom Burke, executive 
director of the VCU Foundation, at (804) 828-3958 or, or visit the VCU Foundation Web site at 

28 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Class notes 

Send information about your professional and personal 
accomplishments to Or, mail your news 
to Shafer Court Connections, Virginia Commonwealth University, 
924 W. Pranklin St., P.O. Box 843044, Richmond, VA 23284-3044. 


David Alexick* (BRA. '64/A; M.RA. 66^) retired from 
Christopher Newport University after 27 years of 
service. He will be presenting a retrospective of his 45 
years of work, including 52 pieces, at CNL's Ferg-uson 
Center for the Arts. His wife, Anne Menin Gibson- 
Alexick (Cert. '52/A) is active as a watercolor artist. 

Jack Amos (B.F.A. '68/A), emeriti director of the VCU 
Alumni Association, opened Amos and Randolph Fine 
Art gallei-y in Kilmarnock, Va., in April 2008. The 
gallery features his original oil-on-canvas and aciylic 
paintings, as well as bronze work by sculpture artist 
D.E. McDermott. and is a participant in the 2008 
First Friday Walkabouts. 

William Beville* (B.S. WSW) was promoted as the 
national editorial adviser to the Prentice Hall Higher 
Education Business Group and is a charter member 
of Prentice Hall's Leadership Council. He was recently 
named the Top Manuscript Performer, an award he has 
received for the past seven years. 


Joe Brodecki (B S '70/M&5; MS. yy/H&S). principal at 
Bernstein Global Wealth Management, was appointed 
by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Holocaust 
Memorial Council, the governing board of the U.S. 

Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. 
From 1988-93, Brodecki led the fundraising campaign 
to create the museum. 

Nancy Burks* (BM.75/A) joined Chamberlayne Baptist 

Church in Richmond. Va., as minister of music. 
James D. Massay (A.S. WB; B.S. '78/6} owns A+ Typing 

Vicki Maddox Pettus (B S '75/MC) is teaching college 
reading and English as a second language at Kentucky 
State University. 
James A. Williams (B.S. '79/B) was appointed by President 
George W. Bush m June to serve as administrator of the 
General Services Administration. For the past two years. 
Williams served as commissioner of the GSA's Federal 
Acquisition Service. Prior to that, he sei-ved as director 
of the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator 
Technology Program at the Department of Homeland 
Richard E. Williams (B S ^O/B) is retired and lives in 
Pleasanlon. Calif. 


Peter Cornell (B M. ■flO/A) is active in the San Francisco 
Bay area jazz and music scenes, appearing Monday nights 
at Jazz at Pearl's with a contemporary jazz orchestra. 
He was also executive producer and a featured soloist 

on Louie Romero and Grupo Mazacote's recent CD 
release. "Timbalero." 

Richard "Rick" Davis (B.S. '87/B: M P.A. ■93/I-I&S} lives m 
Powhatan. Va., with his wife. Marybeth Davis (B S. 
fl7/B), and 14-year-old daughter. He works as an appli- 
cations development manager with the Department of 
Corrections where he is currently the project technical 
lead for VirginiaCORIS. 

Janice Diakun (B A. ■87/H&S; M.Ed, ot/E) was selected as 
employee of the month at United Methodist Family 
Sei-vices for Februai-y 2008. Diakun is a math teacher 
at Charterhouse School, for youth who are in the 
L'MFS Residential Treatment program. 

Joyce Eisner-Leverenz (B M.E. ^i/A) received an M.S. 
in rehab counseling and is now the manager of an 
outpatient department at TIRR in Houston. 

Nils U. Gustavsson (B.F A, SP/A; MS ps/B) is the global 
commercial and marketing director for DuPont 
Pertormance Elastomers m Wilmington, Pa. 

Elizabeth Porter Johnson* (B A. ■eo/H&S) received 
the 2007 Salesperson of the Year Award from the 
Chesapeake Bay and Rivers Association of Realtors. She 
is broker/ owner of the Chesapeake Bay Office of Frank 
Haidy Realtors in Deltaville, Va. 

Karen Godmere Kanis (B S. ai/MC) is a partner and 
risk management consultant for Texas-based Senior 


Alumna chooses to 'pay it forward' by giving back 

As the vice president of college advancement for Lord Fairfax Community College in 
Middletown, Va., Linnie S. Carter, APR (B.S. '92/MC; M.S. '98/MC) practices v^hat she 
teaches. A proud Virginia Commonv/ealth University graduate, she continuously gives back 
to her alma mater, and talks here about v/hy it's important to stay involved after graduation. 

Why is it important for you to stay involved as a VCU alumna? 

We are ambassadors for the university and walking billboards. A university and a college 
are only as strong as their alumni base and we are the people who know the school best. 
For a school that did so much, it's important for me to stay involved. It's key to give back 
and pay it forward — those are core values for me. 

What was it like to be honored as the 2005 African-American Alumni Council Alumni 
of the Year? 

It was an honor. It's pretty remarkable and very humbling. There are alumni doing great 
things all over the world and they chose me; I didn't take that lightly. 

What guidance do you give students as ways to give back? 

They need to give back even if it's just $5. Colleges and universities are graduating more 

and more people, so the funds being contributed should be increasing. We all stand on 

the shoulders of other people who came before us. We need to give back to make sure Linnie Carter and John Sygielsl<i, Ed.D., forme. 

VCU is around for the next generation of students. of Lord Fairfax Community College 

-all iooS-ing, 

[class notes] 

Risk LLC. She has been married to Ed Kanis 
(B.S. ■79/MC) for 27 years. 

Daniel L. Moody (B.S. St/M&S) resides in Largo, Fla.. 
where he is a construction hiigation attorney and 
is board certified by the Florida Bar as an expert in 
construction law. He has been recognized by Law and 
Politics as one of Florida's Superlawyers in 2007 and 
2008 and was recently appointed as a special magistrate 
to hear cases before the county's construction licensing 
and disciplinarv board. 

Venita Weaver Morell (B.S.'ao/H&S; M.D.S3/M) is 
the medical director of the Okaloosa County Health 
Department in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., and is an 
American Academy of HIV Medicine-credentialed HFV 
specialist. She celebrated the high school graduation of 
her triplets — Sara. Adare and Aaron — this past spring. 

Elsie L. Rose. CPA (B.S. 'SO/B) was honored at the 
99th \'irginia Society for CPAs annual meeting with a 
resolution commending her on her loyalty and support 

Greg Siegrist (M.B.A 8I/B) is \-ice president for Realty 
Investment Co. He previously held finance and admin- 
istration roles in the Washington, D.C., area with 
.Arthur .Andersen. Manor Care and SoftMed Systems. 


