Richmond Home


The University of Richmond has benefited from the contributions of exceptional faculty, staff, students and friends over its history. Here are the stories of some of these great achievers.

Edward L. Ayers
Edward L. Ayers

Edward L. Ayers

President, 2007-2015

One of the nation’s leading scholars on the history of the American South, Edward L. Ayers, Ph.D., was named president of the University of Richmond in 2007.

While leading the university, Ayers was a strong presence in his academic field and across higher education. He served on the boards of the American Council on Education and the National Humanities Center. He wrote and spoke extensively about digital scholarship at a time when higher education as a whole has continued to grapple with the most effective deployment of technology in teaching and learning. Ayers also chaired a major committee for the American Historical Association that worked to define the standards of digital scholarship for hiring, promotion, and tenure in his discipline. He served on the boards of three of the major history museums in Richmond and was named the founding chair of the newly established American Civil War Museum. Finally, he received the 2012 National Humanities Medal in recognition of his commitment to making American history widely accessible across a range of audiences, vehicles, and media — from his pioneering work in digital scholarship to co-hosting the nationally syndicated public radio program “BackStory with The American History Guys.”

Ayers' research surrounding the Civil War, the Virginia Secession Convention, and American presidential voting patterns came to life through collaboration with the university's Digital Scholarship Lab, combining the latest in multimedia technology with historical documents and records to create an interactive experience for exploring micro-level trends. The nature of this collaborative work also speaks to Ayers' belief in making academic research accessible and digestible for the general public, where it can have the most reach and impact.

In February 2014, Ayers announced his decision to step down as president of the University of Richmond on June 30, 2015. Many of the achievements of his presidency were guided by the ambitious agenda established in a five-year strategic plan, The Richmond Promise:

  • Undergraduate applications grew by nearly 50 percent — from approximately 6,600 for the fall 2007 entering class, to more than 9,900 for the fall 2014 entering class — while the quality of the entering class has improved by every academic measure.
  • The number of U.S. students of color increased by 114 percent in the entering class and international students doubled, and the university strengthened its commitment to access and affordability by doubling the number and percentage of Pell-eligible students.
  • Richmond became an employer of choice by investing in competitive faculty and staff salaries, and continued to recruit excellent new faculty when other institutions faced challenges due to the economic downturn. Among new tenure and tenure-track faculty recruited since 2008, one in four were faculty of color and half were women.
  • The curriculum was enhanced with the establishment of First-Year Seminars and important progress made in the integration of the five schools. Co-curricular innovations such as Living-Learning Communities and the Sophomore Scholars in Residence Program were also implemented.
  • The university’s commitment to inclusivity was confirmed through the establishment of new student organizations, the Cultural Advisors program, and LGBTQ Spiders alumni group and expansion of the Common Ground staff, while also bolstering Chaplaincy staff to include the first campus rabbi, expanding programming for the Muslim community, and establishing the Multifaith Student Council.
  • A comprehensive 10-year Campus Master Plan was developed, with significant enhancements to academic facilities through the creation of the international center, business school addition, and law school renovation; to student life through renovation and new construction of residence halls and construction of the Student Activity Center; and to Athletics facilities through the on-campus stadium and renovation to the Robins Center and intramural and Sport Club field space. In addition, three historic buildings were placed on the National Register.
  • Generous financial support was secured through the Fulfilling the Promise capital campaign, which exceeded the goal of $150 million. The campaign allowed the university to fully fund The Richmond Guarantee, which promises a $4,000 fellowship for every traditional undergraduate to pursue a summer internship or research experience.
  • The University’s endowment continued to be among the best performing in the nation and surpassed the $2 billion mark.
  • The University’s connections to the city were strengthened through significantly increased numbers of community-based learning programs, endowment of Partners in the Arts, and the establishment of UR Downtown. 

Upon stepping down, Ayers remained a member of the Richmond faculty.  As a professor, he continued the distinguished career of teaching and scholarship he sustained as president — both through his teaching of a First-Year Seminar and through the Digital Scholarship Lab, where he and his colleagues continued to work on the digital atlas of American history, funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Frederic William Boatwright
Frederic William Boatwright

Frederic William Boatwright

President, 1895-1946

Born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, on January 28, 1868, Frederic William Boatwright was the oldest child of Rev. Reuben Baker Boatwright and Maria Elizabeth (Woodruff) Boatwright. Rev. Reuben Baker Boatwright was the grandson of a Revolutionary soldier, an alumnus of Richmond College, and one of the 10 Virginians who attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary during the first year of its existence.

Dr. Boatwright’s first schooling consisted of private instruction by his father. In 1876, he entered a private school conducted by Captain D. C. Miller in Marion, Virginia, where he remained for two years. He then attended for two years the public school in Marion where his father was principal. He worked for three years at a printing office in Marion; during the third year of this work, he attended a private school for two hours a day. Boatwright came to Richmond intending to follow the printer’s trade, but through the influence of Dr. William E. Hatcher he entered Richmond College in 1883.

He graduated from Richmond College in 1888 with the Master of Arts degree. He did graduate work in 1889-1890 at the Universities of Halle and the Sorbonne, and again in 1892 at the University of Leipzig.

Dr. Boatwright received an LL.D. degree from Mercer University in 1896, from Georgetown College in 1913, from Baylor University in 1920, and from the University of Richmond in 1946. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humanities by the Medical College of Virginia in 1945. He was President of the Baptist General Association of Virginia for three successive years.

He was married on December 23, 1890, to Miss Ellen Moore Thomas of Taylorsville, Kentucky. His children were Frederic William Boatwright, Jr., who died at the age of 13, and Mrs. Evelyn Boatwright Lynch of Richmond.

He was connected with Richmond College and the University of Richmond for 68 years, from the time he enrolled as a student in 1883 until his death in 1951. While a student at Richmond College, he was appointed Assistant in Greek and Director of the Gymnasium, and served in these capacities from 1887–1889. While studying in Europe in 1889–90 he was elected to the Chair of Modern Languages, which he held until 1946.

He was elected President of Richmond College on December 11, 1894, and served until June 1946, perhaps the longest tenure of a College President in the United States. His presidency began the year after a great financial panic. He was only 27 when he assumed the office. The College had great financial difficulties and its future was uncertain. There were nine professors and 183 students. The annual income was less than $30,000, the total resources of the College were less than $500,000. Within three years, he raised the money and built a Science Building costing approximately $25,000. During his long term as President he conducted many campaigns that brought in millions of dollars for buildings and endowment.

When he resigned from the Presidency, the institution was on a new campus of 300 acres, the University assets totaled more than $7 million, the annual income was $650,000, there were more than 100 members of the faculty, the curriculum had been expanded and modernized, the student body had surpassed 4,000, and there were six divisions of the University.

On resigning as President, he was made Chancellor of the University of Richmond, and held this office until his death. “Boatwright Drive” and “Boatwright Memorial Library” on the University of Richmond campus bear testimony to his great service to the institution.

He died October 31, 1951, at his home on the campus. His remains lay in state in the Henry M. Cannon Memorial Chapel with an honor guard of University of Richmond students. The funeral services were conducted by his pastor, Dr. Theodore F. Adams. President George M. Modlin read the Scripture, Dr. Solon B. Cousins made the prayer, and Douglas S. Freeman delivered a eulogy. He was buried in the University of Richmond section in Hollywood Cemetery.

- Excerpted from Hackley, Woodford B., Faces on the Wall - Brief Sketches of the MEN and WOMEN whose PORTRAITS and BUSTS were on the campus of the University of Richmond in 1955, Virginia Baptist Historical Society, 1972.

Samuel A. Banks
Samuel A. Banks

Samuel A. Banks

President, 1986 - 1987

Born and raised in Florida, Dr. Samuel Alston Banks earned a bachelor’s degree with Phi Beta Kappa honors at Duke University, a master’s degree in divinity at Emory University and a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Chicago.

President Banks has been a member of the undergraduate, graduate and professional school faculties of private and public universities. He taught at Drew University for three years before moving to the University of Florida College of Medicine at Gainesville in 1962 as one of the first humanities professors in the nation appointed to a medical college faculty. At the time of his election to the President of Dickinson College in 1975, he was Chief of the Division of Social Sciences and Humanities in the College of Medicine. He founded the first program in the nation integrating the humanities into the curricula of medical schools.

During his 11-year presidency at Dickinson, the value of the endowment portfolio tripled and the level of annual giving also tripled, while admission applications increased more than twofold. Dr. Banks oversaw a large renovation resulting in a new Life/Sports Learning Center, a Center for the Arts and new quarters for Dickinson’s programs in International Education, Languages, Social Studies, Psychology and Geology. Dr. Banks lectured at the Dickinson School of Law and served as Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Science at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Banks showed creative leadership in the higher education community. He believed strongly in innovation that preserved the value of the traditional strengths of higher education in America. He focused on examination of the basic purposes of liberal arts institutions and identification of concrete models to fundamentally address the ways colleges and universities can educate students most effectively.

Dr. Banks retired early due to health reasons and passed away in September 2000.

James H. Barnett, Jr.
James H. Barnett, Jr.
Barnett, Jr.

James H. Barnett, Jr.


A 1917 graduate of the Law School, he became a full-time faculty member in 1920 and served for 48 years. He was instrumental in changing the Law School from an evening school to a full-time day school, and under his leadership the Law School won accreditation with the Association of American Law Schools. He tried to instill in his students the importance of digging hard to find relevant facts and understand them all. Golf was his favorite pastime. The university awarded him an honorary LLD in 1970.

Stephanie M. Bennett
Stephanie M. Bennett

Stephanie M. Bennett

Dean, Westhampton College 1976 - 1985

Dr. Stephanie M. Bennett received a bachelor of arts in history and English and master’s degree in English from the University of New Mexico. In 1973, she received a Ph.D. in American civilization from the University of Iowa. She completed post-doctoral work in American Revolutionary history at the University of Michigan and was named Michigan’s outstanding Young Woman in 1974.

She began her teaching career as an instructor at Loretto Heights College in Denver and was an assistant professor at Albion College before becoming dean of Westhampton. In an interview with the Collegian on her arrival, she stated, “Women can discover their potential and gain confidence in their leadership abilities more readily in a women’s college, where opportunities are greater.”

After her arrival, Bennett instituted regularly scheduled receptions for students at the Deanery. Approximately 100 students were invited at random to each event. During the course of the year, each Westhampton student would have the opportunity to attend a reception. The goal of these events was to give each student the opportunity to visit the Deanery and to bring together a diverse group of people to visit informally.

In 1980, the WILL program was created at Westhampton College, in response to scholarship demonstrating that the self-confidence of women students plummets in their college years and to studies advocating the benefits of single-sex educational experiences. Convinced that institutions of higher learning were not adequately responding to women's needs, Westhampton College developed the WILL program under the leadership of Dr. Bennett.

In Claire Rosenbaum’s “A Gem of a College,” Bennett is quoted as saying, “Today, women are taking their undeniable place in the workforce and making significant contributions that transcend and complement their important roles as homemaker and mother. It has finally been acknowledged that the soundness of their educational experiences is the keystone to the fulfillment and sense of self so important to success in all of the roles that women must play.”

Dr. Bennett was also involved outside the campus. She was president of the Chesapeake American Studies Association and the president of the Southern Association of Colleges for Women. She was a state coordinator for the National Identification Program for the Advancement of Women Administrators in Higher Education. She founded the Virginia Women’s Studies Association and directed its first conference.

In 1985, Bennett left Westhampton College to accept the presidency of Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey. She was appointed as the first female president of that institution. On her departure, William Leftwich, vice president of student affairs, said, “I think she provided a good blend in terms of student life and academic strengths. She sustained contacts with alumnae and stimulated strong interest in Westhampton College. She was also a good spokesperson for women’s needs and interests.

Lewis Thomas Booker, Esq.
Lewis Thomas Booker, Esq.
Booker, Esq.

Lewis Thomas Booker, Esq.

