During the 2017-2018 academic year, Virginia Commonwealth University will mark two significant anniversaries in its history: the opening of the first session of the Richmond School of Social Economy on October 4, 1917, and the signing of the bill to create the university on March 1, 1968. “Making VCU” explores the relationships, collaborations, and networks that gave birth and shaped our urban research university. In their formative years VCU predecessors, the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) and the Richmond Professional Institute (RPI), developed under the guidance and support of their parental institutions Hampden-Sydney College and the College of William and Mary. Strikingly the schools took root, not in the small college towns of Williamsburg or Farmville, but in Virginia’s urban center of Richmond. These connections to other colleges and institutions have been a constant theme in the university’s past. Both RPI and MCV gained from their affiliations with Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond, while earlier mergers such as the one with the University College of Medicine in 1913 expanded the status of the Richmond-based medical school.
Special Collections and Archives staff