Beatriz Kane Aidridge (B.S. '95/MC) is a marketing 

communications manager at Siemens Medical Solutions 

in Malvern. Pa. She welcomed her first child m January. 
Todd deKrafft (B S. WB) is assistant vice president of 

credit for River City Bank in Mechanicsville. Va. 
Victor Goines (M M.'90/A) was recently appointed direc- 
tor of ja2z studies at Northwestern University. He was 

previously the director of jazz at The Juilliard School. 
Diana (Reynolds) Halleman (BS. '96/MC)was recently 

named chairman of the City Personnel Commission 

in Frederick. Md. 
Marc B. Johnson (B.A. 'QQ/I-I&S) hasbeen working with 

the Office of the Clerk (Legislative Resource Center) 

since 2OO7. 
Michelle Fay Johnson* (B.S. '95/B) is a senior portfolio 

analyst with Evergreen Inveslments-Tattersall Advisory 

in Richmond. Va. 
Tonya T. Lewis (B.A. '99/B) is an accountant at VCU. 
Jill M. Mayberry (B.S. '99/B) is president of First Choice 

Brokerage in Sapulpa. Calif. 
J. Harrison Moncure (B.S. 93/6) is president of 

Moncure and Associates in Mechanicsville. Va. 
David Russell (B M. ^o/A) served as a synthesist for 

"Spider-Man 3" and "Ghost Rider" and co-produced 

the score albums for both films. 
Millard Souers (B.S. WB) is a consultant with VACO. 
Susan P. Stokes (B.S. WH&S) earned her M.B.A. and 

is a technical project manager at Health Management 

lOOOth paver marks milestone for pathways campaign 

Virginia Commonwealth University's Pathways Brick Campaign hit a milestone this spring 
when Maureen Noe (B.S. '79/B) purchased the l.OOOth paver to line Shafer Court. 

Started in 2002, the campaign allows alumni to carve their legacy in stone and become 
a permanent part of the university. Assistant Director of the VCU Foundation Ike Tucker 
(M.Ed. '06/E) says the campaign will continue until every brick lining the pathway com- 
memorates a fond memory of VCU. 

Noe, who has taught at the Chesterfield Technical Center for nearly 30 years, etched 
her name and degree into the brick to honor her years spent at VCU. Here, she talks 
about what it means to leave a lasting mark on VCU's campus. 

How does it feel to know that you are the l.OOOth 
contributor to this campaign? 

I feel like I'm a part of things in Richmond, and I've 
been here for a while, and it's nice to continue to be 
a part of things. I didn't know I'd bought the l.OOOth 
brick, but you just never know. You go through life and 
you do these things, and you just never know what will 
come of it. 

How did you learn about the Pathways Brick Campaign? 
It was actually through a flier ... and I looked and said. 
That's a pretty neat thing.' I really am amazed at the 
transformation of VCU. 

What motivated you to purchase a brick? 
I wanted to contribute, and I thought it would be nifty. 
Every now and then you want to give back and I thought 
that was a unique way to do it. 


Corp. in Richmond, Va. She has two children in 
college — one at Longwood and one at VCU. 

Jeanne M. Verostko (BS. '9l/B) is a corporate accountant 
with Car Pool in Richmond. Va. 

Lynette Purdy Wakefield (B.S.95/M&S; B.S.97/A1-IP) is 
a nuclear technical manager for Cardiology Associates 
in Fredericksburg. Va.. whei'e she helped achieve 
accreditation through the Intersocietal Commission 
for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories. 
She has four children and lives in Spotsylvania. Va. 

rate from its I^^B^inrand-gold 

_. -. ...- faculty, RPI b^H^W'blue and gray 

school colors and, a year later, replaced the Green Devil mascot |^||ffihe Ram. Virginia 
Commonwealth University adopted black and gold in 1969 — one yraf^fter the General 
Assembly created VCU with RPI and the Medical College of Virginia as its foundation. 
Today, the black and gold continues as the rallying symbol for Rams fans everywhere. 


Jason Bare (B.S. '02/Cn) received his Ph.D. in chemical 
engineering from the University of Colorado in 2007- 

Blair Beander (BS. '04/B) is a contract specialist for 
General Services Administration in Arlington. Va. 

Stephanie Bishop (Ceri.'06/E) co-edited "Be a 
Teacher, " published by Vandamere Press. The book 
features experiences from 12 exemplary Virginia educa- 
tors that encourage young people to become teachers. 

James Buchanan (MS.W "Oft/SW). a therapist in United 
Methodist Family Services' Richmond. Va.. residential 
program, was selected as Employee of the Month for 
April 2008. 

Thomas Gary* (B.S, oa/B) is a financial representative 
with Northwestern Mutual in Richmond. \'a. 

Chris Crowley (B.M. 'O6/A) is teaching music at Hugh 
Mercer Elementary School in Fredericksburg. Va. 

Michael Curry (M.S. 02/E) has been named the new head 
coach of the Detroit Pistons, the same team he played 
for six of his II seasons in the NBA. The 39-year-old 
Augusta. Ga., native takes over a team that is coming off an 
appearance in the NBA Eastern Conference finals. Curry 
is the first gi'aduate from the VCU SportsCenter program 
to be named a head coach at the professional level. 

Sara Davenport (B.M, '07/A) is teaching elementary . 
school music in Fairfax. Va. 

Sharon Diana* (B.S. OS/M&S) moved to New Orleans 
in 2007 where she teaches second grade for St. Charles 
Parish Public Schools. 

I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

John G. Elms (B.S, '07/B) is a compensation assistant 

for Brink's Co. 
Stuart A. Glaser* (B.S- Oa/B) is a manager with 

Katie (Stahling) Graham (BS. ■03/En) is an engineer 

with Dominion. She and her husband. Keith, reside 

in Beaverdam. Va. 
Adam Gray {B.S. '03/En) is employed by Contract 

Drilling and Blasting. He resides in Jacksonville, Fla. 
Hamoon Hadavand (B.S, '05/B), of Arlington, Va.. 

is a senior manager of sales and strategic business 

development at Americas Health Insurance Plans. 

Keith Hanlon (MM bs/A) is the instructor of wood- 
winds and ensemble director at J. Sargeant Reynolds 
Community College in Richmond, Va. 

Richard W. Haselwood (B.S. ■02/MC: B.A. ■02/M&S) has 
lived and worked in KJiartoum. Sudan, since 2005- 
He works with Mercy Corps, an international relief and 
development agency, where he directs the large-scale 
Darfur relief operation, as well as the post-conflict 
recoveiy operations along the north and south borders. 

Sebastian Herrera (B.S-'03/En} is a PCB designer with 
ACDI. He resides in Frederick. Md. 

Igor Jekauc* (B.S. bi/B; B.S, bi/En^ M.B.A. 04/8) was 
recently promoted from operational technical supervisor 
to line control manager for Qimonda North America. 
His responsibilities include operational management 
and manufacturing performance of a multibillion- 
dollar factory and one of the largest semiconductor 
facilities m the world. 

