Facebook Live Video 6/10/19: New Student Orientation

If you couldn’t join us for our live Q&A session on Facebook yesterday, please see the recording below for the full live webinar. Captions have been built into the video and transcripts are available upon request.


If you have any questions for concerns, or to request a transcript of the video, please email ramfamiles@vcu.edu.

We’re going live on Facebook!

"VCU New Student & Family Programs, we're going live!" text over a picture of students at new student convocation [View Image]

VCU New Student and Family Programs will go live on Facebook Monday, June 10 at 11 a.m. to discuss the details of New Student Orientation sessions.

Lynanne Yndestad, Director of New Student and Family Programs, and Assistant Director Lauren Braun will cover why orientation is important, what to expect, what to bring and student and family schedules. Participants will have the opportunity to get some of their questions answered in real time by commenting during the live video.

For those who cannot watch the video live, a recording will be uploaded to this page for parents and families to access at any time.

If you have any questions about the video, or would like to submit questions ahead of time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Parent & Family Helpline at 804-828-7322 or through email at ramfamilies@vcu.edu.

Summer Blog Post Schedule

Happy summer everyone! As the semester closes out and students venture out to work, relax or take intersession classes, we will be adjusting our blog schedule. Blog posts will now be posted once a week and will center around important updates, campus events such as New Student Orientation and Weeks of Welcome and important dates and deadlines.

We will still be sharing stories from around campus and the Richmond community over on our VCU Families Facebook page and will continue to welcome your questions and feedback through our ramfamilies@vcu.edu email. We look forward to hearing about your student’s summer adventures and hope you have a wonderful summer!

Summer Events for VCU Students

VCU is excited to invite current VCU students to two upcoming events in the DMV area.

Extend your Memorial Day weekend with a night at the ballpark Tuesday, May 28. Watch the Bowie Baysox bat against the Akron Rubber Ducks, and enjoy an all-American buffet at the picnic pavilion. The buffet features hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled chicken barbecue, baked beans, pasta salad, chips, watermelon and ice cream novelties. To quench your thirst, you’ll enjoy unlimited iced tea, lemonade and soft drinks. The buffet begins at 6 p.m. and is available through the eighth inning. The game starts at 6:35 p.m.  Cost is $10 for adults (discounted exclusively for you from $13) and $5 for 18 and younger (discounted from $10).

On Saturday, June 1, join alumni and other incoming VCU students to cheer on D.C. United as the team takes on the San Jose Earthquakes. Before the game, join us at Buffalo Wild Wings for your game-day favorites. Registration includes the pregame social appetizers and game ticket. The social begins at 6 p.m., and the soccer game starts at 8 p.m. Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for fans 12 and younger (discounted exclusively for you from $35).

Learn more and register for the events at https://www.support.vcu.edu/event/dmvelevate2.

Graduation Message from VCU President Dr. Michael Rao

This message originally appeared on Dr. Rao’s President’s Posts Blog on Saturday, May 11 2019:

VCU awarded more than 5,200 professional, graduate and undergraduate degrees and certificates today to nearly 5,000 graduates who were recognized at the universitywide and unit-level ceremonies. It was an honor to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates along with their families, loved ones and friends.

Good morning, Class of 2019! It’s my honor and privilege to celebrate your accomplishment with your family, friends and loved ones.

You met your goals. You have put in countless hours studying and working to develop yourself as a person. You collaborated with colleagues in the classroom, lab, studio, and clinic, and you conducted research and volunteered in our communities.

Because of your dedication to excellence, you are graduating from a place in awe of your abilities and potential. The stories of your successes are still buzzing around campus.

While earning your degree in and outside of the classroom you redefined the American Dream to truly represent who we are today.

U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove said, “The American Dream is a phrase we’ll have to wrestle with all of our lives. It means a lot of things to different people. I think we’re redefining it now.”

Your scholarship, advocacy and volunteerism are all redefining the American Dream to be more inclusive and cognizant that we live in a world that has thankfully, changed dramatically since writer James Truslow Adams first penned the phrase in 1931.