Rector of the Board of Trustees, University of Richmond, 1973-1977, 1981-1985, 1991-1994

The fourth generation of his family to attend the University of Richmond, Lewis Booker received a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University in 1950 and a law degree from Harvard in 1953, after which he served in the U.S. Army in Korea and at the Pentagon. He has been a member of the University of Richmond’s Board of Trustees since 1972, serving three terms as rector. Since 2002, he has served as trustee emeritus. Booker received the honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Richmond in 1977, the Trustees’ Distinguished Service Award in 1982 and the President’s Medal in 2002.

Mr. Booker established the Russell E. and Leslie Sessoms Booker Scholarship in 1978 to honor his mother, Leslie Sessoms Booker, W’22 who served as alumnae secretary for the Westhampton College alumnae association from 1943–1968 and his father, Russell E. Booker, R’24, L’29, who taught in the law school and was executive director of the Virginia State Bar for many years. The scholarship gives preference to residents of Virginia and members of a Baptist Church affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia.

In May 1994, Mr. Booker was presented with the Alumni of the University of Richmond Award for Distinguished Service. He was praised for his “extraordinarily good judgment, exemplary integrity, and uncommon devotion to the University in leading it to a position of exceptional strength.” That year, the Booker Hall of Music, a wing of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts, was named in honor of Mr. Booker and his parents. The Lewis T. Booker Professorship of Religion and Ethics was established by the University of Richmond to honor him in 1994.

Lewis Booker has been a distinguished member of the Richmond legal community since he joined Hunton & Williams in 1956. He is currently senior counsel with Hunton & Williams and a substitute district judge for the 13th Judicial District (Virginia).

Mr. Booker’s service to local organizations includes the Richmond Symphony Orchestra Endowment, the Richmond Symphony Council, the Christian Children’s Fund and the Richmond Eye & Ear Hospital. He has served as chairman of the Westminster–Canterbury Foundation board, vice chairman of the Robins Foundation board and as a member of the board of Second Baptist Church. Mr. Booker is a fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation and a recipient of both the Hunter Martin Professionalism Award and the Hill-Tucker Public Service Award of the Bar Association of the City of Richmond. He is chairman of the Virginia Law Foundation Fellows.

Booker’s grandson, Richard Thomas Booker, is a member of the Richmond Class of 2008.

Austin Brockenbrough, III
Austin Brockenbrough, III
Brockenbrough, III

Austin Brockenbrough, III

Rector of the Board of Trustees, University of Richmond, 1994-1998

Austin Brockenbrough III received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Richmond’s School of Business Administration, now the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business, in 1962. He has served as a Richmond trustee since 1988 and received the Trustees’ Distinguished Service Award in 1998. Brockenbrough also received the Alumni of the University of Richmond Award for Distinguished Service in 1992.

During Mr. Brockenbrough’s leadership as rector of the Board of Trustees, the Modlin Center for the Arts was opened and dedicated in 1996 and the Jepson Alumni Center was opened and dedicated in 1997.

In 1987, Mr. and Mrs. Austin Brockenbrough III and the late Mrs. Elizabeth G. Henry, Mrs. Brockenbrough’s mother, established The Brockenbrough Family Scholarship at the University of Richmond. This merit scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional academic ability as well as outstanding leadership, character and personal motivation in high school.

Mr. Brockenbrough is a founding partner of Lowe, Brockenbrough & Company, Inc., a private investment-counseling firm. Today he is the firm’s managing director and president. Brockenbrough is a director of the Tredegar Corporation and a trustee of The Williamsburg Investment Trust.

A dedicated community volunteer, Mr. Brockenbrough is a trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond, the Medical College of Virginia Foundation and the Virginia Historical Society, Inc. He is also a director of the Virginia Sargeant Reynolds Foundation and the Christian Children’s Fund as well as a member of the boards of governors of the Virginia Home for Boys and St. Christopher’s School.

Robert L. Burrus Jr., Esq.
Robert L. Burrus Jr., Esq.
Burrus Jr., Esq.

Robert L. Burrus Jr., Esq.

Rector of the Board of Trustees 1998-2002

Robert L. Burrus Jr. received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Richmond in 1955 and a law degree from Duke University in 1958. He has served the University of Richmond as a trustee since 1992 and received the Trustees’ Distinguished Service Award in 2002. Burrus also received the Alumni of the University of Richmond Award for Distinguished Service in 1998 and the Charles S. Rhyne Award from Duke University, which honors law alumni for significant contributions to public service.

In 2002, the Robert L. Burrus Jr. Scholarship Program for Developing Leaders was established at the University of Richmond by colleagues, friends and family members of Mr. Burrus. The program honors Burrus as a leader of the University, the legal profession and the Richmond community. Currently, the program supports internships for undergraduates in Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies.

Mr. Burrus is a partner and chairman of McGuireWoods LLP. He is a director of CSX Corporation, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and S&K Famous Brands, Inc. Burrus is also a member of the board of visitors of Duke University’s School of Law and a trustee of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Foundation. He formerly served as chairman of the Virginia Bar Association’s Corporate Law Committee and as chairman and a corporation law revisor for the Virginia State Bar’s Business Law Section.

A dedicated community volunteer, Mr. Burrus has served as a trustee of the Historic Richmond Foundation, the Richmond Children’s Museum and the Virginia Historical Society as well as director and chairman of Richmond Renaissance, Inc. He also served as chairman of the State Council on Higher Education for Virginia and on the Governor’s Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.

William E. Cooper
William E. Cooper

William E. Cooper

President, 1998 - 2007

Dr. William E. Cooper was appointed President of the University of Richmond in 1998. During Dr. Cooper's tenure, the University created and began implementing an ambitious 10-year strategic plan and a comprehensive campus master plan. Both provide inspiring direction and a strong sense of momentum for the future.

To support many of the initiatives outlined in the strategic plan, Dr. Cooper authorized the launch of the Transforming Bright Minds campaign in March 2004 to raise $200 million by 2008. In December 2006, the campaign exceeded its goal and concluded in June 2007, a year and a half ahead of schedule. The campaign established more than 100 new scholarships and faculty chairs, as well as major capital improvements.

Dr. Cooper’s bold thinking and clear vision for Richmond’s future fostered a climate welcoming of entrepreneurial and synergistic spirit. His creation of the Richmond Quest, an innovative program designed to engender intellectual inquiry and cohesion, led to the development of unique courses, symposia and student research projects.

In a move inspired by the wishes of Richmond’s founding fathers, Dr. Cooper oversaw the development of a policy that commits the University to meeting the full financial need of all students who enroll at Richmond. This policy served to increase the number of undergraduate applications, diversify the pool, enhance selectivity and improve yield on offers of admission.

Other notable achievements throughout Dr. Cooper’s tenure include the creation of the President’s Council of Emerging Leaders, a group of prominent young alumni that serves as an advisory board for important issues, and the President’s Working Group, comprised of senior administrators with the goal of encouraging synergies across divisions and schools. The University’s relationship with the Pew Charitable Trusts was deepened under Dr. Cooper’s watch, with three different multi-million dollar projects falling under the institution’s purview. As a corollary, the University launched the D.C. Initiative, a network of administrative leaders, faculty, alumni and friends in the Washington D.C. metro area who work together to improve student recruitment, enhance educational programs and expand opportunities for career development. Dr. Cooper also engineered the move of Richmond’s intercollegiate athletic program to the Atlantic 10 conference, to better align athletics with a major geographical footprint with implications for admissions, fundraising and institutional marketing.

Through judicious use of resources, excellent financial planning and the generation of new revenue, the University’s endowment grew from $751 million in 1998 to over $1 billion in 2004.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Cooper received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Brown University in 1973 and a Ph.D. in cognitive science from M.I.T. in 1976. At Brown, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and received the Harold Schlosberg Award. After a postdoctoral fellowship at M.I.T., he served as a faculty member at Harvard and subsequently at the University of Iowa and Tulane University, where he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Beginning in 1996, he served as Executive Vice President for the Main Campus at Georgetown University.

Dr. Cooper has authored or co-authored five books and over one hundred articles on brain mechanisms involving speech perception and production, including articles in journals such as Nature, Cognitive Psychology, the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and Cognition. He has received support for research from the National Institutes of Health and has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow, and recipient of the Bruce Lindsay Award of the Acoustical Society of America. In addition, he has published numerous essays on public policy and higher education and poems on topics ranging from life in Brazil to raising his two daughters with his wife, Dr. Clarissa S. Holmes.

Otis D. Coston
Otis D. Coston

Otis D. Coston

Rector of the Board of Trustees, 2002-2006

Otis D. Coston Jr. graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor of science degree in 1956 and from Harvard Business School with an MBA degree in 1961. He has served as a trustee of the University of Richmond since 1991.

Coston and his wife, Jacquelyn W. Coston, a member of the University’s Board of Associates, have made significant contributions to the University through their exemplary volunteer service and philanthropic support. They established the Coston Family Chair in Leadership and Ethics in 1990, initiated the Leadership Forum in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies in 1992, named the Coston Video Conferencing Classroom in the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business in 1999 and established the Coston Family Fellow in Molecular Biology in 2002.

Mr. Coston, of McLean, Virginia, is chairman of the board and president of Stonemark Corporation, a real estate development firm which he helped found in 1964.

Coston is a trustee of the George Mason University Foundation and has served the United Methodist Family Services agency for more than 20 years, including as its president. In 1999, Coston became the first chair of the Guardian Foundation with the responsibility of raising funds for Charterhouse School, which was established by the UMFS in 1979 to serve the special needs of at-risk students.

The Costons’ two children, JoAnna and Paul, graduated from the University in 1989 and 1981, respectively.

Ralph Adams Cram
Ralph Adams Cram

Ralph Adams Cram


In 1863, Ralph Adams Cram was born in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire to William Augustine Cram, a Unitarian minister, and Sarah Elizabeth Blake Cram. At only 18, Cram left home for Boston to apprentice for five years with the architecture firm of Rotch and Tilden. During this time, Cram published his designs in magazines and his art criticism in The Boston Evening Transcript. He went to work for that publication in 1886 and over the next few years made trips to Europe that shaped his career. Not only did his travels ultimately influence his style and studies, but it was on these trips that Cram befriended a Maryland architect, T. Henry Randall, who helped persuade him to return to practicing architecture.

In doing so, Cram established his own architecture practice in Boston with colleague Charles Francis Wentworth in 1889; Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue joined later that year as draftsman. In 1891, they received their first major commission from All Saints in Ashmont. In 1902, the firm opened an office in New York. All Saints was the first of many churches to be built in Cram's Gothic style that would ultimately, in 1907, earn Cram, Goodhue, & Ferguson the commission of Saint Thomas Church in New York. Cram also co-founded the Boston Society of the Arts and Crafts and the "Knight Errant" quarterly magazine, as well as publishing several books on architecture.

In 1900, he married Elisabeth "Bess" Carrington Read and took an extended honeymoon trip to Northern Italy. In 1901, he took his first commission in Virginia with Sweet Briar College. Shortly after relocating the firm to New York in 1902, they received a commission to design buildings at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1907, in addition to the prestigious Saint Thomas commission, Cram accepted the position of supervising architect with Princeton University – a position he held until 1929. And just prior to working with University of Richmond, he also became the chief architect at Rice University in Houston.

In 1910, President Boatwright and the trustees commissioned the firm of Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson to design the new campus for Richmond College and Westhampton College. Cram was already a very well-known architect and the "world’s most persuasive and passionate advocate for the Gothic style." By 1914, when Richmond College and Westhampton College began classes on the new West End campus, he had already received national acclaim for his work on Princeton University and West Point.

The Richmond College commission was slightly unique, however, involving 300 acres of suburban forestland. With Richmond and Westhampton, Cram "had a clean palette. Here, starting from scratch, he could express most purely the medievalism he believed so vehemently could ennoble American campuses, and by extension, future generations."

Cram told a group of Princeton alumni in 1908: "One of the essential elements of all education is that students feel themselves surrounded… by… definite law, from which there is, however, a way out into the broadest and highest freedom. This must absolutely be shown in the material form of the university."

In June of 1913, Cram spoke at the cornerstone laying on the new Richmond campus. He shared with students and faculty his vision for the campus, saying, "What we are trying to do is to abandon all that is ephemeral and time-saving in architecture and go back to the perfect style that was developed by our own kin in the old home overseas, to express just these high and eternal ideals of education that were so calculated to breed high character, and did breed it, as history shows."