Kristen Jensen (BE A OT/A) had her complex digital 
images featured in the recent issue of American Photo 
on Campus magazine. 

Michael P. Jones* (B.S. 02/8) was hired as a supervisor 
in the Audit Sei-vices Group at Reinsel Kuntz Lesher 
LLP in Wyomissing, Pa. 

Hannah (Foreman) Killian (B.S. '04/B) is a benefits 
consultant and training coordinator with Rutherfoord 
Benefit Services, a division of Thomas Rutherfoord in 
Richmond, Va. 

Seth W. Krisnow* (B S. OS/B) is an account executive for 
government VOIP for Spirit Telecom in Columbia, S.C. 

Neil Landini (B.M. OS/A) is assistant band director at 
Powhatan High School and a percussion specialist 
for Powhatan County Public Schools in Virginia. 

Kison Esther Lee (B.S, OS/En) is an analyst with USPS. She 
and her husband, Kevin Shin, reside in Washington. D.C. 

Robert Lentner (B.S,02/I-I&S) recently returned from 
a deployment to Saudi Arabia as a logistic adviser. 
He is now assigned to Fort Knox. Ky., as assistant 
regimental plans and operations officer for the 
l6th Cavalry Regiment. 

Sara Le Roy (B,M '07/A) is teaching elementai-y music 
for Lakeside and Colonial Trail elementaiy schools 
in Henrico County, Va. 

Tammy Lippman (B PA bs/A) works for Hickok Cole 
Architects m Washington. D.C. She was awarded the 
2008 National .>\ssociation of Industrial and Office 
Properties Mai-yland/D.C. Award of Excellence for 
Best First Floor Use and was published in Home and 
Design Magazine. 

Kelly A. Lowe* (B.S. bo/B; M,S, bVB) hasjoined G4S 
Justice Service in Richmond, Va. . as a marketing specialist. 

Jim Miller (MBA, b3/B) is director of facility manage- 
ment for the HCAJohn Randolph Medical Center in 
Hopewell, Va. 

Thomas Mire (B.S, b2/B). of Raleigh. N.C.. is a project 
manager of performance measurement, calculation 
and'reporting for Smith Breeden Associates. 

Lisa Moroni (B.S bo/B) is a managing partner with 
Brandevotion in Richmond. Va. She recently worked 
with the VCLT School of Business on a branding project. 

Hilary Noxon (B.F.A, b3/A). of Chesapeake, Va., worked 
on the Tony Award-winning "In the Heights." The 
show received the award for Best Musical, among other 



VCU School of the Arts mourns the death of longtime dean 

Murry N. DePillars, Ph.D., who led Virginia Commonwealth 
University's School of the Arts for nearly 20 years, died May 31, 
2008, at the age of 69. 

DePillars served as dean of the VCU School of the Arts from 
1976 until 1995 following five years as assistant dean. He was 
known as an enthusiastic supporter of a wide range of art forms 
at VCU and a booster for his students. 

"Murry was a warm and gracious leader, and his focus was 
always on the students and how we best could serve them," 
says Joseph Seipel, senior associate dean for academic affairs 
and director of graduate studies in the School of the Arts. "He 
was a strong and vocal advocate for the School of the Arts and 
led us through the majority of our formative years as a school 
during the 1970s and 1980s. 

"I vividly remember seeing Murry with his trademark pipe and aromatic tobacco out 
in the halls or classrooms spending time with students and faculty," Seipel says. "He was 
the consummate people person." 

Richard Toscan, Ph.D.. dean of the VCU School of the Arts, noted that "beyond his 
administrative role, [DePillars] was a painter of considerable talent." 

DePillars' paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide. His painting 
"From the Mississippi Delta, 1997" is in the permanent collection of the Virginia Museum 
of Fine Arts in Richmond. 

DePillars was awarded the title of professor emeritus upon his retirement from VCU 
and later received the Presidential Medallion, which honors extraordinary commitment 
in learning and commitment to the mission of VCU, 

Internationally renowned VCU researcher, scientist dies 

Billy R. Martin, Ph,D„ chair of the Virginia Commonwealth 
University School of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology 
and Toxicology and internationally renowned for his research 
in understanding addiction and drugs of abuse and how they 
affect the brain, died June 8, 2008, He was 65. 

Martin played a prominent role in developing the depart- 
ment's reputation for landmark research in drugs of abuse. 
For more than 30 years, Martin's primary focus was re- 
searching the effects of marijuana's principal psychoactive 
ingredient, THC, 

In 1997, Martin was awarded a National Institutes of 
Health Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) 
Award for his work. He also headed an international pro- 
gram project grant on marijuana for the National Institute of Drug Abuse and served as 
director of VCU's NIDA Center for Drug Abuse Research, which attracted more than $20 
million in federal funding. 

Martin received a Virginia Top Scientist Award in 1998 and the VCU Distinguished 
Scholarship Award in 1996. He also was the first recipient of the Outstanding Inventor 
Award from the VCU Office of Technology Transfer in recognition of his multiple patents. 
Martin was to receive the Nathan B. Eddy Award on June 15, the highest honor awarded by 
the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. He also was scheduled to receive the VCU 
Award for Excellence, the highest honor that VCU bestows on a faculty member, this fall, 

"In the face of progressing disease, Billy was undaunted," said Jerome F. Strauss, M,D„ 
Ph,D„ dean of the VCU School of Medicine, "He taught us all how to face the toughest of 
challenges with grace and dignity. Virginia Commonwealth University, the School of Medicine 
and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology have lost one of their treasures," 

Fall 2003 I 31 

Alumni Association 

VCUAA officers 

C. Dandridge Massey (B.S. '92/6), president 
Donna M. Dalton (M.Ed. 'oo/E), president-elect 
Patricia E. Green (M.S.W. '74/SW), secretary 
Kenneth "Ken" A. Thomas (B.S. '91/B), treasurer 
Thomas H. Beatty (B.A. '93/H&S), officer-at-large 

School alumni board chairs 

Steven B. Brincefield, C.P.M., (M.S. ■74/B), 

School of Business 
Stephanie L. Holt (B.S. '74/H&S), School 

of Education 
Julia M. Cain (B.S. bl/En), School of Engineering 

Board of directors 
Term expiring 2009 

Peter A. Blake (B.A. Bo/H&S; M.S. 'SS/MC) 

Suzette P. Denslow (B.S. '79/I-I&S) 

Irvin "Jack" Farmer (B.S. '69/B), presidential 

William R. O'Connell Jr. (B.M.E. '55/A) 
Thomas A. Silvestri (M.B.A. '86/8) 
Patricia I. Wright (M.Ed. WE) 