Proof of change taking place is in front of us and VCU is where the redefined American Dream happens.

The other week, I took part in an awards ceremony honoring members of the university community who went above and beyond what was expected of them as they work toward a learning and healing community that is more equitable and inclusive.

The winner of the capstone award recognized for their scholarship, emotional intelligence and solid common sense is a third-year student who according to her nominator, “advocates for marginalized and vulnerable groups across the university community.” They were stunned to receive the award. The rest of us were not.

As an advocate for all human beings, the honoree challenges us to think about our existential purpose as a place of higher learning and healing. And you do too.

You taught me that you firmly believe in setting aside the traditional college formula of going to class, taking tests and graduating.

You are entrepreneurial and have taken your personal interests and passions and used them as a tool to solve age-old problems that matter to all of us, not just some of us.

You recognize the importance of the arts in recovering from trauma. You have collaborated across disciplines to develop better ways to address the effects of trauma.

You are a full participant in the Richmond community through collaboration with your neighbors and through volunteerism—8.7 million hours in all!

You did all of this while earning your degree. You did all of this because you belong to a group destined to be the most-educated generation in American history.

Class of 2019, along with your professors, mentors and loved ones, I dream of the amazing things you will do. As healthcare providers, social workers, engineers, artists, creative entrepreneurs, communicators, educators, community leaders and scientists I know you will continue to achieve great things that will have great impact on our world. We are all incredibly proud of you.

Congratulations on behalf of the entire community at VCU.

VCU Commencement set for Saturday, May 11

"congrats graduates!" text over a picture of students throwing confetti during commencement exercises [View Image]

Story by Mike Porter originally shared on VCU News on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

Virginia Commonwealth University will award degrees during its May commencement exercises on Saturday.

Andy Florance, CEO and founder of CoStar Group, is this year’s commencement speaker.

The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. Third St. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. Participants and family members should arrive early to allow for traffic, parking and security screenings.

Media credentials are required for access to the floor of the convention center and for reserved media seating near the stage. Media members may obtain credentials from University Public Affairs during business hours at 912 W. Grace St., sixth floor, or from a staff member at the Fifth and Marshall entrance to the Greater Richmond Convention Center Exhibit Hall Pavilion on the day of commencement. Proof of media affiliation is required to receive credentials.

Limited media parking will be available in the Greater Richmond Convention Center driveway on the right side of North Fifth Street between Marshall and Broad streets. Media vehicles either should be marked or should display a media placard.

Students will receive professional, graduate and undergraduate degrees. Join the VCU commencement conversation by following and using #VCU2019 on your social channels.

More information on VCU’s May commencement, including the schedule of departmental ceremonies, can be found at www.vcu.edu/commencement. The ceremony will be live-streamed at www.vcu.edu and at www.facebook.com/virginiacommonwealthuniversity/.

Did you see our May newsletter?

screenshot of the may edition of the ram family update [View Image]

Happy Wednesday parents & families! Did you see our May newsletter hit your inbox yesterday? If not, check it out here and email ramfamilies@vcu.edu to get added to our mailing list. Want to catch up on all the newsletters we’ve sent out this year? Visit the Ram Family Update link under the VCU Families tab on the New Student & Family Programs website.

This month’s newsletter is chock full of important information related to Spring move-out, our alumni family listserv and much more! Hear from Dr. Charles Klink, Senior Vice Provost for Student Affairs, about his thoughts on the end of another academic year and the exciting things we have planned for 2019-2020, like the new VCU Family Council.

The VCU Family Council is an advisory board that serves the VCU Family Association, VCU students, and the University. Any family member of a current VCU student is eligible to apply for membership. This Council is responsible for advising the University on family programs and services and serves as a vehicle for communication between the Family Association and VCU administrators to address concerns of VCU parents and families. If you are interested in joining the VCU Family Council, please complete and submit the application by August 2, 2019.