Ralph Adams Cram died in Boston in 1942.

-- Excerpted from: "Ralph Adams Cram, The University of Richmond, and the Gothic Style Today" published by the Marsh Art Gallery, University of Richmond. 1997.

Fanny Graves Crenshaw
Fanny Graves Crenshaw

Fanny Graves Crenshaw

Director of Athletics, Westhampton College 1914 - 1955
Professor of Physical Education, Emerita, 1973-1984

Fanny Graves Crenshaw was born in Richmond, Virginia, January 17, 1890, the daughter of Spotswood Dabney Crenshaw, a native of Richmond, and Anne Warfield (Clay) Crenshaw, a native of Kentucky.

Miss Crenshaw received her preparatory school education at Virginia Randolph Ellett’s School in Richmond, Virginia. From the age of twelve until she reached college level, she was active in only one sport, horseback riding.

She attended college at Bryn Mawr – receiving her A.B. degree in History and Economics in 1912. While there, she served as Treasurer of the undergraduate Association Stage and Stage Manager for two plays. She was a member of the Dance Club, the Fencing Club, and the History Club.

It was on the field and in the gyms at Bryn Mawr where “she began the love affair with sports that launched a lifetime crusade for physical education for women.” She participated in Class hockey, and was a member of the basketball, track, swimming, water polo, and tennis teams. She was the Track Team Captain, a Track champion, and a member of the Varsity Hockey Team. She went on to set six world records in women’s track. Jane Thorpe (WC 58) recalls “at age 65, she could outrun us all.”

In 1912, after her graduation, she began teaching Mathematics and History at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond. She continued to teach there until 1922, when she decided to devote all her time to Westhampton College. During the summers of 1919 through 1929, she was the Director of Camp Pukwana on Sebago Lake, Maine. During the summer of 1942, Miss Crenshaw stayed on campus to spot planes with 18 students volunteering to aid the war effort.

Miss Crenshaw was one of the first hires at Westhampton College. She joined the faculty as the physical education and recreation instructor at the beginning of the first term in 1914. She recalls having the “girls run, hike, climb trees, jump ditches – anything [she] could think of to give them exercise. They girls wore bloomers and shirts in their class colors and stockings up high so that no part of the leg was shown.” With one basketball and North Court green as a basketball court, her strongest resource was the group of “enthusiastic girls.”

She used the lake as a resource as well – teaching swimming and lifesaving. This practice stopped “a few years after the college opened” since the lake became polluted. When they could, she transported classes to the Richmond YWCA, but ultimately class schedules became too tight. Saddened, Miss Crenshaw was unable to teach swimming for some time; she called it the “great hiatus.”

The North Court Green, the lake, and the YWCA were only a few of the many unusual locations that Miss Crenshaw held classes. At various times, they met in the North Court tower room, in a frame building below the powerhouse, and in the chapel building. “When the college was moved into town during World War I, she taught gymnastics classes on the roof of St. Luke’s Hospital.” When they returned, they transformed the Red Cross Building into a temporary home for athletics, sharing the space with the music and drama activities.

In 1916, Miss Crenshaw was able to introduce field hockey to Virginia; at the time, it was still virtually unknown in the state. In the fall of 1919, Sweet Briar invited Westhampton to play them in hockey in what was the first women’s intercollegiate athletic contest in Virginia.

Miss Crenshaw won national recognition for her work in Field Hockey, and with her coaching Westhampton College won distinction in this sport as well. She was elected vice president of the United States Field Hockey Association during the first year of its existence. After hosting the 1933 tournament, she was named president of the Virginia Field Hockey Association. Additionally, she served as a National Field Hockey Umpire, a National Judge for the sport, and member of the committees that selected the United States Hockey Team in 1954 and published the Hockey Guide. The All-English Touring Hockey Team chose Westhampton College as the site of the only Southern game played during their tour of the United States in 1947.

Field hockey was not the only team that excelled under Miss Crenshaw’s leadership. In 1946, the Westhampton Women’s Basketball team celebrated an undefeated season. As a coach, she had “a hand in all the sports played at Westhampton and had coached many of the teams through undefeated seasons.” One of her early students, Jennie Phillips (WC 1917), said “[w]e boast of an unusual interest in athletics at Westhampton, for almost all girls take an active part in either tennis, hockey, basket-ball, or track and a good majority are interested in more than one phase.”

Her other affiliations include her membership of the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation; in fact, she served as president of the Virginia Association. She was a National Basketball official and a National Judge for the sport. She was a member of Mortar Board and was active with the campus chapter. She was a member of the Westham Research Club and the Preservation of Virginia antiquities.

The college opened at a time when many people still questioned whether women should receive physical education, but Dean Keller required Westhampton students to take four years of it. Keller Hall, the women’s social building and gym, was dedicated in November 1936 and was considered on of the “most substantial and beautiful” buildings on the campus.

Though in the original plans for Keller Hall included the pool, the Fanny G. Crenshaw Pool was not completed until fall 1963. Budget was tight for the project and the pool was eliminated from the initial scope. The pool was designed to be 35 feet wide and 75 feet, one inch long, an inch longer than the Olympic standard, at Miss Crenshaw's request. Miss Crenshaw herself served as chair and personal solicitor on the Westhampton College alumnae special gifts committee. It took three years to raise the funds for the pool; groundbreaking took place in 1962 and dedication at the 1963 Westhampton College Alumnae Day.

After four decades of service, Miss Crenshaw was still coaching all the Varsity teams in 1955. She was the final member of the “Old Guard” in service on the campus. She had been a vital part of Westhampton since the very beginning of the college. However, at her request, she retired at the end of the 1954-1955 session, having served Westhampton longer than any other faculty member at that time. One student shared that although Miss Crenshaw was not required to retire at age 65, that the “story goes that she said when she could no longer climb the rope to the top of Keller Hall gymnasium, it was time for her to retire.”

In retirement, Miss Crenshaw did volunteer teaching at McGuire Veterans Hospital, she was active in the Woman’s Club of Richmond, and with St. Paul’s Church. She traveled extensively, taking one trip around the world. During those travels, she attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and climbed North Cape on the tip of Norway. She was the first woman inducted into University of Richmond’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979. Her many accomplishments and involvements aside, she has said “the greatest thrill is [her] contact with the girls [at Westhampton College].”

In 1965, two days after her 75th birthday, Miss Crenshaw completed 50 miles of swimming in her namesake pool and was awarded a Red Cross card and badge reading “Swim and Stay Fit.” She swam regularly in retirement, three times a week for three-fourths of a mile on average.

In 1979 Miss Crenshaw was inducted into the University of Richmond Athletic Hall of Fame, the first woman to receive that honor. In 1984, at age 94, Miss Crenshaw died at her home at Westminster Canterbury, Richmond. Her accomplishments in women’s athletics continue to be her legacy today.

- Adapted from biographies in Faces on the Wall, The History of University of Richmond, 1830 – 1971, A Gem of a College, The Collegian

On April 15, 1993, Fanny Graves Crenshaw was added to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff. 

Ronald A. Crutcher
Ronald A. Crutcher

Ronald A. Crutcher

President, 2015-present

Ronald A. Crutcher, a national leader in higher education, a distinguished classical musician, and an accomplished administrator, took office as the 10th president of the University of Richmond on July 1, 2015. He is also a professor of music.

Crutcher was president of Wheaton College in Massachusetts from 2004–14. During that time, he raised the institution’s profile; increased enrollment and diversity of the student body; created new interdisciplinary faculty positions and academic programs; and ensured the institution’s financial stability during a challenging economic period for all of higher education. Wheaton students consistently garnered prestigious academic honors including Truman, Marshall, Goldwater, Rhodes, and Fulbright Scholarships. Prior to Wheaton, Crutcher was Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University of Ohio.

Throughout his career, Crutcher has actively promoted access, affordability, diversity, and inclusivity. He is a member of the Board of the Posse Foundation, a comprehensive college access and youth leadership development program for public high school students. In 2012, Crutcher received the Posse Star award, which recognized his leadership, significant contributions to the field of education, and positive effects on individual students’ lives. As President of Richmond, he leads a highly selective private university that is one of the few institutions in the country that is both need-blind in admission decisions for domestic undergraduate students and committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of all admitted students.

Crutcher is founding co-chair of Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ national campaign to demonstrate the value of liberal education. He writes and speaks widely on the value of liberal education and the democratic purposes and civic mission of higher education. He has also served on the Boards of the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Fulbright Association and was Chair of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts.

A former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and several other symphonies, he also performed in the U.S. and Europe as a member of The Klemperer Trio with Erika Klemperer (violin) and Gordon Back (piano). He serves on the board of the Richmond Symphony and has served on the boards of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Berklee College of Music. Earlier in his career he was President of Chamber Music America, director of the highly ranked Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, and dean of the Conservatory at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Crutcher was the first cellist to receive the doctor of musical arts degree from Yale, where he also earned his master’s degree. During his graduate study, he received a Fulbright Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University, he has received honorary degrees from Wheaton College (Mass.), Colgate University, and Muhlenberg College.

Crutcher and his wife, Dr. Betty Neal Crutcher, are parents of Sara Elizabeth Crutcher, a graduate of Hampton University.

Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry
Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry

Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry

President of the Board of Trustees, Richmond College, 1882-1886, 1890-1897

J.L.M. Curry graduated from Franklin College, now part of the University of Georgia system, in 1843. He studied law at Harvard and received the bachelor of laws degree there in 1845. Curry received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Mercer University in 1867 and from the University of Georgia in 1887. He was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree by Rochester University in 1871.

Curry was an ordained minister and loved to preach but was never a regular pastor. He served in the Mexican War and later began a law practice before entering politics. Mr. Curry served in the Alabama legislature three times and was a member of the United States Congress from Alabama from 1857-1861.

During the Civil War, Mr. Curry served as lieutenant colonel of Cavalry in the Confederate Army. He was a member of the first permanent Confederate Congress from 1862–1864. In 1865, Curry was named president of Howard College in Alabama.

J.L.M. Curry held the chair of English in Richmond College from 1868–1881. He also taught moral philosophy and constitutional and international law. Curry was one of the three men who inaugurated the Richmond College Law School in 1870. He resigned from the College’s faculty in 1881 and was elected a trustee. Curry served two terms as president of the College’s Board of Trustees.

Mr. Curry was a trustee of Columbian College and of the Farmville Normal School (now Longwood College), executive officer of the Slater Fund for negro schools in the South, a member of the General Education Board, as well as supervisory director of the Southern Education Board. The Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia was named for him.

Curry was U.S. Minister to Spain from 1885–1889. In 1902, he was Ambassador Extraordinary to Spain and received the decoration of the Royal Order of Charles III from the Spanish government.

Mr. Curry was prominent among Baptists in the South. For five years, he was president of the Baptist General Association of Virginia; for 12 years, he was president of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention; and he was a trustee of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Henry Keeling Ellyson
Henry Keeling Ellyson

Henry Keeling Ellyson

President of the Board of Trustees, Richmond College, 1886-1890

Mr. Ellyson, who never had a collegiate education, was apprenticed at age 14 as a printer in the office of the Southern Churchman. In 1841, he started a small job printing office, which soon developed into a thriving and profitable business. After the fire of 1865, he helped revive the Richmond Daily Dispatch, which became the most influential and widely circulated newspaper in Virginia, the forerunner of the Richmond Times–Dispatch. Mr. Ellyson remained in the newspaper business for the rest of his life.

Ellyson was a leading citizen of Richmond and was the leading Baptist layman of his time in Virginia. He was the first secretary of state of the State Mission Board of Virginia, an office he held for 45 years. He was secretary of the General Association of Virginia for seven years as well as a member and deacon of the Second Baptist Church for 47 years.

H.K. Ellyson was a member of the Virginia Legislature from 1854–1856, sheriff of the city of Richmond from 1857–1865, and mayor of Richmond in 1870. He was a director of the First National Bank of Richmond, the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Company and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. Ellyson was also president of the Virginia Steamboat Company and a trustee of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as well as of Richmond Theological Institute.