Term expiring 2010 

Rejena G. Carreras (B.F.A. ^o/A; M.A.E. '80/A) 
William L. Davis (B.S. ■74/I-I&S; M.S. ■79/H&S) 
David R. Dennier (B.S. '75/B) 
Gary M. Inman (M.A. '93/A) 
Stephen H. Jones (B.S. WB) 
Shirley R. McDaniel (B.G.S. WH&S) 
Mary E. Perkinson (B.F.A. 'gi/A; B.S. tos/En) 
John J. Schv^artz (B.S. '69/B) 
Vickie M. Snead (B.S. 76/6) 

Term expiring 2011 

Leah L.E. Bush (B.S. 'So/H&S, M.D. ■84/M) 
Gregory B. Fairchild (B.S. ■88/MC) 
Aaron R. Gilchrist Jr. (B.S. '03/MC) 
Christopher R. Jones (B.S. 'Ol/En) 
Paul D. McWhinney (B.S. '74/SW; M.S. '79/SW) 
Elizabeth J. Moran (M.RA. '92/H&S) 
Jacqueline Tunstall-Bynum (B.S. '82/H&S) 
John S. Phillips (M.S. '78/B), presidential 

African-American Alumni Council 

Franklin Wallace (B.F.A. '87/A). president 
Joseph Tyner (M.S. '92/B), treasurer 
Mary Francis (B.S. '95/H&S), secretary 
Rodney Harry (B.S. '90/H&S), parliamentarian 
Edv^ard Robinson Jr. (B.G.S. 'OO/H&S; M.S.W. 
'03/SW), AAAC representative 

Young Alumni Council 

Gaurav "G" Shrestha (B.S. '03/B), president 



VCU pioneer in heart transplants dies 

Richard R. Lower, M.D., who helped develop the tech- 
niques for transplanting a human heart and performed 
the ninth transplant in the U.S., died May 17, 2008, at his 
home in Twin Bridges, Mont. He was 78- 

Lower was a professor emeritus at the Virginia 
Commonwealth University School of Medicine and for- 
mer chair of the Division of Cardlothoracic Surgery. 

He came to the VCU Medical Center, then the 
Medical College of Virginia, in 1965 from Stanford 
University Medical Center. 

In Richmond, Lower and his research team nearly 
performed the first heart transplant in the world, but a 
blood incompatibility issue kept them from operating. 

On May 25, 1968, Lower performed the first heart transplant in Virginia — just the l6th in 
the world — and while the patient's survival was short, it led to a landmark change in the legal 
definition of brain death, a decision that would forever benefit future transplant recipients. 
He retired from VCU in 1989. 

Jim Opalka {M.B.A OS/B) is president of Cobblestone 
Cellars, a wine wholesale company that he started as a 
spinoff of one of his projects in the Fast Track Executive 
M.B.A. program at VCU. 

LaRon Scott (M.Ed. 'O6/E). a second-year teacher of 
students with disabilities at J.R. Tucker High School 
in Henrico County. Va.. was the 2008 recipient of 
the Division of Career Development and Transition 
Iva Dean Cook Teacher of the Year Award. 

Diane (Capen) Seaborn (B.S, '02/B) is working as an 
information management specialist with the Virginia 
General Assembly. 

Daniel Seium (B.S. 05/B) is a rational software sales 
specialist with IBM in McLean, Va. 

Bree Sison (B.S. ■06/MC) is a reporter with WMBB-News 
13 in Panama City. Fla. 

Jason Somma (B.F.A 02^) is featured as part of the 
Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative. 

Emily Thompson (B.S. ■06/H&S) recently earned her 
M.A.T. in secondary education. She is a chemistry teacher 
at LaVergne High School and lives in Nashville. Tenn. 

Aileen I. Velez-Cabassa (B.S. 'og/I-I&S) resides m 
Maryland where she is employed as a quality control 
analyst for cell therapy products with a biotechnology 
company. She recently graduated from Johns Hopkins 
University with an M.S. in Biotechnology with a regu- 
latory affairs concentration. 

Beau Waldrup (B.S. '03/En) is a senior researcher for Exxon 
Mobil. He and his wife. Caroline, reside in Pennsylvania. 

Aqueelah WalkerTolliver* (B.S, OB/B) is a housing 
program analyst with the Virginia Department of 
Housing and Community Development in Richmond. 

Ian J. Wallace (MS, ■06/H&S) and Amanda C. Kracen 
(M.S. OS/H&S). both students in VCU's counseling 
psychology doctoral program, released a new book. 
"Applying to Graduate School in Psychology: Advice 
from Successful Students and Prominent Psychologists." 
in May 2008. Published by the American Psychology 
Association, the book features chapters written and 
edited by current students and essays from nine 
of the most prominent psychologists in the U.S. 

Court Watson (B.F.A, os/A), of Chesapeake, Va., 
worked on the set design for "Cry-Baby," which was 
nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical, among 
other categories. 

Faculty and staff 

Edmund O. Acevedo, Ph.D., professor and chair of 
the Department of Health and Human Performance, 
has been elected to fellow status in the American 
Psychology Association. Fellow status recognizes APA 
members who have shown evidence of unusual and 
outstanding contributions or performance in the field 
of psychology. 

Taylor Barnett (B M. 02^; MM, '04/A) recently celebrated 
the release of his debut CD, "For Someone. ' The disc, 
which features the Taylor Barnett lO-tet performing 
his original compositions and arrangements, received 
a four-star review in Style Weekly. The disc also featured 
a host of VCU music alumni, including co-producer 
and guitarist Trey Pollard (B,M, OS/A), trombonist 
Bryan Hooten (M M. Ob/A). saxophonist Jason Scott 
(B,M, '9a/A) and pianist Ryan CorbJtt (B.M, ■04/A). 

Susie Ganch, assistant professor of craft and material 
studies, was recognized as the NICHE Arts Educator 
of the Year by American Craft. 

Richard Kuhlbars, adjunct professor in communi- 
cation arts, was honored with a Muse award from 
the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for his project, 

Robert Meganck. a communication arts professor, 
won Best in Show from the 14th Exhibition of the 
Illustrators Club of Washington. D.C.. Maryland 
and \'irsjinia, 

Judy S. Richardson, Ph.D.. professor emerita in the 
School of Education, received a Fulbright Scholar 
grant for the 2OO7-08 academic year. Richardson 
used the prestigious award to travel to Tetovo, 
Macedonia, where she lectured about the develop- 
ment of a reading-to-learn approach. She also taught 
a course at South East European University and two 
undergraduate courses at State University of Tetovo. 

Patricia W. Slattum, Pharm.D.. Ph.D., CGP* (B.S. 