Check out the newsletter and let us know what stories and topics YOU want to see covered in the June edition. Keep an eye on your inbox, the Ram Family Update newsletter goes out the first Tuesday of every month!

Ways to Support Your Student During Final Exams

The end of the semester can be a very stressful time for students, especially if this is the end of their first year. While they are in command of their own academic success, there are several ways you can support them while they work through the last week of the semester.

Remind them of campus resources

Does your student need a place to study? Are they struggling to finish a writing assignment or having difficulty with a set of equations? The VCU New Student and Family Programs website has a resource list under our VCU Families tab that can help identify a variety of resources from VCU Libraries and the Writing Center to Transportation or Career Services.

Provide moral support – but not too much

Whether it’s a text message wishing them luck or a letter in the mail, your student will appreciate hearing from you and knowing that you are thinking of them as they wrap up the end of the semester. Just ensure you don’t overdo it! As they take time to study in between exams they may not have time to talk on the phone or respond to a message right away. Just remember that they may be busy and will get back to you as soon as they can. What may feel like supportive questioning may be misinterpreted by busy students as additional stressors when they already have a lot on their plate.

Encourage stress relief and brain breaks

Studying so long that they can barely function isn’t good for any student. Encourage them to take regular breaks to eat and do something fun. Even taking the time to watch an episode (or two!) of their favorite show could leave them feeling calmer and better prepared to jump back into studying than if they stayed up all night to put in work.

Speaking of being up all night…

Remind them to sleep! Getting a good night’s sleep and eating regular meals can do wonders for their brain power. Going into an exam cranky and tired from a sleepless night won’t help them get the best grades that we all know they can achieve. Adopting an “I’ll sleep when exams are over” viewpoint will only lead to burnout.

Family Spotlight – Graduating Seniors

"Family Spotlight" text over a picture of Terry Everett reading a newspaper [View Image]


This week we say “see you later” and congratulations to our graduating seniors! We congratulate them on their momentous achievements and can’t wait to see what the future brings in their lives and careers. It’s a time for students to reflect on their experiences at VCU and how the university has prepared them for their next steps. We interviewed Terry Everett, who attends VCU along with his twin brother Terrence, about his time at VCU and what’s to come. Terry and Terrence are both known for their hit video “Black Excellence at VCU.”

Terry, a Newport News native, wasn’t familiar with the Richmond area before he decided to attend VCU. He chose to join the Ramily because of the focus on and abundance of diversity on campus, as well as the impressive medical campus. Terry was a Biology major throughout his time at VCU and plans to work as a medical scribe following graduation before applying to medical school in 2020.

What advice does Terry have for other students and their families? “Live life to the fullest and don’t let others’ expectations hinder your progress.”

Terry plans to come back to visit and has many fond memories at VCU. From his favorite class (Organic Chemistry) to his many clubs and organizations (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Student Ambassadors, New Student Orientation, Library Advising Committee, FACT, Honor Society, Habitat for Humanity and Lewis Stokes Alliance for Minorities Program) it can be hard to pinpoint an exact moment that meant the most. “I would say my favorites are the late nights with friends, studying and preparing for the weeks to come.”

Congratulations to Terry Everett and all our graduating seniors, we wish you the best of luck and hope you come back soon!

Join us for this month’s Family Event at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts!

Hello VCU families and students!

Our monthly family event for May is a trip to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. This event will take place on Thursday, May 9 at 7 PM.

We are very appreciative of the VMFA for providing a FREE guided tour of the highlighted pieces inside the museum! The tour will last about 45 minutes and there will also be live jazz from 6-9 PM in the museum.

All registered participants will receive a separate invitation to attend a happy hour event prior to the museum tour. We encourage you to join us or to grab dinner before or after the event from the restaurants in the museum or in the area.

Spots are limited, so if you are interested, sign up now!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact New Student and Family Programs at (804) 828-7322 or email us at ramfamilies@vcu.edu.

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