Photograph by Jamie Betts

When Timothy Litzenburg, L’08, addressed a civil litigation class at the Richmond School of Law in October, he peppered his remarks with nostalgic memories of his own experiences as a student. Not much older than the majority of the class, his recent success in securing a $289 million judgment for his client in a trial against agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto gave the future lawyers in the room something to aspire to.

Richmond students don’t lack for alumni role models in a wide array of professions. It’s been the case for decades and decades, and the current generation is no exception.

Much of that is due to the work of the career services office to ensure students hear from — and better yet, interact with — a variety of successful Spiders in different fields throughout their time on campus.

“Alumni work with us year-round, connecting with students through various engagement points,” said Carrie Hawes, associate director for employer relations. “The Spider connection is strong, and our office has seen this power firsthand.”

It helps that Richmond-area residents like Litzenburg and another recent guest, former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, are happy to make the short trek to campus.

“Alumni are the Spider link to student career learning and exploration of the wide array of options open to them while being a student, transitioning as a new graduate, or engaging as an experienced alumnus,” said Denise Dwight Smith, assistant vice president of career services. “Spider pride runs deep.”

For more information about how alumni can share their professional expertise, offer internship opportunities, and recruit at Richmond, visit or contact career services at 804-662-3032 or