Mr. Ellyson was a trustee of Richmond College from 1868–1890 and served as president of the Board from 1886–1890. He was named for another president of the Board of Trustees of Richmond College (1841), Henry Keeling, his family’s beloved pastor. Ellyson maintained a close relationship with the faculty and gave much of his time to the College.

Ellyson’s son, J. Taylor Ellyson, served as president of the Board of Trustees of Richmond College from 1908–1919.

James Taylor Ellyson
James Taylor Ellyson

James Taylor Ellyson

President of the Board of Trustees, Richmond College, 1908-1919

J. Taylor Ellyson attended Columbian College in Washington, D.C. and studied at Richmond College from 1866–1867. For the next two years he studied at the University of Virginia, where he graduated in law in 1869.

Ellyson worked as a reporter for his father’s newspaper, the Richmond Daily Dispatch. For about 20 years, he was engaged in the book and stationery business in Richmond. Later, he became secretary-treasurer of the Religious Herald. J. Taylor Ellyson was a director of the Alleghany Coal Company and of several railway companies.

Mr. Ellyson was best known for his political activities. He served on Richmond’s City Council for many years, represented Richmond in the Virginia Senate from 1885–1888 and was mayor of Richmond for three terms from 1888–1894. Ellyson was lieutenant governor of Virginia for three terms, from 1906–1918, and was twice a candidate for governor. For about 25 years, he was chairman of the Virginia State Democratic Committee, and for much of that period he was Virginia’s representative on the National Democratic Committee. Ellyson was chairman of the Richmond City School Board for 16 years.

For 46 years J. Taylor Ellyson was secretary of the Virginia Baptist Education Board (1873–1919). He was president of the Baptist General Association of Virginia from 1890–1892. For more than a generation he was teacher or superintendent in the Sunday school of the Second Baptist Church of Richmond, where he was also a deacon for 30 years.

Mr. Ellyson was a trustee of Richmond College from 1891–1919, succeeding his father on the Board. He was president of the Board of Trustees when Richmond College moved to Westhampton. The J. Taylor Ellyson Award in History was established in 1912 and is awarded for the best student essay in Virginia on Southern history.

Douglas Southall Freeman
Douglas Southall Freeman

Douglas Southall Freeman

Rector of the Board of Trustees, University of Richmond, 1934-1950

Douglas Southall Freeman, a Richmond College graduate of 1904, is one of the University’s most illustrious alumni. He went on to Johns Hopkins University to earn his Ph.D. in history in 1908 and had 25 honorary doctorate degrees, including ones from Yale, Princeton, and Columbia. In 1923, Freeman received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Richmond.

Dr. Freeman served the University of Richmond as a member of the Board of Trustees for 25 years, 16 of them as rector. The University “laid the foundation of his intellectual life,” according to his daughter, Mary Tyler Cheek McClenahan, H’85, “and was a source of proud devotion as long as he lived.” At Richmond, he studied history under Dr. Samuel Chiles Mitchell, one of two men who Mrs. McClenahan says had the greatest influence on his life. The other was his father, Walker Burford Freeman, who fought with Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

Freeman listed the accomplishments during his tenure as rector at the University of Richmond as surviving the Depression without a deficit, establishing a retirement system for professors, and raising $1 million for Keller Hall, the library and other structures. He helped reorganize the law school to meet the highest professional requirements and developed a new business school.

In 1936, friends of Dr. Freeman established the Dr. Douglas Southall Freeman Library Fund for the purchase of books in history. The University Mace was donated to the University of Richmond by Freeman in 1947 and was to be inscribed each successive year for a full century with the name of the outstanding student at the University of Richmond. Freeman Hall, opened in 1965 as a residence hall at the University, was named for Dr. Freeman.

In 1983, the Douglas Southall Freeman Chair in History was established to honor this man, whom Admiral Chester W. Nimitz called “the most outstanding historian of our time.” Each year, the chair brings to the University nationally prominent historians who interact with students, faculty and the Richmond community as Freeman scholars-in-residence. The fund has sponsored several symposia on historical topics.

This two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for his biographies of Robert E. Lee and George Washington was admired by presidents and generals. As military historian/biographer, editor of the Richmond News Leader for 34 years, Richmond radio news commentator, scholar, lecturer and teacher, his influence on his country, state and city was profound, as were his contributions to his alma mater.

David Johnson, a 1987 graduate of Richmond Law, said that when Freeman appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1948, he was “at the apex of his national reputation. He was known as the greatest military historian and biographer in America.” Today, “his books Lee’s Lieutenants and R.E. Lee are still the definitive authority on these topics.”

The passing years brought Douglas Southall Freeman many activities and honors. He served as a member and trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the General Education Board and the Council of the Library of the Congress. He served for years as a director of the Southern Railway. He and William Faulkner, a Nobel Prize novelist, were the only Southern members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Robert Edwin Gaines
Robert Edwin Gaines

Robert Edwin Gaines


He was professor of mathematics from 1890–1948. Affectionately dubbed “Professor Whiskers” by his students, he served as Dean of Richmond College from 1919–1922 and as Dean of the Graduate School from 1922–1939.

Mary Louise Gehring
Mary Louise Gehring

Mary Louise Gehring

Dean, Westhampton College 1965-1976

Dr. Mary Louise Gehring was appointed to be the new Dean of Westhampton College on April 30, 1965. Prior to coming to the University of Richmond, she served for eight years as chair of the Department of Speech and Drama at Stetson University. She also taught at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Louisiana State University, Mississippi Southern College, the University of Iowa and the University of Wisconsin.

She received her bachelor of arts degree from Baylor University. Her doctorate was from Louisiana State University. Dr. Gehring was the co-author of “Speech Practices” and was active in the Speech Association of America. She served as secretary of the Southern Speech Association and was a member of the American Association of University Women.

In WWII, she worked in Japan as a civilian employee with the War Department for a one-year period. She also served as an ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard.

President George M. Modlin announced her appointment and said that she had "the academic background, the leadership qualities and the traits of character and personality to make her successful in this position.”

During her tenure, the Fine Arts Building was completed, which she said “greatly helped the programs and morale of Westhampton students.” According to Claire Rosenbaum in A Gem of a College, this enabled Keller Hall to “revert to its original purpose of housing the Department of Health and Physical Education, student activities, and alumnae services. In addition, College Government once again had an office and a conference room, more rooms were available for students to use for dating and club activities, and the Director of Religious Activities was provided with enlarged quarters there.”

Dean Gehring worked to improve the residence hall facilities for Westhampton College students. In 1969 she reported that a new residence was needed to increase the number of rooms available and that the furnishings in North Court were long overdue for replacement. In August, 1974, Gray Court opened as the third Westhampton College residence hall.

In 1975, a new Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences was appointed to focus on faculty affairs, instructional matters and academics. This allowed the Deans of Westhampton and Richmond Colleges to focus on students and their needs, helping to better integrate the academic and extracurricular experience.

In 1976, Dean Gehring left Westhampton College to accept a position at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Claire Rosenbaum tells us: “While at Westhampton she… led the faculty and students with dedication, intelligence and strength through the changes which occurred after the Robins gift.”

William E. Hatcher
William E. Hatcher

William E. Hatcher

President of the Board of Trustees, Richmond College 1897-1908

William E. Hatcher entered Richmond College in 1854 and graduated in 1858 with a bachelor of arts degree. While at Richmond College, he helped found the Philologian Literary Society and was prominent in every religious movement. Hatcher was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree by the College in 1872. He also received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Denison and an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Colgate.

Hatcher was elected a trustee of Richmond College in 1870 and served on the Board the remaining 42 years of his life. When the trustees were divided as to the wisdom of enlarging the institution and moving to its present site, Hatcher made a speech in favor of these plans that carried the day. He also served for five years as financial agent for Richmond College. The William E. Hatcher Memorial Fund was established in 1912 as an unrestricted endowment.

In 1857, Hatcher was ordained as a minister at Mt. Herman Baptist Church in Bedford County, Va. He served as pastor at a number of churches including Grace Street Baptist Church in Richmond from 1875–1901.

Mr. Hatcher was president of the Baptist General Association of Virginia for two successive years, 1888–1889. Hatcher was president of the Education Board of the Baptist General Association of Virginia from 1875–1901.

Hatcher was a trustee of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, president of the board of trustees of the Woman’s College of Richmond from 1892–93 and president of the board of trustees of the Virginia Baptist Orphanage. He was the founder of Fork Union Academy and president of its board of trustees.

Mr. Hatcher was a junior editor of the Religious Herald from 1882–1885. For a number of years he was editor of the Baltimore Baptist and a number of other Baptist publications. He was the author of several books including Life of J. B. Jeter, John Jasper, Along the Trail of the Friendly Years, and The Pastor and the Sunday School.

Isabel Harris
Isabel Harris

Isabel Harris

Isabel Harris was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, December 10, 1877, the daughter of Dr. Henry Herbert Harris and Emma Jane (Bibb) Harris. Her father was Professor of Greek in Richmond College for 29 years.

Miss Harris received her preparatory education in the preparatory department of the Richmond Female Institute, at the Richmond High School, and at the Miss Peers’ School for Girls in Louisville, Kentucky.

From 1896–1897, she attended Hollins College. In the fall of 1900, she entered Richmond College and studied there for two sessions, after which she taught for three years. She again attended Richmond College in 1905 and graduated in 1906 with a bachelor of arts degree. At Richmond College, she won the James D. Crump prize in Mathematics, and was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and a member of the Chi Epsilon Literary Society.

She received the degree of Master of Arts from Columbia University in 1921. She completed additional graduate coursework at the University of Chicago and at Harvard University.

From 1902 to 1905, Miss Harris taught English and Anglo-Saxon at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. When she joined the Richmond College community as a professor, she started with the Woman’s College of Richmond ,where she taught mathematics from 1913–1915. She became one of the founders of the Collegiate School for Girls in Richmond in 1915 and taught Mathematics there until 1920. Between 1921 and 1922, she relocated to teach mathematics with the Woman’s College in Greenville, South Carolina.

Joining the faculty of Westhampton College, she became Associate Professor of Mathematics. She served Westhampton for 27 years as faculty, during which time she taught both mathematics and astronomy. She retired in 1949.

Miss Harris joined her brother and her father as the third member of her family to serve Richmond College or the University of Richmond in a teaching capacity. The terms of service of these three members of the Harris family totaled 96 years.

Miss Harris was an exceptional mathematician and teacher. More than mathematics and astronomy, Miss Harris taught “the value of hard work and self-discipline and the well-rounded life.” During her whole term of service with Westhampton, she lived in the College dormitory. Working and living closely with “the girls,” she was greatly loved and admired.

She was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Mathematical Association, the American Astronomical Society, the Virginia Academy of Science and the Richmond Astronomical Society. She belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Mu Epsilon, and Mortar Board Honor Societies, and the Phi Delta Gamma Graduate fraternity. In her retirement, she taught with the Richmond Professional Institute and remained a member of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, the American Association of University Women and the Women’s Club of Richmond. She was a member of the Elizabeth Kates Foundation and Second Baptist Church.

On three occasions, Miss Harris represented learned organizations at international conventions. In 1925, she represented the American Association of University Women at an international convention at Oslo, Norway. In 1936, she was a delegate to the International Congress of Mathematicians at Oslo, Norway, and also a delegate the same year to the International Federation of University Women at Krakow, Poland. She was Chairman of the Astronomy, Mathematics, and Physics section of the Virginia Academy of Science for one term.

She has published articles in School Science and Mathematics and in the Phi Delta Gamma Monthly. As a member of the Westham Research Club, she edited and prepared papers for them as well.

Miss Harris died on October 20, 1960, at her sister’s home in Lynchburg, Virginia. Her memorial service took place at Cannon Memorial Chapel on campus and her burial at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

- Adapted from: Faces on the Wall; The Collegian; A Gem of a College, The History of Westhampton College, 1914-1989

E. Bruce Heilman
E. Bruce Heilman

E. Bruce Heilman

President, 1971-1986
Interim Appointment 1987-1988

E. Bruce Heilman became Chancellor at the University of Richmond October 1, 1988, after serving as President and Chief Executive Officer for approximately 17 years. Prior to beginning his long association with the University of Richmond in 1971, he had served as President of Meredith College beginning in 1966.

