Richmond is a vibrant and growing metropolitan city. To some it is modern and contemporary while to others it is a city of natural beauty and small town charm. It is a city steeped in four centuries of history, legend, and tradition. Among more than a dozen National Historic Landmarks are St. John’s Church where Patrick Henry rallied the patriots before the Revolution with the idea of “liberty or death”; the State Capitol designed by Thomas Jefferson; and the home of Maggie Walker, a 19th century leader of Richmond’s African American community and America’s first woman bank president.
Richmond is a study in dramatic contrasts with the skyline of the downtown business district overlooking quiet riverside parks and with four-lane expressways emptying into cobblestone streets of another era. It is the second leading headquarters city in the South, attracting a wide range of business and industry. Nine colleges and universities are located in the Richmond area, adding to the intellectual and cultural atmosphere of the city.
In addition to the atmosphere of the city itself, Richmond is one of the most conveniently located cities in the mid-Atlantic area. It is within a two-hour drive of Washington DC, the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, or the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city’s location produces a climate that is water and mountain modified, continental with warm humid summers and mild winters.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is the result of the merger of two highly acclaimed institutions of higher learning: the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) and Richmond Professional Institute (RPI). MCV traces its roots back to 1838 when it was established as the medical department of Hampden Sydney College. RPI was born in 1917 as the Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health.
VCU operates four teaching hospitals, the College of Humanities and Sciences, and the Schools of Allied Health Professions, the Arts, Business, Community and Public Affairs, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Work.
In less than two decades, VCU has grown to be Virginia’s fifth largest employer, with 1,800 instructional and administrative faculty members, 900 adjunct and clinical faculty—about 14,000 employees in all.