The job of a university president is to represent the institution, tell its story, raise money and provide leadership. Edward Ayers plans to do all that and more.
“More” in his case includes teaching—a task not commonly associated with university presidents.
“It never crossed my mind not to teach,” says Ayers, who became president of the University on July 1. He taught for 12 semesters while serving as dean of arts and sciences at the University of Virginia.
Former University Trustee Carole Weinstein (above right) has pledged $9 million to construct a new facility that will enhance the University’s rapidly growing international programs.
The building will be named the Carole Weinstein International Center in honor of her generous support of the University’s international education programs.
“Once again, the University of Richmond is indebted to the Weinstein family for their vision and commitment,” says President Edward L. Ayers. “This remarkable gift will permit the University to build upon a great legacy of international study and cement our position as a leader in this crucial aspect of higher education.”
The International Center will house the Office of International Education, which includes the University’s study abroad and international exchange programs. It also will provide a home for several departments and interdisciplinary programs focused on international issues.
The projected cost of the 40,000-square-foot facility is $18 million, with completion scheduled for fall 2010.
“It has long been a dream of mine to have an international center on our campus, and I am thrilled and honored to partner with the University to make this dream a reality,” says Weinstein, W’75, G’77 and H’04.
Richmond’s international education program is celebrating its 20th anniversary this academic year. During the past two decades, study-abroad participation has skyrocketed, and the number of international students attending Richmond has grown to more than 200 from more than 70 countries.
“Carole Weinstein’s encouragement, support and advice have had a great impact on the internationalization of the University,” says Dr. Uliana Gabara, founding dean of international education (above left). “This gift will make possible a qualitative leap in our ability to put international education at the center of the Richmond experience.”
At Richmond, he will teach a course on Southern history for a dozen first-year students, who will meet Monday evenings in the basement of the President’s House. Mondays “fit into the schedule” of a president, says Ayers, who maintains an overflowing calendar of meetings, events and travel.
Ayers wants his students to look at the South through the prism of Richmond, Virginia and the James River. Since the majority of UR students come from outside the commonwealth, “this is a good opportunity for them to learn more about the place they’ll be spending their next four years,” he says.
Reading a book a week, Ayers’ students will study Southern history from pre-historic times to the 20th century. He plans to incorporate music, film and television into the course, and students will be required to visit one historic place and demonstrate how it represents Southern history.
Dr. Hugh West, chair of Richmond’s history department, says he and others in the department are pleased to be getting “a distinguished, genial and dedicated colleague.”
“Not only do we hold a prejudice that historians tend to be good administrators because they know how the world works, we believe Ed is in exactly the right field for his job,” West says. “He has done a lot of deep thinking about the very world the University of Richmond grew up in. To know where to go, you need to know where you came from.”
The University invites alumni and parents of current students to meet President Ayers at a series of receptions this fall and next spring.
They will be held in the following cities: Richmond (Sept. 19, Sept. 25 and Oct. 4), Atlanta (Oct. 11), Washington, D.C. (Oct 16), Portsmouth, Va. (Oct. 24), New York (Nov. 15), Fredericksburg, Va. (Nov. 27), Charlottesville, Va. (Nov. 29) and Philadelphia (Dec. 13). Spring receptions will be held in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Illinois.
Locations and dates are subject to change. For the latest schedule, visit www.UROnline.net.
Dr. Claire Millhiser Rosenbaum, W’54 and G’73, has updated her seminal history of Westhampton College by adding two chapters that cover the past 19 years.
The new edition of A Gem of a College debuted in August and is available in the University Bookstore and at www.URSpiderShop.com.
The new chapters bring the Westhampton story up to date by highlighting major developments during the presidencies of Dr. Richard Morrill and Dr. William Cooper, Rosenbaum says. “During that time, the Westhampton deans strengthened the college’s traditions and helped students gain a greater appreciation for the value of coordinate education.”
Rosenbaum joined the University’s Board of Trustees in 1994 and is a trustee emerita.
The University officially completed its Transforming Bright Minds campaign on June 30 with total commit-ments of $212,387,612—more than $12 million over its goal.
Richmond received 86,261 contributions and pledges from 29,649 individuals and organizations, enough to celebrate the campaign’s completion one year early.
“We simply cannot say thank you enough to Richmond’s alumni and other supporters,” says University Rector George Wellde Jr., B’74. “The success of this campaign is a testament to their generosity and commitment.”
Although the campaign has concluded, the University will continue raising money to expand the business school and law school as well as to build the Westhampton Center and an on-campus stadium.
The U.S. Department of State has awarded Fulbright grants to Genevieve Goulding, ’07, of Corapeake, N.C., Jessica Loman, ’07, of New Port Richey, Fla., and Kate McKinney, ’07, of Waynesboro, Pa. They are among 1,300 Fulbright scholars nationally.
Goulding will conduct research at Sciences Po in Paris. She plans to evaluate efforts by the French government and the United Nations to assist refugees seeking asylum in France. Goulding majored in international studies and rhetoric and communication at Richmond.
Loman will teach English to high school seniors in Indonesia, the country where her parents were born. She also plans to immerse herself in Indonesian culture. Loman majored in rhetoric and communication.
