Spotlight on Virginia Commonwealth University

Thursday, October 1, 2020

We are going to take you to another American University in our Network.

Another insight to learn about traditions, history and curiosities of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Richmond, which is the main public University in the state of Virginia. The main focus is research.

It suffices to enter the official VCU website and read the university's mission: to create an academic environment that is constantly oriented towards research, discovery and innovation in every sector; concentrate resources on studies that can improve the living conditions and therefore the health of people, with particular attention to the medical sector and the training of professionals in the health sector; develop interdisciplinary collaborations to address the main global challenges starting from environmental sustainability; stimulate partnerships between universities and local institutions to improve the social, economic and cultural system not only of the state of Virginia but of all VCU stakeholders.


Virginia Commonwealth University is a real landmark for the research sector and for its community. Over 24,000 students, the Institute was founded in 1838. Today it has 6% of international students, creating a multicultural environment oriented towards inclusion, integration and continuous comaprison.

Over 200 programs, offering 50 majors in 22 different sectors: College of Humanities & Sciences, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, School of Allied Health Professions, School of the Arts, School of Business, School of Dentistry, School of Education, College of Engineering, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, School of Social Work, University College, VCU Graduate School, VCU Honors College, VCU Life Sciences.

In February 2006, VCU established "VCU 2020 Vision for Excellence", a strategic plan to confirm the university as the leading research institution for the 21st Century, investing over a billion dollars in academic, medical, recreational, student dorms and parking, giving the Monroe Park and MVC campuses a big boost. To be underlined also the VCU library, one of the largest in Virginia with over 3 million volumes.

Virginia Commonwealth University can count on two campuses not far from each other. Monroe Park Campus is the home to most of the college students and classrooms. In the MCV, instead, there are 5 schools  of health sciences and medical center of excellence (the famous doctor Patch Adams was a student of VCU). Both campuses boast a style that alternates modern architecture with older buildings and becuase they include every service and comfort, they allow students to live and carry out any activity inside the Campus.

Noteworthy is also "The Siegel Center" sports hall which, in addition to hosting the matches of the VCU basketball teams, it has welcome celebrities like James Taylor, the Harlem Globetrotters and President Barack Obama over the years. The flagship is the Institute for Contemporary Art, inaugurated in 2018, a modern masterpiece that hosts innovative exhibitions, films and special programs.

“We Are Rams”, is the VCU athletic department's motto which has 16 different programs competing in the NCAA Division I. VCU is one of the 14 universities that are part of the Atlantic Ten Conference, which brings together universities especially from the eastern states of America, including some Midwestern Universities as well. Despite the name, the conference has 14 members and 21 sports (9 male and 12 female).

Getting into the details of the VCU athletic programs, these are the men's sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field. Basketball, tennis and soccer are the main sports. Basketball particularly, has made VCU become a very important program in the U.S. university panorama, with 14 appearances in the post-season, the best result is the FinalFour reached in 2011. Over the years, many players at the end of the college career at VCU have undertaken professional careers in the NBA. The sporting rivalry with Old Dominion University is famous (click here for the in-depth analysis). Men's tennis is another of the most successful athletic program at VCU: Coach Paul Kostin, head coach of the program for 30 years (until 2018) became one of the 5 coaches n the entire NCAA DI to have recorded more than 1000 wins in career. Under his leadership, the tennis team won 12 Conferences titles and in 2000 went on to compete for national title against Stanford.

Basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, track and field and volleyball are the women's sports, with volleyball being one of the top ones. The team, in which our Vicky Giommarini has recently completed an excellent athletic and academic career, is led by Coach Jody Rodgers, a real fixture for Amercian college volleyball, with more than 500 career victories in 23 seasons has head coach. After several Conference titles in 2019, for the first time in history, the volleyball teams reaches the NCAA tournament first round. 


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