'S5/P; Cert. '92/AHP; PkD. '93/P), an associate professor 
of pharmacy, received the 2008 William B. Abrams 
Award in Geriatric Clinical Pharmacology. The award 
is presented by the American Society for Clinical 
Pharmacology and Therapeutics in recognition of 
young investigators in the field of geriatric clinical 
pharmacology who are making outstanding contribu- 
tions to the field. 

32 1 VCU Shafer Court Connections 

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Engineering faculty focuses on a diverse future for students 

Rosalyn Hobson originally wanted to go to medical school. She 
planned to earn an undergraduate degree in engineering - thinking 
that would give her an edge over students majoring in biology 
or chemistry - but by the second year, her mindset changed. 

"I'm curious about how things work, and engineering gave me the 
opportunity to figure that out," she says. 

Hobson, the associate dean for graduate studies at the Virginia 
Commonwealth University School of Engineering, has been involved 
with the engineering program since its inception in the mid-'90s. 
She recently sat down with Shafer Court Connections to discuss 
the importance of diversity and global opportunities in this eve'r- 
changing field. 

Most recently more women are pursuing careers in engineering. Why is 
that diversity important? 

Diversity provides a lot of different perspectives on how to solve 
problems. If you look at population demographics, about half the 
world is females. Imagine a profession that is so important to progress 
and so important to making life better, still has half the population 
not really engaged in it or even thinking of it as a possible career 
choice. By bringing together a diverse group of people, including 
women, you can get innovative solutions. 

Why are international experiences important for you to participate in? 
Just like engineering was always part of my family, international 
experiences were, too. I'm fascinated with other cultures. I believe 

that we are citizens of the world 
because of the connectedness, 
the global interactions and 
the linkages of individuals and 
multinational companies. The 
decisions people make in one 
country not only impact their 
bordering countries but now 
affect economies around the 
world. We can't just live in our 
own corner, and I don't want to. 

What have been some of your 
international experiences? 
In 2001, I received my first in- 
ternational grant to facilitate a 
partnership with a university in 
South Africa. We've taken stu- 
dents to work in South Africa 
on research projects that were 
relevant to their studies. I was i 
an American Association for 

the Advancement of Science Fellow and studied the role of science 
and technology in international development. I'm now the direc- 
tor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal partnership, one of VCU's 16 
strategic international partnerships. 


Kim Miller (M.S. Oa/E) and John Frederick Curnutt were 
married onjune 2. 2007. in Brentwood, Tenn. They 
live in Columbia, S.C.. where she works as the market- 
ing manager at the Colonial Center Arena. 

Amy Wyland (B.S. ■02/H&S; M.Ed. 'oVE) married Jarrett 
Wilson on Dec. 30, 2006. They live in Richmond, Va. 


Chris Groome (B.S. oo/En) and his wife. Thu-Hang, 

are pleased to announce the birth of Leah Groome 

on March 12. 20o8. 
Gerty (Fernandez) Johnson (B.S. bs/En) is pleased 

to announce the birth of Shaunjohnson on Feb. 14, 

Joel Passmore (B.S. ■03/En) and his wife, Nikkl (B.S. 

'03/En) , are pleased to announce the birth of Cadence 

Marie onjan. 30. 2008. 
Jason Roe(B.S. 'oo/En) and his wife. Erin (B.S. oo/En). 

are pleased to announce the birth of their son. Caleb 

Patrick Roe, on Feb. 7. 2008. 


Joseph H. Adams (B-F,A/38/A). of Kilmarnock, Va., 
Feb. 29, 2008, at age 94. 

Louise Peck Dill* (B RA.WA), of S.ou.x Falls, S.D., 

Julv S, 2007, at age 91. 
Selma Ruth Novey (B.S, 39/H&S). of Richmond, Va., 

Feb. 25, 2007. 


Mary Frances Turner Darst (M.S.W. WSW), of Roanoke, 
Va., June 9. at age I02. She previously sei-ved as chief 
psychiatric social worker in the Psychosomatic Clinic of 
the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and as chief 
psychiatric social worker in the Department of Child 
Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel 
Hill. Darst was also a charter member of the National 
,'\ssociation of Social Workers and a member of 
the Academy of Certified Social Workers and the 
Orthopsychiatric Association. 

Anne R. Fischer (M.S.W.44/SW), of Midlothian, Va.. 
April 13, 2008, at age IO5. 

Hunter C. Purdie* (B.FA.49/A). of Richmond. Va., 
Feb. 25. 2008, at age 86. 

Jane T. Travis (B-S.45/E), of Montross. Va., Jan. 31, 
2008. at age 84. 

Mann S. Valentine V (WA). of Richmond. Va.. Feb. 3, 
2008. at age 84. 


Clyde C. Anderson Jr.* (B.S 59/B). of Petersburg, Va., 

Feb. 16. 2008, at age 78, 
Dorothy T. Burton (B.S. ■54/E), of RicbmoTid, Va.,June 

1, 2008. 
Sara Wallace Deaton ('50/A), of Roanoke, Va,, April 

14, 2008, 

Cornelia Wellman Friedman (B.S, si/MC), of .Ashland, 

Va., March 28, 2008. 
Paul F. Humphries (B.S. SJ/E). of Chase City, Va., April 

I4-, 2008, at age 86. 

George W. Lyie III {B,S.53/E). of Radford. Va.July 9, 

2007, at age 8,^, 
Homer Stanley Marsh (B S 53/H&S), of Salem, Va.. 

Apnl 5, 2008. 
Oscar M. Stevenson III ('59). of Richmond, Va,,June 

17, 2008, at age 67. 


The spring 2008 issue of Shafer Court Connections 
incorrectly listed Catherine S. Turner (Cert. 
'90/B: M.S. '07/B) as deceased. Turner reports 
from her post as chief information officer at 
the VCU School of the Arts in Qatar that she 
"actually got a good laugh from this when one of 
my colleagues in Richmond called to see if I was 
still alive and kicking in Qatar" 

In that same issue, Richard Bland College was 
improperly referenced as a community college. 
Richard Bland College, part of the College of 
William and Mary, is Virginia's only junior college. 

Shafer Court Connections regrets these errors. 

Fall 2008 I 35 

Mew ifetime 


Robert A. Almond 

A. Lynn Hackney 

Robert E. Roe 

Donald W. Anderson 

Melanie D. Haimes-Bartolf 

Patricia K. Price 

Elizabeth W. Baker, Ph.D. 

Rodney A. Harry 

John C. Purnell Jr. 

Sheryl D. Baldwin, Ph.D. 

Theresa E. Hayes 

Thomas A. Rakestraw 

Carrie A. Bennett 

Weldon Hazlewood 

Matthew A. Riffe 

Gary W. Bero 

Eric L. Heiberg 

Elizabeth W. Roberson 

Neil A. Bero 

Kathleen A. Henley 

Dalentina Nadine Robertson 

John P. Bolger, Ph.D. 