McKinney will teach English in Dusseldorf, Germany. She also plans to help immigrant students in a primary school. McKinney majored in German and economics.
James Rettig, the University’s librarian, has been elected the next president of the 64,000-member American Library Association (ALA). After serving as president-elect this year, he will take office in July 2008.
The Aug. 20 issue of Newsweek magazine features Richmond on its list of “25 Hottest Schools.”
The magazine’s annual guide highlights colleges and universities that “offer top academic programs but are also generating extra buzz this year.” Other schools on the list include Cornell (hottest Ivy), Harvard (hottest for rejecting you) and Princeton (hottest for liberal arts).
According to Newsweek, Richmond is the hottest college for international studies. The magazine notes that a high percentage of UR students study abroad, “attending universities in Oxford, Edinburgh, Prague, Milan, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Bangkok and many other cosmopolitan spots. … The faculty is strong in many areas, particularly business, science and leadership studies, but all students are urged to see the world.”
The leading force behind UR’s global awakening has been Dr. Uliana Gabara, the University’s founding dean of international education. The program celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. During Gabara’s tenure, Richmond’s number of international students has grown from 15 to more than 200, representing more than 70 countries on campus.
The University also has forged direct exchange agreements with more than 50 universities, providing affordable opportunities for Richmond students to spend a semester or year abroad. Participants receive full financial aid, a travel grant, health insurance, and stipends to cover some additional expenses. All successfully completed international courses earn credit toward a Richmond degree, so study abroad does not delay graduation.
The University ensures that cost does not constrain study abroad because “regardless of what work our students will do, as citizens and professionals, they will need to have global knowledge and experience,” Gabara says.
“Any education without an international component is not an education for the 21st century,” adds President Edward L. Ayers.
In a separate magazine listing, U.S. News & World Report ranked Richmond 40th on its list of “Best Liberal Arts Colleges.”
As the world’s oldest and largest library organization, the ALA promotes public access to information and best practices for libraries.
“A major emphasis of my campaign has been increasing opportunities for members to participate in and contribute to ALA and the profession,” Rettig says. “I look forward to working with ALA members to create and develop new ways that their ideas and activities can enrich the profession.”
The University of Richmond Chapel Guild will conduct its biennial Christmas House Tour on Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Host homeowners include: Joyce and Richard Johnson, B’73; Connie Cosse, GB’79, and Dr. Thomas Cosse; Barbara and Harry Jacobs; Stewart and Douglas Albertson; and Suellen Gregory.
The Cosses’ home at 7011 Bandy Road was built in 1965 by the late Dr. Willie Reams and his wife. Reams was a biology professor at the University, and Thomas Cosse is associate dean for international business programs in the Robins School. The Cosses have remodeled the home extensively, but they have preserved the crystal chandeliers, parquet floors and stained-glass living room window.
Traditional Home magazine recently featured Gregory’s home at 4313 Cary St. The bright, comfortable Cape Cod displays works by Virginia artists, creative wall treatments and lots of personality.
The Albertsons’ home at 12 Kanawha Road is an elegant English Georgian with gracious rooms and high ceilings. It features antique French and Italian mirrors and light fixtures.
The Jacobs’ home at 6321 Three Chopt Road is a brick Colonial that was built in 1932 and renovated extensively in 2006. It has mirrored walls in the dining room and a wrap-around back porch.
The Johnsons’ home at 9850 Cherokee Road blends state-of-the-art electronics with traditional woodwork and extensive cabinetry. It displays artwork ranging from John Barber to John Lennon. Richard Johnson is a University trustee.
The house tour helps the Chapel Guild raise money to support Cannon Memorial Chapel and the chaplain’s office. To purchase tickets, call Debbie Barkley at (804) 288-2118 or the chaplain’s office at (804) 289-8500.
Dr. Laura Runyen-Janecky, assistant professor of biology, has received a three-year, $193,375 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study Shigella, bacteria that cause a diarrheal disease called shigellosis.
“Shigellosis is a huge public health problem in under-developed countries and is one of the causes of traveler’s diarrhea,” Runyen-Janecky says. “About 1 million people per year die from it, and it is a concern to U.S. military operations because troops can be deployed to countries where the disease is common, and it can be used as a bio-warfare agent.”
Runyen-Janecky’s research will focus on the basic biology of the bacteria, attempting to identify genes essential for Shigella’s survival and explore how it lives inside cells that line the human colon.
“No vaccines exist, and my lab is not going to directly build a vaccine,” Runyen-Janecky explains. “Rather, my research is one part of the puzzle to reaching the end goal for some sort of treatment.”
Political commentators Susan Estrich and Richard Lowry will kick off the Jepson Leadership Forum’s 2007–08 season with “A Dialogue on Left, Right and Center” on Sept. 25 in the Modlin Center.
Estrich, who wrote Sex & Power and The Case for Hillary Clinton, will champion the left, while Lowry, editor of the National Review and author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years, will champion the right. Both are analysts for Fox News.
The event is free and open to the public. The forum’s 2007–08 season is sponsored by the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and the Women Involved in Living and Learning program.
