Dr. Henry Hibbs
We're older than you think. The Monroe Park Campus traces
its roots to 1917. The university was officially founded
in 1838, when the Medical College of Virginia was established
as a medical department of Hampden-Sydney College.
The birth of a foundation
Seven Richmond residents recruit Henry Hibbs to organize
a professional school for social work. Dr. Hibbs was
offered an $1,800 annual salary, although he would have
the money himself. His first office, he recalled, was "a
great barn-like room furnished with an old banquet table
set up on wooden horses for a desk."
Alumni make their first gift
Alumni literally find a home for faculty and students.
They raise enough funds to buy a permanent residence
for the school at Founder's Hall. For eight years, RPI
had moved from place to place around the city.
From humble beginnings ...
The School of the Arts opens its doors as a remodeled
loft of a horse stable behind Founder's Hall.
The business program is launched, with early emphasis
on retail store operations and secretarial science.
RPI issues a pamphlet titled, "An Entirely Different
College," because it arranges its programs of study
around occupations or professions.
The School of Education is formed.
The College of Humanities and Sciences is established.
... to a great university…
Richmond Professional Institute and Medical College of
Virginia merge to establish Virginia Commonwealth University.
RPI Foundation changes its name to VCU Foundation to
reflect its expanded mission to support the Academic
(now named Monroe Park Campus) and MCV Campuses.
… that continues to grow
Since 1994, VCU has spent $1.1 billion in new facilities,
dressing up the Monroe Park Campus and revitalizing a
lengthy stretch of the decaying Broad Street corridor.
On the books: The $196-million Monroe Park Campus Addition
for the business and engineering schools, a new Brain
and Neuroscience Institute at the VCU Medical Center
and other signature projects.
Exploiting its location as an urban university, VCU has
woven a dense network of ties to the business community,
city government and surrounding neighborhoods. VCU’s Fourth
President Eugene P. Trani and the university played
a key role in developing the Virginia BioTechnology Research
VCU has revamped its academic organizational structure,
converting MCV Hospitals into a quasi-independent authority,
building strong ties between both Richmond campuses and
emphasizing interdisciplinary study in fast-growing
research spending, concentrated
in the life sciences, reached $185 million in 2004.
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