Harvey S. Hicks III, Ph.D. 

Jeremy B. Robinson 

Jonathan Bullock 

Sarah K. Hufford 

Dr. Kristy R. Robinson 

Michael H. Bulls 

Joyce F. Hurt, Ph.D. 

Timothy Rohrmoser 

Lee A. Bundy 

Jonathan F. laquinto 

Casey A. Saggers 

Dale P. Burgess 

Christopher R. Jenkins 

Jeffrey H. Segal 

Katherine Belew Carr 

Randall W.Johnson, M.D. 

Nancy N. Segal 

John C. Christian Jr. 

Ambrose Jones III, Ph.D. 

Donna S. Sharits 

Peggy C. Christian 

Deborah M. Jones 

Erin Hiley Sharp 

Dr. Carroll B. Coakley 

Susan F. Josenhans 

Thomas A. Silvestri 

Jerry S. Conner 

Barbara C. Kelly 

Clifford S. Singer 

Stephen C. Coudriet 

Bobbe Lynne Kennedy, Ph.D. 

Michael A. Singer 

Deborah R. Crawford 

Laura D. King 

Gail K.Smith 

Michael L. Crawford 

James L. Kirby 

Richard C. Smith 

Alison M. Creekmore 

Thomas P. Krahe 

Robert E. Sorah 

Donna M. Dalton 

Dianne Q. Kurec, Ph.D. 

Fran Sorin 

Susanne Daniel 

Susan D. Kurzman 

Jonnie B. Stone 

Vernon M. Danielsen 

Thomas J. Lucus 

Christopher P. Sullivan 

Deborah R. Davis 

Michael A. Malinsky 

Tammy K. Swecker 

E. Wilson Davis Jr. 

Richard L. Mandarino 

Paulette W. Taylor 

Michael D. Denoia 

Paul D. McWhinney 

Michael D. Thornton 

Eric J. Director 

Christopher J. Mitchell 

Martha S. Travis 

Mindy A. Director 

Debra R. Mitchell 

Joseph A. Tyner 

Donna B. Doyle 

David M. Monticelli 

Steve K. Waldron 

Herbert M. Dunnaville Jr. 

Melinda L. Mottley 

Serena L. Walkin 

DAnne Early 

Andrew K. Nelson Jr. 

Mary Dietzel Watko 

Taylor W. Early 

Marc H. Noble 

Karen F. Wawryzn 

Brian J. Epiey 

Mark B. O'Brien 

Lynn E. Weaver 

Michael D. Estes 

Christopher M. Olson 

Kenneth N. West 

Teresa-Ann M. Estes 

Erin H. Olson 

Renee M. West 

Charles M. Ewell 

Johnette Overton 

Shelley R.White 

Anne B. Farmer 

James F. Palmer 

Charles E. Willett 

Katherine A. Gepford 

Terry M. Parsons 

Col. James E. Williams 

Lynda V. Gillespie, Ph.D. 

D. Bruce Patterson 

Martha B.Wilson 

Gail Grandis 

Vicky C. Payne 

Dana S. Woods, D.P.T 

Judy B. Granger 

Deborah Pearson 

Kea 1. Yoon 

Richard G. Granger 

Thomas W. Pearson 

Mee Z. Yoon 

D. Courtney Griffin 

Edward H. Peeples Jr., Ph.D. 

John C. Zeheb 

Deidra L. Griffin-Harry 

Baxter F.Phillips Jr. 

Cynthia M. Guin 

Karen E. Phillips 

List includes individuals who 

joined the VCU Alumni Association or the African-American 

Alumni Council as lifetime members between Jan. 1, 2008, 

and June 30, 2008. 


Dolores E. Connelly Cbi/H&S; '61/6). of Richmond. Va., 

Jan. 31, 2008, at age 8l. 
James R. Delaney (B.S. 68/H&S), of Trouidale. Va., 

Oct. 25. 2007. at age 63. 

Ronald B. Donati (B5 bP/B). of Richmond, Va.,Jan. 

29. 2008, 
Charlotte A. Fletcher (BS, 6a/E). of Bluffton, S.C, 

Dec. 7. 2007. at age 64. 
James M. Gormus (B.S, '66/B: M.S. '69/8), of Richmond, 

Va-. Feb. 13, 2008. at age 64. 

Betty W. Jaffee (BS.m/E), of Richmond. Va., April 

30, 2008, at age 75. 
Patrick J. McDermott* (B.S WB), of Germantown. 

Md., June 11. 2008. 
Dorothy C. Packer (B.A ot/H&S), of Richmond, Va.. 

July 17, 2007, at age 94. 
Leah J. Robinson* (B.S. ta/H&S; M.S. WM&S: Pd.D. 

m/H&S), of Virginia Beach, Va., Dec, 6, 2OO7. at age 79, 
Mary J, Stephen (B F.A. bP/A), of Mechanicsville. Va., 

May 18, 2008, at age 61, 
Norma R. Tauer (B.S. '63/H&S), of Midlothian, Va., July 

21, 2007, 
Carol J. Turnage (B.F.A. '69/A), of Ijnexa. Va., April 23, 

2008, at age 60. 
James W. Vinson ('66/6), of Mechanicsville, Va., May I, 

2008, at age 66. 
Jerry R. WarcJ (B.S 67/B), of Hayes, Va., May 15, 20o8. 
Elizabeth D, Wylie (BS.WH&S), of Richmond, Va., 

Feb. 3, 2008, at age 83. 


Kathryn Furgurson Atkins (M.Ed. 78/E), of Richmond, 

Va., Jan. lO, 200S, at age 57- 
Nellie D. Brauer (BS. 73/E), of Richmond, Va.. April 

23, 2008, at age 86. 
Teresa E. Burton (B-A.78/M&S), of Columbia, Va-, 

March 18, 2008, at age 50. 
Carolyn D. Cage (BS 'ts/H&S), of Halifa.x, Va., May 

15, 2008. 
Carol B. Disberger (B.S. tt/E: M.Ed. ta/E), of Richmond, 

Va., March 24, 20o8, at age 68- 
James T. Francis* (B.S. '70/MC), of Richmond, Va., 

Aug. 6, 2007, at age 96, 
Marian T. Franklin (B.S.76/MC). of Washington, D.C, 

March I, 2008, at age 57. 
Patsy H. Gill (M.Ed. 75/E), of Flowery Branch, Ga.,June 

II, 2008, at age 62- 
Joseph C. Grosik Jr. (B.S ^o/B), of Patskala, Ohio, 

Nov, 29, 2007. 

Bernice H. Hoffman (B.S. 70/E), of Richmond, Va,. 