A U.S. Marine during the World War II Pacific Campaign, Dr. Heilman later received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. He was educated at Campbellsville Junior College in Kentucky (now Campbellsville University), the University of Omaha, the University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee, and George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. His master’s and doctoral degrees are from Peabody College with majors in the fields of Business and Education Administration. He also holds honorary LL.D. degrees from Wake Forest University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, and the University of Richmond; Doctor of Humanities from Campbell University and James Madison University; Doctor of Business Administration from the College of the Ozarks; Doctor of Humane Letters from Bridgewater College; a Doctor of Public Service from Campbellsville College; and an Honorary Professorship from Tatung Institute of Technology in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

He has held teaching positions at Belmont University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, and Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. He has served as chief business and financial officer at Kentucky Wesleyan College, Georgetown College and Peabody College, where he also served as Vice President of Administration. He also served as Coordinator of Higher Education for the State of Tennessee, and as Vice President and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Kentucky Southern College.

A renowned and respected educator, he has served as a consultant to many educational, religious, and charitable organizations and been a member and officer of numerous professional and educational boards and organizations. Some of special note include member of the Board of Campbellsville University, advisory board trustee at William Jewell College in Kansas City, member and former Chairman of the Board of the Marine Military Academy in Texas, Member of the Board of Visitors of the Marine Corps University at Quantico as well as serving on the Advisory Review Board of the Service Academies and the Board of Directors of the National Defense University Foundation, Inc.

He serves on the Boards of The Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Richmond SPCA, Robins Foundation, Maymont Foundation, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, and was past chairman and a member of the Board of Metro-County Bank of Virginia.

In addition to his experiences and travels as a Marine in World War II in the South Pacific and Japan, Dr. Heilman has covered more than 140 countries as he has escorted travel groups abroad annually for more than 30 years, and is a member of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club International.

Dr. Heilman holds membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Beta Gamma Sigma, Pi Omega Pi, Kappa Phi Kappa, Lambda Chi Alpha and Kappa Delta Pi. He has been listed in numerous publications including Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in College and University Administration, Leaders in Education, Leaders of the English Speaking World, and Personalities in the South.

Among other honors he was selected as one of the “100 Most Effective College and University Presidents in the USA” through an Exxon Foundation sponsored study; he was named as one of the “Richmond Area’s Most Influential People” in 1984 and 1986; awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Campbellsville University and Peabody College; and selected as one of only two Reverse Exchange Eisenhower Fellows to the Republic of China in 1987. He received the Charles D Johnson Outstanding Educator Award from The Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools in 2004.

Dr. Heilman is married to the former Betty June Dobbins of Louisville, Kentucky, and they have five children and 11 grandchildren. He is a native of LaGrange, Kentucky.

Joseph A. Jennings
Joseph A. Jennings

Joseph A. Jennings

Rector of the Board of Trustees, University of Richmond, 1987-1991

Joseph A. Jennings, born in Richmond, received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Richmond in 1949 following his service in the United States Air Force. He received an advanced degree from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University in 1952. Mr. Jennings was the recipient of the University of Richmond’s Board of Trustees’ Distinguished Service Award in 1978. He also received an honorary doctor of commercial science degree from the University in 1980 and an honorary doctor of laws degree from Virginia Union University in 1981.

Mr. Jennings distinguished himself in his community as a leader and respected businessman during his 47-year career, retiring in 1986 as chairman of the board of United Virginia Bankshares, now SunTrust Banks, Inc. In 1983, a grant from United Virginia Bankshares was made to the University of Richmond to establish the Joseph A. Jennings Chair in Business in recognition of Mr. Jennings’ years of service to the University. Jennings also established the Joseph A. Jennings Scholarship in 1989 at the University for students from Virginia with financial need.

Jennings has served as a director of Universal Leaf Foundation and the GE Foundation. He has been a trustee of Hollins University, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, St. Christopher’s School, St. Catherine’s School and Union Theological Seminary.

Mr. Jenning’s son, Joseph A. Jennings III, received an M.B.A. degree from the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business in 1993.

Jeremiah Bell Jeter
Jeremiah Bell Jeter

Jeremiah Bell Jeter

President of the Executive Board, Virginia Baptist Education Society, 1835-1842

President of the Board of Managers, Virginia Baptist Seminary, 1835-1842
President of the Board of Trustees, Richmond College, 1868-1872, 1873-1880

Jeremiah Jeter, born in Bedford County, Va., was educated in its “old field” schools. He was offered a college education but declined the offer on the advice of older ministers because his services were needed immediately. Jeter and Daniel Witt were the first missionaries of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Jeremiah Jeter was ordained as a minister in 1924.

In 1830, Mr. Jeter was a founder of the Virginia Baptist Education Society, the institution that established the Virginia Baptist Seminary two years later. The Seminary became Richmond College in 1840 by charter of Virginia’s General Assembly. Jeter was a dedicated president of the Seminary’s Board of Managers and of the College’s Board of Trustees. In 1889, Mrs. Mary C. Dabbs Jeter established in Richmond College the Jeremiah Bell Jeter Scholarship in memory of her husband. Jeter Hall, a residence hall for men, was built in 1914 at Richmond College as a memorial to Jeremiah Bell Jeter.

Mr. Jeter was pastor of First Baptist Church in Richmond from 1836–1849 and of Grace Street Baptist Church, also in Richmond, from 1852–1870. Present at the formation of the Baptist General Association of Virginia in 1823, Jeter was its president from 1854–1857. He was a leader in forming the Southern Baptist Convention and served as the first president of its Foreign Mission Board. Jeter also served as president of the boards of trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond College and the Richmond Female Institute.

In November 1865, Mr. Jeter helped revive the Religious Herald, where he was a co-owner and co-editor. Jeter wrote most of the Herald’s editorials. In addition to his editorial work, he was the author of several books. Among his published works are a Life of Mrs. Henrietta Shuck, the first American Female Missionary to China; Memoir of the Reverend Andrew Broaddus (1850); Campbellism Examined (1854); The Seal of Heaven (1871); and Recollections of a Long Life.

Tiberius Gracchus Jones
Tiberius Gracchus Jones

Tiberius Gracchus Jones

President, 1866-1869

Born in Powhatan County, Virginia, July 21, 1821, he was the third son of Wood Jones and Elizabeth Trent (Archer) Jones.

At the age of 13, Tiberius Gracchus Jones entered the office of William Sands of the Religious Herald and worked there for five years. In 1839, he entered the Virginia Baptist Seminary, where he studied for three years, including the time when the Seminary was chartered as Richmond College. He studied at the University of Virginia from 1842-1844. He attended William and Mary College during the session of 1844-1845 and graduated there at the end of this session as the valedictorian of his class. He spent the next two years in Alabama, teaching, preaching and studying theology.

Dr. Jones was vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention for several sessions (1874, 1877, and 1878) and Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was the preacher of the introductory sermon before the Virginia General Association on three occasions. In 1873 he preached the introductory sermon before the Southern Baptist Convention. He was offered the presidency of Wake Forest College and also the presidency of Mercer University, but declined in both cases. He received the honorary degree of D.D. from Richmond College.

Jones was the author of the following books: The Great Misnomer, The Duties of Pastors to Churches, and Origin and Continuity of Baptist Churches and also wrote a number of articles for Baptist publications.

When Richmond College was reorganized after the Civil War, Dr. Jones became the second President of the College, being elected to that office on August 24, 1866. Along with the Presidency he held the Chair of Moral Science, and also taught English for two years. He was an excellent teacher – remembered by his students for his brilliant lectures and his striking presentation. He guided the College successfully through a critical period.

 His heart, however, was really in the pulpit, as he was, above all else, a preacher. During his third year as president, he received a call to return to the Freemason Church in Norfolk, where he was pastor when he accepted the position at Richmond College. He accepted the call on August 29, 1869. Dr. Jones was also a Trustee of Richmond College; was elected to the Board while he was President of the College, and continued to serve as a Trustee until he moved to Tennessee in 1871.

In 1919, Mr. Archer G. Jones established at the University of Richmond “The Tiberius Gracchus Jones Memorial Scholarship” in honor of his father.

He was married on November 7, 1848, to Miss Jane Chandler Reins of Richmond. He married as his second wife Miss Martha Ridley of Norfolk, Virginia. He died June 27, 1895, in Richmond at the home of his son-in-law, Mr. John B. Jeffress. Funeral services were held at the residence. He is buried in Hollywood Cemetery.

- Excerpted from Hackley, Woodford B., Faces on the Wall - Brief Sketches of the MEN and WOMEN whose PORTRAITS and BUSTS were on the campus of the University of Richmond in 1955, Virginia Baptist Historical Society, 1972.

Henry Keeling
Henry Keeling

Henry Keeling

President of the Board of Trustees, Richmond College, 1841

Henry Keeling studied at Baptist Seminary in Philadelphia from 1818–1821. Later First Baptist Church, Richmond, asked Keeling to serve as associate pastor under “Father” John Courtney.

Mr. Keeling later operated a school for blacks and, with his wife, ran a “female seminary.” In 1826, he began a monthly magazine, the Evangelical Inquirer. After only 12 issues it ceased publication. However, Henry Keeling envisioned a weekly religious newspaper. It included religious views, inspirational articles, farm reports, obituaries and marriage notices and was for Baptists.

The purpose of the weekly paper, called the Religious Herald, was “to record the building up of the Redeemer’s kingdom ... Acknowledging no authority but the word of God and aiming at the promotion of truth and holiness.” The first issue was published in 1828. Mr. Keeling continued as editor of the Religious Herald until his resignation in 1831.

Henry Keeling was a founder, along with John Kerr and Jeremiah Jeter, of the Virginia Baptist Education Society and was its corresponding secretary. At a meeting held on March 31, 1832, the Education Society agreed to purchase a tract of land to house a seminary to be named “The Virginia Baptist Seminary.” Keeling was offered a salary of $360 to serve as agent for the Seminary.

When the Virginia Baptist Seminary was chartered as Richmond College in 1840, Henry Keeling served as president of its first Board of Trustees. He also organized a new church in Richmond, Third Baptist Church (now Grace Baptist). In 1842, Keeling began publication of the Baptist Preacher, which published sermons and articles for 16 years.

May Lansfield Keller
May Lansfield Keller

May Lansfield Keller

Dean, Westhampton College 1914-1946

May Lansfield Keller was born in Baltimore, Maryland, September 28, 1877, the daughter of Wilmer Landsfield Keller, a native of Maryland, and Jennie (Simonton) Keller, a native of Maine. She attended the Girls’ Latin School of Baltimore and then attended Goucher College, also in Baltimore. It is clear that from an early age Miss Keller, as she preferred to be known, was passionate about learning.

The educational opportunities she pursued in college became the foundation for her life experiences. She remained a dedicated alumna, involved with Goucher throughout her life. Majoring in German and English, she received her B.A. degree in 1898. While attending, she served as Class Historian and a member of the Board of College Annual. She was a member of the Basket Ball Team which is a bit surprising in that she stood only 4’10”. As a member of the German Club, the Y.W.C.A., the Mandolin Club, and the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity –young May Keller embraced the well-rounded lifestyle that she later expected of the women at Westhampton College. Because of her excellent scholarship she was one of the thirty alumnae elected to Phi Beta Kappa, when a charter was granted to Goucher in 1905. In later years, Goucher College appointed her to serve as a Trustee.

Miss Keller went on to work at the University of Chicago in 1900. She completed her graduate work at the Universities of Berlin and Heidelberg in Germany. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 1904, summa cum laude. She was the first American woman to be awarded a doctorate in Germanic philology from that renowned institution. Her doctoral thesis, Anglo-Saxon Weapons, was published in Heidelberg, Germany, in the series Englische Studien.

After returning to the States, Keller became Head of the German Department at Wells College, in Aurora, New York. Two years later, she accepted the position of Associate Professor of English at Goucher College where she remained until 1914.