For more information, visit www.jepson.richmond.edu/events.
Approximately 100 Virginia artists will display and sell their works at Arts Around the Lake, the University’s annual fine arts show. The Robins Center will host the juried show on Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In August, the University Police conducted joint training exercises with the Richmond Police to improve their ability to respond to life-threatening situations on campus.
Working with more than 20 volunteers from the University’s staff and faculty, the officers dealt with four simulations—a disturbed student, a domestic dispute, a disgruntled employee and a hostage situation.
The exercises were part of the University’s overall effort to prepare for worst-case scenarios in light of last spring’s tragedy at Virginia Tech. University officials also have implemented a new notification system to quickly alert students, faculty and staff in a variety of ways if a real crisis occurs.
Called UR Alert, the system can send emergency notifications by text message, e-mail and voice mail to phones and computers. The University activated the system Sept. 1 after collecting and updating emergency contact information from faculty, staff and students enrolled in credit courses.
The University contracted with NTI Group Inc. to license its Connect-ED product, says Kathy Monday, the University’s vice president for information systems.
The system is fully hosted by NTI, which maintains data and call centers throughout the country with redundant systems designed to eliminate a single point of failure.
NTI built Connect-ED exclusively for colleges and universities to record, schedule, send and track thousands of messages in minutes. The University’s designated “senders” can use a Web browser or telephone to send messages immediately in emergency situations.
Following the Virginia Tech shootings, the University evaluated several mass notification products and determined that the NTI system worked best, Monday says. “The Connect-ED system provides message delivery tracking and comprehensive reporting that will allow us to assess the effectiveness of our communications,” she says. “Overall, we believe it offers us the best value while providing us with a high level of service and support.”
The Greater Richmond Alumni Chapter sponsors the event to raise money for its scholarship fund. Admission and parking are free.
“Arts Around the Lake started in 1979 and has always been a big event, not only for the University community, but also the Richmond community at large,” says Lee Kirby West, W’00, who chairs the event’s planning committee. “The show features a great diversity of media ranging from traditional watercolors to pottery to jewelry.”
For more information, visit www.UROnline.net/aal or call the alumni relations office at (800) 480-4774, ext. 8.
Gamelan Çudamani, 26 musicians and dancers from Bali, will perform “Odalan Bali: An Offering of Dance and Music” on Oct. 25 in the Modlin Center’s Alice Jepson Theatre.
“Odalan Bali” portrays the Balinese temple ceremony, the quintessential Balinese experience. The performance features dancers in shimmering costumes and musicians playing bronze instruments against a backdrop of colorful banners and flags.
The Gamelan Çudamani ensemble, based in the village of Pengosekan, blends classical Balinese music and dance with creative new sounds and choreography. The dancers mirror every nuance of the gamelan as they relate stories of gods and heroes of Balinese mythology and history.
For more information about “Odalan Bali” and the Modlin Center’s 2007–08 season, visit www.modlin.richmond.edu.
Dr. Woody Holton, associate professor of history, portrays the framing of the U.S. Constitution as a struggle between aristocratic Founding Fathers and ordinary American farmers.
Holton argues that the Constitution’s framers were wary of the “excess of democracy” that was threatening their financial interests. They tried to curtail states’ rights and individual freedom, but rebellion among average Americans forced the Founding Fathers to guarantee more personal liberties in the Constitution.
“Move over, Founding Fathers,” says reviewer Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “It turns out that average Americans from the ‘unruly mob’ had more to do with ensuring the personal liberties we Americans now hold dear than did the framers we so revere.”
Civil Procedure: A Contemporary Approach. A. Benjamin Spencer, associate professor of law. A new casebook that will be used in first-year civil procedure courses.
Equity Cases in the Court of Exchequer 1660 to 1714. Hamilton Bryson, professor of law, (editor). A compil-ation of 469 manuscript law reports on the subject of equity.
A carbon copy letter from the Davis United World College Scholars Program hit Marilyn Hesser’s desk in July. It praised the University’s work with United World Colleges and confirmed the foundation’s annual financial commit-ment to the partnership—plus an extra $1 million.
“Enclosure: contribution check.”
The letter was addressed to President Edward L. Ayers, but the new president was traveling. So Hesser, senior associate admission director, called Betsy Curtler, assistant vice president for foundation, corporate and government relations.
“Betsy,” she queried, “have you seen the letter from the Davis United World College Scholars Program?”
“No. It’s really not time for their fall letter yet,” Curtler replied.
“Well, let me read it to you,” Hesser said.
Curtler called the president’s office, and sure enough, there was a million-dollar surprise in the morning mail. Ayers, a strong advocate of international education, was thrilled by the news.
The money will help strengthen the long-term partnership, which brings United World Colleges’ students to Richmond from around the world. The “colleges” are unique international boarding schools that recruit outstanding students from 126 home countries to foster global understanding, tolerance and peace.
Twenty-five students from United World Colleges currently attend Richmond. “They are such outstanding students,” Curtler says. “And they become deeply involved in all sorts of activities with U.S. students.”
The program is underwritten by Gale and Shelby M.C. Davis, whose support for United World Colleges makes them America’s largest donors to international education.