Feb. 29. 2008, at age 9I- 
Patricia B. Insley* (B.S, ^o/MC), of Richmond, Va., 

.■\pril 18, 2008, at age 60, 
Joseph B. Ivey (BS.72/H&S: M.S. ■77/I-I&S), of Hopewell, 

Va., March II, 2008, at age 83. 
Elvira R. James (M.Ed. ■72/E), of Richmond, Va,, May 

II, 2008. 
Elaine F. Jefferson (M.S.W. ^s/SW), of Petersburg, Va., 

.April 5, 2008, at age 62. 
Lawrence E. Johns (B.S. ^s/H&S), of Richmond, Va., 

Nov. 21, 2007. 

RylancJ Bland Kuper (B.S. '72/B), of Quinton, Va,, 

-April 23, 2008, at age 6O- 
Steven J. Macko (B.F.A. ^j/A), of Richmond, Va-. 

March 29. 2008, at age 61- 
Margaret M, Meyer (Cert. 79/B), of Mechanicsville, Va., 

June 7, 2008. at age 73- 
James B. Montgomery (B.S. ^s/M&S^ M.P.A- to/H&S), 

of Petersburg, Va., April 26, 2008, at age 54- 
Deborah A, Moser-Payne' (B.ME. '79/A), of Philadelphia. 

Ian, I. 2008, at age 55. 
Robert H. Pemberton (BS. 74/B), of Manassas, Va.. 

May 30, 2008, at age 61, 
David R. Pittman (B.S ^s/MC), of Richmond, Va., 

,April 12. 2007, at age 57. 
William R. Pleasants(BS 74/B). of Richmond, Va,, 

Feb. II, 2008, at age 65, 
David A. Reeve (B.S ro/H&S), of Hayes, Va,, March 31. 

2008, at age 65- 
William A. Robertson Jr. (M, Ed- ■72/E), of Ashland, Va., 

May 26, 2007, at age 76, 

Margaret D. Roussos* (B.S. ^b/SW; M.S.'ae/AHP), 
of Richmond, Va,, Feb. 29, 2008, at age 5l- 

36 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

[class notes] 

Abbreviation key 

Alumni are identified by degree, year and 
college or school. An asterisk (*) identifies 
members of the VCU Alumni Association. 

College and schools 


College of Humanities and Sciences 


School of the Arts 


School of Allied Health Professions 


School of Business 


School of Dentistry 


School of Education 


School of Engineering 


L. Douglas Wilder School 

of Government and Public Affairs 


Graduate School 


VCU Life Sciences 


School of Medicine 


School of Mass Communications 


School of Nursing 


School of Pharmacy 


School of Social Work 


School of World Studies 


A.S. Associate Degree 

Cert. Certificate 

B.F.A. Bachelor of Fine Arts 

B.G.S. Bachelor of Genera! Studies 

B.I.S. Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies 

B.M. Bachelor of Music 

B.M.E. Bachelor of Music Education 

B.S. Bachelor of Science 

B.S.W. Bachelor of Social Work 

D.D.S. Doctor of Dental Surgery 

D.N. A. P. Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice 

D.P.A. Doctor of Public Administration 

D.P.T. Doctor of Physical Therapy 

M.A. Master of Arts 

M.Acc. Master of Accountancy 

M.A.E. Master of Art Education 

M.B.A. Master of Business Administration 

M.Bin. Master of Bioinformatics 

M.D. Doctor of Medicine 

M.Ed. Master of Education 

M.Env. Master of Environmental Studies 

M.F.A. Master of Fine Arts 

M.H.A. Master of Health Administration 

M.l.S. Master of Interdisciplinary Studies 

M.M. Master of Music 

M.M.E. Master of Music Education 

M.P.A. Master of Public Administration 

M.P.H. Master of Public Health 

M.P.S. Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences 

M.S. Master of Science 

M.S.A.T. Master of Science in Athletic Training 

M.S.D. Master of Science in Dentistry 

M.S.H.A. Master of Science in Health 


M.S.N. A. Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia 

M.S.O.T Master of Science in Occupational Therapy 

M.S.W. Master of Social Work 

MT. Master of Teaching 

M.Tax. Master of Taxation 

M.U.R.P. Master of Urban and Regional Planning 

O.T.D. Post-professional Occupational 

Therapy Doctorate 

Pharm.D. Doctor of Pharmacy 

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy 

Steven L. Shewbridge (B.S 70/B). of Midlothian. Va.. 

March 15. 2008. at age 61. 
Florine H. Smith {MS "74/B), of Richmond. Va.. May 

27. 2008. at ag-e 71. 
Susan M. Stanley* (B.F.A. 72/A; MS '94/AMP). of Richmond. 

Va,. May 2. 2007, at age 57. 
Eleanor S. Sturgis (B.S. '/y/H&S: M.Ed. eo/E). of Eastville. 

Va., Feb. 2, 2008, at age 52. 
Kyle R. Sumner (M.Ed/75/E), of Farmville. Va.. Jan. 30. 

2008, at age 91. 
Vernon M. Watson Jr. {B,S."78/B). of Richmond, Va.. 

Feb. 5. 2008. at age 58. 
Eric R. Wester (B.A71/H&S), of Falls Church, Va., Oct. 

10. 2007, at age 60. 


Rose D. Altschull {M.Ed, SP/E), of Palmyra. Va.. Feb. II. 

2008, at age 6o. 
Gladys C. Anthony (BS. 88/B), of Maidens. Va., Feb. 2. 

2008. at age 47. 
John A. Bowden Jr. (B.S. to/H&S). of Courtland. Va.. 

Feb. 19, 2008, at age 64. 
Mary Anna Duke (BG.S.'WH&S^MS.WAHP). of Norfolk. 

Va., June II, 2008, at age 55. 
Ray A. Gobble (M.B.A.'ei/B), of Laurel, Md.. April 10, 

2008. at age 67. 
Martha E. Grant (B.S WMC), of Richmond, Va., Feb. 

5. 2008. at age 6o. 

Priscilla E. Green (M.Ed '82/E). of Richmond. Va.. May 

7. 2008. at age 56. 
William T. Hawkins 11* (B.S. st/H&S: MS pt/M; PkD. 

O6/M), of Richmond. Va., June 18. 2008, at age 49. 
Mary P. Jenkins {M.Ed. so/E). of Petersburg. Va.. Feb. 

10, 2008, at age 79. 
Dorothy V. Jones-Smith (B.S as/B). of Norfolk, Va.. 

Dec. 26, 2007, at age 41. 
Zelda K. Nordlinger (B.G S.'85/I-I&S). of Richmond. 

Va.. March 18. 2008, at age 76. 
Maria R. Sams (B.F.A. 8B/A). of Richmond, Va., March 

19, 2008 at age 43. 