Dr. F. W. Boatwright sought a Baptist woman with a Ph.D. to lead the new Westhampton College. In 1914, she was invited to serve as the founding Dean and to also serve as Professor of English. In accepting this position, she became the first female college dean in Virginia. Dr. Boatwright reported to the Trustee’s that, “she has been president of the Southern Association of College Women, and is well and favorably known to the college women of the country.”

Dean Keller oversaw the establishment of exceptional standards of scholarship and the careful selection of faculty who would demand that students stretch mentally and physically to achieve their maximum potential. She established organizations, honor societies, and Westhampton traditions, “some of which continue in an unbroken chain to the present time.” The Daisy Chain, May Day, and Proclamation Night were a few of many Westhampton traditions created during Miss Keller’s tenure. She is credited with chartering both Mortar Board and Phi Beta Kappa at University of Richmond. And for the professors, she founded the local branch of Delta Kappa Gamma National Teacher’s Fraternity.

Maude Woodfin, who entered the college in 1914, recalls, “the first students to matriculate in Westhampton College were registered by the smiling young dean, full of a spirit of adventure in starting this new college for women.” Florence Boston Decker, a member of the class of 1917,  remembers:

Dean Keller was determined that Westhampton should be a liberal arts college in the true sense of the words. Its entrance requirements, its curriculum, its standards must be of the highest. All over the South were scattered, so-called women’s colleges which were “finishing schools” and little more. To these Dean Keller gave hardly a passing nod, her college must stand as tall as the few great women’s colleges of the East and North . . . Westhampton would be dedicated to the liberal arts; there would be no nonsense, no domestic science!

According to her biographer, Pauline Turnbull, “since [Miss Keller] had already won academic equality for herself she was determined that the young women of the South should have college education of the highest standard, second to none.”

Dean Keller carefully selected the first faculty members for Westhampton College recruiting those who were the very best in their field. The faculty was involved in all aspects of Westhampton life, living in the residence halls with the students. In her book A Gem of a College, Claire Millhiser Rosenbaum tells about those early days:

During the first session the faculty held monthly meetings, formulated its own regulations and precedents, and enacted several important measures of legislation. One brought the entrance requirements of Westhampton College into complete conformity with those of all other standard institutions for women in the country. Another introduced a system of two major subjects in several different departments before obtaining her degree.

Throughout her years as Dean, Miss Keller also served as a professor teaching advanced courses in English. For one course, Development of English Drama, Keller required the reading of 100 plays – “[t]hough not required for the degree, it was taken by nearly every student because of its popularity.” Another class, Anglo Saxon, “probably had no commercial value in later life but every student who mastered it was inordinately proud of having done so.”

Early on Miss Keller hired Fanny Graves Crenshaw to head up an athletic program. “The work I’m going to give these girls,” Keller explained, “they can’t do unless they get some exercise!” Miss Crenshaw, a Bryn Mawr graduate, had been a member of her college’s varsity hockey team. She also won six world track records during her career at Bryn Mawr, played basketball, and was a swimmer.

Miss Keller wished to impress a love of the arts upon the students. While she was Dean, she never stopped fighting for better performance space and more arts funding. When the colleges hosted a Shakespeare festival on campus, Miss Keller appeared as Juliet opposite Dean Pinchbeck’s Romeo.

Her service as Dean saw Westhampton through a variety of challenges. Early on, in 1918, the colleges were displaced so the campus buildings could be used as hospitals for wounded soldiers returning from abroad into Norfolk. That same year, the Great Influenza epidemic closed the colleges. In the annual report, Miss Keller wrote, “[n]ever has Westhampton College spirit been better than when tested to the utmost as it has been this year.”

In 1923, Dean Keller and the Westhampton College Alumnae Association “informed Boatwright about requirements for unconditional approval of Westhampton College by the American Association of University Women.” She had learned that they were guaranteed recognition by AAUW should they make adjustments to the salaries for women faculty. To gain recognition, it would be necessary to eliminate the “disparity between salaries paid by the university to men and women professors who held the same degrees.” She and the alumnae were granted their request and Westhampton became fully accredited by AAUW.

Prior to 1925, Miss Keller, the Boatwright family, and other faculty lived among students in Westhampton’s own North Court. It was only then that she moved out of the dormitory and into what we still call, The Deanery. Local architect Merrill Lee, who had worked for Ralph Adam’s Cram in Boston, designed a “charming English Cottage” to be her home. Charles F. Gillette designed the gardens where Miss Keller spent much of her personal time. Under the tutelage of Mrs. William A. Harris, Dean Keller became an “expert gardener.”

Before serving as Dean, Keller had served as President of the Southern Association of Collegiate Alumnae for four years (1910-1914). She continued her work in educational organizations on a national level after her appointment. She herself was a member of the American Association of University Women and served as director of the South Atlantic section – “through her energetic leadership and that of a few other women educators, this organization was instrumental in raising the standards and classifying all southern colleges.”

Dedicated to scholarship and academia, Keller was a member of the Modern Language Association of America, the American Philological Association, the Virginia Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Modern Humanities Research Association. Locally, she held membership in the Richmond Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, Richmond Art Museum, the Valentine Museum, the Richmond Alumnae Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Just as she was dedicated to the growth of Westhampton, she was dedicated to the growth of the city of Richmond. She was a founding member of the River Road Baptist Church – which she attended the remainder of her life. She served as a board member to the Collegiate School for Girls. She was also very involved with Altrusa, the first woman’s classified service organization, and with the Richmond Cancer Society. At age 77, “the American Cancer Society nominated her as the volunteer of the year, the only nominee in the retired age bracket. This nomination was made because after having worked in the organization since the 30’s, and having been at one time city commander, she was then superintendent of volunteers and giving eight hours a week to the society.”

One of her undergraduate activities, Pi Beta Phi, became a life-long dedication. “In 1897, Pi Beta Phi, the national woman’s fraternity, was established at the Woman’s College and she became the first chapter president.” The fraternity named her President Emerita in 1918 when she retired as Grant President. She remained dedicated to the fraternity throughout her life – attended the national convention nearly every year of her adult life.

Miss Keller’s life was clearly centered on women’s education and community service. Even though she often had a somewhat stern persona, the historical record leaves us with some interesting glimpses into her life outside of her work.

The “Dancing Dean” became a popular nickname for Miss Keller. She was dubbed the “Dancing Dean” by the Ministerial Union at Richmond College which didn’t approve of her custom of allowing dancing at Westhampton on the weekends. The nickname was given to her in a disapproving manner, but ultimately adopted by the students in admiration.

Many recall the long line of dogs that lived with Miss Keller. She always had two, “for she firmly believed that all God’s creatures should live two by two, otherwise loneliness would result.” All of her dogs had long lives; her final two lived to be “sixteen years of age, outliving Miss Keller by seven years.” It’s no wonder that the students “dated their college attendance by the current dynasty of those long-lived animals.”

It wasn’t just the dogs, the dancing, and the Deanery;  there was also the car. She was known as the “Little Dean riding around in her machine” in the words of the song heard on the campus for many years. The machine was her Model T Ford “which together with the one belonging to the president were the first two cars on the campus.”

Though Miss Keller did not marry, letters survive from a romance she had with Robert Bogue, who died at the age of 34 by suicide. Biographer Pauline Turnbull says that “the daily letters written from 1909–1912 . . . are too beautiful to be lost for humanity – without them the whole person of May Lansfield Keller would not be revealed.” Thus, a few of her letters to her love Robert are published in Life and Letters, 1877-1964.

Miss Keller was the chief administrative officer of Westhampton College from 1914–1941. In 1946 Keller retired. The important role she played in the life of the University was well recognized. The Board of Trustees granted her salary payment for 1946–1947, a retirement income of $1,200 annually, and the degree of Doctor of Letters.

One of her retirement activities, dated back to her graduate study travel. In her lifetime, she took trips to Egypt, Southern Europe, Alaska, Canada, Central America and Mexico. She even took a Greek steamer around the Mediterranean to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the poet Vergil’s birth by docking at all the ports from the Aeneid.

At her retirement in 1946 the Gymnasium and Social Center Building of Westhampton College was named Keller Hall in honor of the Dean. The campaign to build an appropriate space for physical education and recreation for women began with Miss Keller’s annual reports to President Boatwright. In 1925, efforts continued with the newly founded Westhampton Alumnae Association. By the mid-1930s, after Westhampton began offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education, efforts intensified and Westhampton alumnae collected $55,000 to help fund the project. It was completed in 1936. A plaque in the lobby, unveiled on the day the building was formally opened, recognizes the important role of three women in the development of the college: Dean May Keller; Dr. Susan M. Lough, professor of history; and Fanny G. Crenshaw, professor of physical education.

Dean Keller continued to live in her home, the Deanery, until she died while taking a nap on June 29, 1964. Graveside, Vernon B. Richardson said the following about the beloved Dean:

Only rarely does there appear on the human scene an authentic personality, one more fashioned and directed from within and from above than from around. Every now and again we are given one who is not of a pattern, whose fine and sharply sculptured image is not worn smooth by the world, or by the wind, or dark weather or passage of time. Dean May L. Keller was a rare one; a sterling, undistorted person whose impact upon life was firm without being harsh, lasting without being static, because it was the impact of a person . . . Such was her influence: She made you stand tall, and like it!

And it the Richmond NEWS LEADER on June 30, 1964:

She lived through a complete revolution in women’s education, women’s rights, women’s role in society. Lived through it? She fought in it. She was four feet, ten inches tall, but she was indomitable.

Though not survived by any biological children, generations of Westhampton Women honor her legacy.

- Adapted from biographies in Faces on the Wall, The History of University of Richmond, 1830 – 1971; A Gem of a College; Life and Letters, 1877-1964;The Collegian; and A Snapshot of the Iron Dean.

John Kerr
John Kerr

John Kerr


John Kerr was born in Caswell County, N.C., and attended the common schools. He studied theology and, in 1802, was licensed as a Baptist minister. Kerr was pastor of Arbor and Mary Creek Baptist Churches in Halifax, Virginia.

In 1812, Mr. Kerr was elected as a Republican to the 13th Congress of the United States and served from 1813–1815. His bid for reelection to the 14th Congress was unsuccessful. However, Kerr was subsequently elected to fill the vacancy in the 14th Congress caused by the death of Matthew Clay and served from 1815–1817.

In 1816, John Kerr resumed the ministry at Arbor and Mary Creek Churches. Kerr moved to Richmond in 1825 and was pastor of its First Baptist Church from 1825–1833.

Mr. Kerr was the first president of the Virginia Baptist Education Society and its Executive Board, founded in 1830. He served as president of the Board of Managers for the Virginia Baptist Seminary from 1832–1835.

After leaving First Baptist Church, John Kerr was active as an evangelist in Richmond. Later he moved to Danville, where he continued as an evangelist and served as co-pastor of Danville Baptist Church. Kerr lived in Danville until his death in 1842.

Robert Edward Loving
Robert Edward Loving

Robert Edward Loving


Known as “The Sage of Fluvanna,” he was a graduate of Richmond College and professor of physics for 40 years. He bequeathed a generous gift to the University of Richmond to establish the Robert Edward Loving and Lena Frazer Loving chair of physics.

Caroline Stookey Lutz
Caroline Stookey Lutz

Caroline Stookey Lutz

Professor of English 1917-1959

Originally from Illinois, Miss Caroline S. Lutz received her Bachelor of Arts from Goucher College and her Masters degree from Columbia University.

Miss Lutz began teaching at Westhampton College in 1917 as a professor of English and continued in that capacity until 1959, when she retired. Jean Gray Wright said of Miss Lutz: “She had more enthusiasm, more enthusiastic interest, in what she was teaching than anyone I have ever known. She was absolutely devoted to English literature, and she expected all her students to have a similar concentration on the English course they were taking at the time.”

In A Gem of a College, The History of Westhampton College, 1914–1989, author Claire Rosenbaum records that Miss Lutz “taught students self-discipline which she believed to be a pre-requisite to achievement.” She was a “veritable storehouse of knowledge” who “drove her automobile to the rhythm of whatever poem she was reciting to herself at the moment.”

During the spring semester of 1953, Miss Lutz traveled to Hawaii to study in the Graduate Department of Asiatic Studies in English at the University of Honolulu. While she was there, Miss Lutz (an early advocate of interdisciplinary studies) also took coursework on Asiatic Arts.

Miss Lutz, was very involved in campus life. She served as Chairman of the Faculty Chapel Committee of Westhampton College, was a frequent faculty sponsor of May Day festivities and performances, and was honored as an “old stand-by” for the 75th Anniversary of The Messenger literary magazine.

Miss Lutz obtained a collection of puppets from a former student, Jack Kerr, who “was in China working on a doctorate degree and became acquainted with a Chinese family that owned and operated the theater.” The puppets come from almost every country in Europe and Asia, in a variety of colors, shapes, and materials. In 1975, curator Ms. Beverly Bates cites the collection as “one of the finest collections in this country.” While Miss Lutz “collected the puppets,” she “probably didn’t make many of them herself,” according to the curator of the 1970 fine arts exhibition of the collection, Dorothy Midgett. However, many puppets were made at the University.

Faculty member Richard Scammon modeled puppets after Miss Keller and Dean Pinchbeck. Miss Keller’s puppet “is dressed in a long, blue evening dress with feathered sleeves” and Dean Pinchbeck’s is attired in “his academic robes and holds a pipe.” While Miss Lutz taught at Westhampton, it was popular to perform skits with the puppets and scripted performances were held frequently. As late as 1965, puppetry courses were offered at the University.

On January 8, 2006, Caroline Stookey Lutz was added to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff.  Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society, had this to say about Miss Lutz: 

Caroline Stookey Lutz was one of those rare creative souls and great characters which are attracted to campuses like some great magnet.  We are fortunate that the attraction was for Westhampton and the University of Richmond.  Although she taught English for 35 years, it was her personality and her extraordinary interest in puppetry which made her memorable in the minds of alumnae.

Born in 1889 in Illinois, she came South to this new women’s college in 1917, shortly after receiving a master’s degree from Columbia University.  She had completed her undergraduate work at Goucher, the same undergraduate college for Dean May Keller.  As Miss Keller was building her faculty, she turned to a fellow English major, Caroline Lutz; and the two remained identified with Westhampton until their deaths in the 1960s.

Miss Lutz quickly became a favorite among the students and alumnae.  One Westhampton graduate described the professor as “vibrant, alive and daringly different.”  Mary Grace Scherer Taylor of the Class of ’42 pictured the professor as “small, a miniature splashed with vivid color and accents of unusual jewelry” and told of her usual appearance wearing hats and capes.  She remembered an English class on a rainy day when the spontaneous assignment was to listen for “new sounds” as the rain fell on one of the slate roofs at Westhampton.

The student from the past summarized her teacher’s hallmark in one word:  “Honesty.”  “Heaven help the student who tried to get by, glibly quoting excerpts, book reviews, or popular digests,” said the former student.  “If the inquiry was valid, the source must be authentic and the effort must be total involvement.  The terse note on a term paper, ‘re-write and correlate,’ was a constant reminder that improvement requires self discipline and perfection is not attained without diligence.”

About 1930 Caroline Lutz became fascinated with the puppetry arts and founded the University Marionette Studio.  Someone observed that “with characteristic adaptation and ingenuity she breathed life into wood and soul into clay” and added:  “Students became artists who used their craft to entertain thousands.”  She interpreted puppetry as a serious art form much like that found in the Orient.  She and her students crafted some 300 puppets.  Many of these have found their way to the large puppet museum in Atlanta but a few – namely Dean Keller and pipe-smoking Dean Pinchbeck – are still hanging around the campus.

Miss Lutz was a campus character.  The campus police often complained about her driving; but she admitted only that her car moved to the rhythm of whatever poem she was reciting to herself at the time.  It once was reported that the rhythm was usually iambic pentameter.  She was the consummate teacher.  I like the following tribute to her:  “Caroline Lutz stretched her students by teaching each girl as an individual.  As a master teacher, her sole aim was to help the student discover self.  Tirelessly she sought that one talent, that unique ability.  Once she uncovered it, she encouraged, nourished, provoked and challenged.  And one day – the student was no longer afraid; she became aware that she, too, had something of value to give.  Miss Lutz died in 1967 at age 78.

Robert Thornton Marsh, Jr.
Robert Thornton Marsh, Jr.
Marsh, Jr.

Robert Thornton Marsh, Jr.

Rector of the Board of Trustees, University of Richmond, 1957-1973

Robert Thornton Marsh Jr., a native of South Carolina and the son of a Baptist minister, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English and history from the University of Richmond in 1922 and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Virginia in 1923. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Richmond in 1961.

Mr. Marsh served as rector of the University of Richmond’s Board of Trustees during the tenures of Dr. George M. Modlin and Dr. E. Bruce Heilman. Dr. Heilman said that Marsh was “one of the most dedicated, forceful and productive leaders for the good of the University in its long history.” In 1977, he received the Alumni of the University of Richmond Award for Distinguished Service.

Marsh was president of First and Merchants National Bank (now Bank of America) in 1952 and retired as its chairman in 1966. He was a director of Ethyl Corporation, the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad Company, Dan River Mills, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, First National Bank Building Corporation, Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation and the Life Insurance Company of Virginia. Mr. Marsh served a term as president of the Virginia Bankers Association.

Mr. Marsh also served on a number of state boards including the Virginia Industrial Development Corporation and the Central Virginia Education Television Corporation. He served for 18 years as chairman of the Virginia Public School Authority and on the state Education Assistance Authority.

Marsh Hall, a residence hall at the University of Richmond, was built in 1973 in honor of Robert T. Marsh Jr. The Marsh Art Gallery, located in the George M. Modlin Center for the Arts, was given by Dr. and Mrs. Robert T. Marsh, Jr. in memory of his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Robert T. Marsh.

Ralph C. McDanel
Ralph C. McDanel

Ralph C. McDanel


“Dr. Mac” taught history at the University of Richmond for 40 years. He held a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins and was a 1916 graduate of Richmond College. A unique personality, he combined an ironic sense of humor with love of sports and served a term as national president of ODK.

John Calvin Metcalf
John Calvin Metcalf

John Calvin Metcalf


Dr. Metcalf taught Latin and modern languages before becoming Professor of English from 1904–1917. He served as the first dean of Richmond College and was also named to the University of Richmond board of trustees. He was one of the most popular teachers and most beloved men ever to be associated with Richmond College.

Samuel Chiles Mitchell
Samuel Chiles Mitchell

Samuel Chiles Mitchell


He was the first professor brought to the University of Richmond by Dr. Boatwright in 1895. He came to teach Latin, but was so convinced that Richmond College needed a professor of history that he took a leave of absence to earn a Ph.D. in the subject from the University of Chicago. He came back to Richmond to teach history from 1901–1908. He was the chair of the history department from 1919–1945. A brilliant teacher, he was revered by generations of students.

George Matthews Modlin
George Matthews Modlin

George Matthews Modlin

President, 1946-1971

Dr. George M. Modlin became President of the University of Richmond in 1946, following Dr. Boatwright’s resignation in June of that year. Dr. Modlin held this post for 25 years until resigning in 1971. Even then, Dr. Modlin continued his service to the University as Chancellor until 1986. He was appointed to the position of Chancellor Emeritus until his passing in 1998.

Dr. Modlin received an A.B. degree from Wake Forest University in 1924, followed by an M.A. degree from Princeton University in 1925 and a Ph.D. from Princeton in 1932. Dr. Modlin taught Economics at Princeton and Rutgers, and became Dean of the Evening School of Business Administration and Chairman of the Economics department at the University of Richmond in 1938.

Dr. Modlin married Virginia Pendleton Brinkley on June 2, 1928. During WWII he served as Director of the Engineering, Science and Management War Training program at the University, and was also a Public Panel Member of the War Labor Board.

During Dr. Modlin’s tenure as President, new programs were established, including The E. Claiborne Robins School of Business Administration, The Day Division of University College, the ROTC program and seven new degrees. The University acquired 50 additional acres, bringing the campus to 350 acres. 19 major and 15 minor buildings were constructed, purchased or begun, including South Court, Boatwright Memorial Library and the Robins Center.

In addition to the Modlin Center for the Performing Arts, Dr. Modlin’s legacy includes his role in procuring the historic $50 million gift from E. Claiborne Robins. In 1969, during a meeting of the executive committee of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Robins asked Dr. Modlin what it would take to make Richmond a truly great university. Dr. Modlin told him $50 million; the resulting gift was the largest gift from a living benefactor in the history of higher education.

Dr. Modlin continually served the Richmond and surrounding communities through a number of business and social outlets, including serving on the Board of Directors of C&P Telephone, First Merchants National Bank, Richmond Public Library, Richmond Eye and Ear Hospital, Central Virginia Education Television Corporation, Titmus Foundation, E.R. Patterson Educational Foundation and Agecroft Association. He was a member of the Rotary Club, was on the Advisory Board to Richmond Memorial Hospital, served on the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission of Virginia and was a Trustee of Collegiate Schools, Richmond. He was also a life trustee of the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges.

Dr. Modlin was co-author of the textbooks Development of Economic Society, 1938 (rev. 1946) and Social Control of Industry, 1938. Dr. Modlin passed in October 1998, was eulogized in the Canon Memorial Chapel and laid to rest beside his wife in Hollywood Cemetery.

T. Justin Moore, Esq.
T. Justin Moore, Esq.
Moore, Esq.

T. Justin Moore, Esq.

Rector of the Board of Trustees, University of Richmond, 1950-1957

T. Justin Moore received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Richmond in 1908, a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1913, as well as honorary doctor of laws degrees from Louisiana College in 1920 and the University of Richmond in 1954. He was a professor of law at Richmond from 1913 to 1925 and was rector of the University’s Board of Trustees from 1951 until 1958. Built in 1969, Moore Memorial Hall, a men’s residence hall, was named in honor of T. Justin Moore.

Mr. Moore was admitted to the bar in 1913 and had his own practice until 1931 when he became a partner in the firm of Hunton, Williams, Gay, Moore & Powell, now Hunton & Williams. He was recognized as one of Richmond’s leading attorneys and, although he generally specialized in corporate law, was a defending attorney for Prince Edward County, Va., in the Davis v. Prince Edward County, Virginia lawsuit of 1951, a well-known racial segregation case.

In 1925, T. Justin Moore was elected vice–president, general counsel and director of the Virginia Electric and Power Company, now Dominion Corporation. He served as general counsel and director of the Virginia Transit Company and was a director of Central National Bank, Richmond Hotels, Inc., and the United Transit Company. He was also general counsel and director of the Portsmouth Transit Company.

Mr. Moore served as president of the Richmond Bar Association in 1932, the Virginia State Bar Association in 1953 and was active for many years in the American Bar Association’s public utility section. He was a member of the Edison Electric Institute’s legal committee and was its chairman from 1952 until 1953. He was chairman of the board of deacons at Richmond’s First Baptist Church for 20 years.

Moore’s great-grandson, James K. Hall IV, is a member of the Richmond Class of 2008.

Richard L. Morrill
Richard L. Morrill

Richard L. Morrill

President, 1988-1998

Richard L. Morrill, Ph.D., became Chancellor and Distinguished University Professor of Ethics and Democratic Values at the University of Richmond July 1, 1998, following his 10-year presidency of the University of Richmond from September 30, 1988, to June 30, 1998. On his retirement from the presidency, the University’s Board created the professorship he now holds that is to carry his name. Prior to his association with the University, he served as President of Centre College from 1982 to 1988 and as President of Salem College from 1979 to 1982.

He began his teaching career in 1967 at Wells College before moving to Chatham College where he served as Associate Professor of Religion, Executive Assistant to the President and Associate Provost. He served at the Pennsylvania State University from 1977–1979 as Chief of Staff to the University Provost.