Leslie G. Wright (B.G.S. as/M&S). of Colonial Heights, 

Va., May 5, 2OO7, at age 44. 
Wanda D. Zanders (M.Ta«.Bi/B), of Richmond. Va.. 

March 27, 2008, at age 57. 


Addie K. Davis (BG S WH&S), of Richmond. Va.. Feb. 

6. 2008, at age 6l. 

Barbara G. DeFilippis (BGS 99/H&S). of Grundy. Va.. 

April 6, 2008, at age 44. 
Larry V. Gordon* (BS. '95/6). of Mechanicsville, Va.. 

March 6, 2008, at age 49. 
James M. Harrison (B.S. w/H&S), of Chesterfield, Va., 

May 20. 2008. at age 48. 
Susan B. Kelly {BS.'97/B), of Richmond, Va.. March 

26, 2008. at age 51. 


Ivy F. Brown (B.S ot/H&S). of Richmond. Va., March I, 

2008, at age 55. 
Joseph R. Kraemer (B.A.oo/H&S), of flichmond, Va., 

April 26, 2008, at age 36. 
Robert A. Slimak (B.A. OJ/H&S). of Richmond. Va.. 

March 22, 20o8, al age 26. 
Jonathan R. Zanin (B.S. 03/B), of Richmond. Va.. May 

7, 2007. at age 26. 

Friends of VCU 

Charles G. Thalhimer Jr.. a Richmond, Va.. 
businessman, philanthropist and longtime friend 
of VCU, died April 28. 2008, at age 58. After 
graduating from Brown University in Rhode Island 
and briefly serving in the Navy. Thalhimer held 
management positions with Thalhimer Bros. Inc. . 
a family-run business. In 1993. he purchased the 
46-year-oId Green Top Sporting Goods in Hanover 
County, where he served as president until his death. 
Thalhimer served on the VCU Foundation board 
and was a former member of the MCV Hospitals 
Hospitality House Advisory Board. 

The Big Picture 

From pages 20-21 

(First row, from left) VCU chemistry professor and 
Nobel Laureate John B Fenn, 2002; Virginia BioTechnology 
Research Park, 2004: RPI Provost Henry Hibbs Jr.. Ph.D.. 
President Richard Nelson Jr, Ph.D., and former President 
George Oliver, Ph.D.. at the dedication of Rhoads Mali, May 
14, 1968: VCU LifeEvac helicopter, 2006i James Branch 
Cabell Library. 1972: VCU student teacher, 197O: Sheldon 
M. Retchin, M.D, M.S.P.M., CEO, VCU Health System, and 
vice president, VCU Health Sciences, and Eugene P. Irani, 
Ph.D., president, VCU and VCU Health System, 2005; 
Opera Theatre VCU's "Mikado," 2008; Mikhail Gorbachev 
at the University Student Commons, April 1993; Richmond 
city skyline, 2O08 

(Second row, from left) Televised instruction in the School 
of Dentistry, 197O; School of Mass Communications' 
CreateAthon onCampus, March 13, 2008: Commencement 
at the Richmond Coliseum, mid-1980s; Critical Care 
Hospital, August 2007; Rodney the Ram, 2008; Ukrop's 
Christmas Parade in front of VCU's School of the Arts build- 
ing, 2006; VCU School of Nursing, Class of 1977; Lobs & 
Lessons Director Kathleen Bowles with student at the Mary 
and Frances Youth Center, 2008; Egyptian Building (fore- 

ground) and the Hermes A. Kontos Medical Sciences 
Building, 2004; VCU School of the Arts in Qatar, 2001 

(Third row, from left) Women's volleyball, 2006; Gladding 
Residence Center late 1980s; Gov Tim Katne at the VCU 
Rice Center, Earth Day 2008; White Coat Ceremony 1997; 
VCU Intercultural Festival, 2006; Stuart C. Siegel Center 
2006; "For Africa" benefit program preparation, June 2007; 
Biochemistry professor Jan F. Chlebowski, Ph.D., with stu- 
dent, 1998: Campaign for VCU celebration, Sept. 27 2007; 
VCU Crew Club. 2004 

(Fourth row, from left) Pauley Pavilion and the East 
and West halls of the School of Engineering, 2008; 
VCU Theatre-Medicine, 2008: VCU Dance, 2004; 
Virginia Capital Semester student and Del. Mamye E. 
BaCote at the General Assembly Feb. 14, 2007; Franklin 
Street, 2O07; Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environ- 
mental Life Sciences, 2006; Alpha Phi Alpha Stepping 
Competition at the University Student Commons, 1989: 
VCU Brandcenter 2008: First men's basketball game at 
the Siegel Center Nov. 19, 1999: VCU pharmacy student 
(right) at a local pharmacy 2O06 

Fall 2008 ! 37 


Mark your calendars for these Virginia Commonwealth 
University and VCU Alumni Association events. For more 
alumni activities, go to or www.vcu-aaac 
.org. or visit http;//events. for campus happenings. 


Oct. 20-24 

Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale 

James Branch Cabell Library 

Oct. 24-26 
Fall Fest 

Various events/locations 



Oct. 25 

Monroe Park Festival celebrating 

VCU's 40th anniversary 
Monroe Park 

Oct. 25 

RPI Commemorative Sculpture 

Ginter House 

Oct. 28 

Fall Choral Classic 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-6776 


Nov. 15 

Hungarian Virtuosi 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 



Theatre VCU - "Shadow Play" 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 



Dec. 13 

Commencement Breakfast* 

University Student Commons 

Winter Commencement 

Stuart G. Siegel Center 


Jan. 16-March 1 

"Embodyingthe Sacred in\bruba Art: Featuring 
the Bernard and Patricia Wagner Collection" 

Anderson Gallery 
(804) 828-1522 

Jan. 17 

25th Anniversary of the University 
Student Commons 

University Student Commons 

Did you work at the University Student 
Comnnons? If so, we'd like to invite you 
to the anniversary gala. Please send your 
mailing address to 


Black History Month at VCU 

Various events/locations 
(804) 828-6672 

Feb. 28 

Guarneri String Quartet 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 



Theatre VCU — "The Glass Menagerie" 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-6026 


March 19 

24th Annual Brown-Lyons Lecture: 
JackSpiro, Ph.D. 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-1165 or (804) 828-1163 

March 27-29 

17th Annual French Film Festival 

Byrd Theatre 


April 24-26 
Reunion Weekend* 

Richmond Professional Institute Reunion 
African-American Alumni Council Reunion 
Various events/locations 

Reunion Weekend 


Theatre VCU — "Chicago" 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 


May 16 

Commencement Breakfast* 

Location TBD 

Spring Commencement 

Stuart G. Siegel Center 


38 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 



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Virginia Commonwealth University 

Office of Alumni Relations 

924 West Franklin Street 

PO Box 843044 

Richmond. Virginia 23284-3044 

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