Dr. Morrill received his A.B. in History from Brown University in 1961, graduating magna cum laude, his B.D. in Religious Thought in 1964 from Yale University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and the recipient of the Tew Prize for excellence in studies; and his Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. Dr. Morrill attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard in 1974. He has received honorary degrees from four institutions, including the École des Haute Études Internationales in Paris, France, and he is a member of the Order of Academic Palms. He studied in France as an undergraduate, principally at L’Institut D’Études Politiques and is fluent in French. In 1997, he served as a member of the Organization for Economic Development’s (OECD) four-person team to evaluate the initial years of study in French Universities.

Dr. Morrill has written widely on issues of values and ethics in higher education and has published several articles and made numerous presentations on strategic planning and leadership for colleges and universities. One of his special interests is the relationship between undergraduate education and civic and professional responsibilities. He is the author of Teaching Values in College (1980) and Strategic Leadership in Academic Affairs: Clarifying the Board’s Responsibilities (April 2002-AGB). He has a book in progress on Strategic Leadership: Using Strategy as a Process and Discipline of Leadership in Colleges and Universities. He has recently taught theCore Course, “Exploring Human Experience” in the School of Arts and Sciences and led seminars on “Strategic Leadership” in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies.

He served as a member of the board of Central Fidelity Banks, Inc., and as a board officer of The Association of American Colleges and Universities and was recently a member of the National Panel for AAC&U’s project on “Greater Expectations for Higher Education.” He was chairman of the College Commission and president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Dr. Morrill serves currently as a board member of the Teagle Foundation, the Williamsburg Investment Trust, the Library of Virginia Foundation, the World Affairs Council of Richmond, the Tredegar Corporation, the Albemarle Corporation and the Greater Richmond Chamber Foundation. He is a member of the executive committee of the Christian Children’s Fund International Board of Directors and former Chairman of CCF. He is a member of the CIC (Council of Independent Colleges) Panel of Presidential Consultants.

Dr. Morrill is married to Martha Leahy Morrill and they have two married daughters and three grandsons and a granddaughter. He is a native of Hingham, Massachusetts.

William T. Muse
William T. Muse

William T. Muse

Professor of Law, 1906-1971
Dean, T.C. Williams School of Law, 1947-1971

Dr. Muse served as Dean of the Law School for 24 years. He was secretary-treasurer of the Virginia Bar for 19 years and served a term as president of the Virginia Bar Association. He was a graduate of both Richmond College and the Law School. Known to many simply as “The Dean,” he was recognized as a man of the highest probity and integrity, a scholar, and gifted raconteur. The William Taylor Muse Law Library at the University of Richmond School of Law bears his name.

On April 15, 1993, Dr. Muse was added to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff.   Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society had this to say about Dr. Muse:

 William Taylor Muse came to Richmond on a scholarship and the school let him leave only long enough to secure an advanced degree.  After a very brief stint in a law firm, he was lured back into the school and remained in the classroom for 40 years.  He became dean of the law school in 1947 and for four decades he steered the school into national prominence, carefully developed generations of attorney, and freely gave of his time to the Commonwealth -- serving on numerous commissions -- and to his church -- teaching Bible classes for Tabernacle Church and the YMCA.   Bill Muse was a Virginia gentleman in the best sense of the term, serving both God and man.

Archibald Williams Patterson, Esq.
Archibald Williams Patterson, Esq.

Archibald Williams Patterson, Esq.

President of the Board of Trustees, Richmond College, 1919-1934

Archibald Williams Patterson was born in Richmond and earned his B.A. and B.L. degrees from the University of Virginia. He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Richmond in 1932. After graduation, Patterson established with his uncle the law firm of Courtney & Patterson. Later, he continued to practice law in his own name. He was a director of Savings Bank.

Mr. Patterson was a trustee of Richmond College from 1902–1920 and continued when the College became the University of Richmond in 1920 until 1940. He was president of the Board of Trustees from 1919–1934 during the time of the transformation of Richmond College into the University of Richmond.

Patterson was superintendent of the Sunday school at Richmond’s First Baptist Church for ten years. He was also a leader in the organization of Associated Charities.

Mr. Patterson’s father, Dr. R.A. Patterson, was a tobacco manufacturer and medical doctor who served the Confederacy as a surgeon. He originated the Lucky Strike tobacco brand, named in reference to the Gold Rush days. His tobacco company, R.A. Patterson and Co., later became a subsidiary of the American Tobacco Company. Richmond’s Patterson Avenue is named for Dr. Patterson.

Raymond B. Pinchbeck
Raymond B. Pinchbeck

Raymond B. Pinchbeck

Dean, Richmond College 1931-1957
President of the Board of Trustees, Richmond College, 1919-1920

Raymond Bennett Pinchbeck was born in 1900 in Amelia County, Virginia where he attended elementary and high school. He entered the University of Virginia in 1919. In 1922, he earned his bachelor of science degree where he did his chief work in the fields of railroad transportation and economics history. He earned a master of science degree and a Ph.D. in Economics from 19221925. During that time, he was an instructor of economics, teaching banking, finances, and general economics. He served as head of the Economic Department during the 19221923 session and then of the Graduate Department during the 19231924 session. He married Charlotte Edith Holt while finishing his graduate work.

From Charlottesville, Dr. Pinchbeck moved to Roanoke College where he served as Dean from 19271929 and professor and head of the department of business administration from 19281929.

In 1929, he accepted a positions as professor of Applied Economics at Richmond College. He saw the need to establish an office to help graduates get jobs and set about to make that happen. When Professor Prince resigned as dean of Richmond College, the board appointed Raymond B. Pinchbeck to be his successor, effective 1933. He served as Dean until 1957 with the exception of the war years. From 1942 to 1945 Benjamin C. Holtzclaw stepped in while Dean Pinchbeck served in the Navy.According to his wife, Richmond College was his life. His principal reward was the knowledge that in some small measure, at least, he was helping mould men of character and industry who would serve well their day and generation.

Reuben Alley tell us that: His comprehensive report on enrollment by departments and grades given by professors, supplemented by an account of events during the session, furnished valuable information for the administration. As dean he inaugurated plans and schedules for Orientation Week… With a firm yet kindly spirit and well supported by the faculty, he formulated and successfully applied regulations pertaining to social activities by students, the honor system, and general conduct on the campus.

Students described him with a grey homburg perched upon his head and a pipe balanced between his lips, stroll[ing] the campus between classes and greet[ing] everyone in sight with a cheery, ‘Good monin neighbah. With an attractive personality and an unusually pleasing manner, Dean Pinchbeck was involved and visible as a campus administrator even appearing with Dean Keller in the balcony scene from Shakespeares Romeo and Julie when that play was staged on campus.

In 1974, The Waltons television show ,written by University of Richmond graduate Earl Hamner, introduced a new character named Dean Beck. The character, Dean Beck, was modeled after Dean Pinchbeck, who was Hamner's dean while at the University as well as lifelong friend.

As a civic leader, he served the city of Richmond in a variety of capacities. He served at the faculty advisor of the University of Richmond YMCA. He chaired the Henrico County school board from 19341942. After his death, the Henrico County School Board honored Dr. Pinchbeck by naming a new elementary school in his honor. He published works on state and county government and he served as president of the Virginia Association of Colleges. In 1926, he wrote Virginia Negro Artisan and Tradesman. He was editor of A Study of Richmond, VA., City Government in 1934.

Among Dean Pinchbeck's other affiliations were: The Virginia Social Sciences Association, of which he was past president; the American Economic Association; the Virginia Society of Public Accountants; the Virginia Association of School Trustees; the Southern Conference of College Deans, and past president of the Richmond First Club. He was a member of the Raven Society at UVA, Lambda Chi Alpha social fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Delta Kappa, Alpha Kappa Psi, Tau Kappa Alpha, Pi Gamma Mu, and the Masonic Order.

As a member of the Richmond Citizens Association and a staunch advocate of the ‘Charter for Richmond campaign, Dr. Pinchbeck devoted much time and effort to selling the towns-people on the idea of city manager government that in 1947, was adopted by the city in an overwhelming majority.

In 19341935, he was connected with the NRA of Mr. Roosevelt's first administration, and in 19421943, he spent much time working with the Office of Price Administration. In 1942, he devised the OPA control system for the state of Virginia. He also worked with the State Tax Commission regarding the taxation system of Virginia.

Dean Pinchbeck died in February 1957, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The Collegian ran an article and photograph with the headline, Loss of Our Good Neighbor.

Mrs. Pinchbeck thanked students, faculty, and staff for their tribute with a response in the Collegian: I think he would have me say that if you want to express your affection for him, your esteem and devotion to those things he held to be important, you can best do it by serving your God with all your heart and soul and by loving your neighbor as yourself.

Marguerite M. Roberts
Marguerite M. Roberts

Marguerite M. Roberts

Dean, Westhampton College 1947-1965
Professor of English, 1947-1974; Professor of English, Emerita, 1975-1988

Dr. Marguerite M. Roberts took office as the second Dean of Westhampton College on August 1, 1947. She had a concurrent appointment as a professor of English. Before coming to Richmond, she was dean of women and assistant professor of English at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario from 1937 to 1946. She was a lecturer in English at the University of Toronto from 1946–1947. While there she was the only female member of the English department.

She received her bachelor of arts from Evansville College in Indiana and her master of arts and Ph.D. from Radcliffe College. Her thesis was titled “Hardy and the Theater.” She did post-graduate work at the University of Chicago and Cambridge University. Her scholarly interest was in the life and literary works of the English poet and novelist Thomas Hardy. She once took a trip to England, where she was received by the poet’s widow and was permitted to read his personal letters and papers. In the summer of 1961, she took a sabbatical leave to work as a research fellow at Radcliffe.

In an October 1947 Collegian article, it is reported that “In 1929 she had her first introduction to flying, which in those days was no small matter. “ The article also reported that she was a tennis enthusiast and greatly enjoyed the theater.

Roberts was a Virginia Cultural Laureate and a former board member of the Virginia Writers group. She held memberships in many educational societies: Phi Beta Kappa, American Association of University Professors, Modern Language Association, and the Canadian Authors. She was a member of the Dean’s Association, and for five years was associate editor of the Journal of the American Association of Deans.

In 1950 she published Tess in the Theatre. An article in the Collegian dated September 22, 1950, quotes Carl J. Weber, Professor of English at Colby College and a noted authority on Hardy, saying, “students of stage history of Victorian literature…. will be grateful to Dean Roberts for the skill, the diligence, and the success with which she has ferreted out elusive information, and for the lucid and attractive way in which she has presented it to the reader.” She also published Hardy’s Poetic Drama and the Theatre.

During her time as Dean, Westhampton College grew in size of the student body, faculty, and administration while retaining its strong academic focus and values. In her book, A Gem of a College, Claire Rosenbaum tells us that “During her tenure Dean Roberts developed procedures for the admission of well-qualified students, worked diligently for continuing improvement of instruction, stressed higher standards of scholarship, and encouraged graduate study among Westhampton women.”

On April 15, 1993, Dr. Roberts was added to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff.  On that occasion, Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society had the following words:

In the beginning was Dean May Keller... but someone had to follow, and President Modlin journeyed to cold Canada to find a replacement.  There he found Marguerite Roberts, who had taught English and had experience as a dean of women.  When she saw the dogwoods and the Gothic architecture she was hooked.  Dean Roberts continued the distinctive traditions of Westhampton and subtly added her own influence.  She personified graciousness and many a Westhampton woman learned about charm, etiquette, and English literature around a roaring fire in her quarters and while sipping tea from a china cup.  Dean  Roberts had studied at Cambridge and her charm won her entry into the homeand heart of Thomas Hardy's widow.  She returned with suitcases loaded with enough material to embellish her doctoral dissertation, and Miss Roberts became a recognized authority on Hardy.  Today her research papers--boxes of them--are in the Boatwright Library where Roberts can still give of herself.

Claire Millhiser Rosenbaum
Claire Millhiser Rosenbaum

Claire Millhiser Rosenbaum

Although Claire is a graduate of Westhampton College, she was not allowed to enter as a freshman because she was only 15 years old. So she attended Randolph Macon Woman’s College for two years and then was allowed to enter Westhampton, graduating when she was 19 years old with a major in biology and minors in physics and mathematics.

In 1973, she earned the master of education degree in Counseling from the University of Richmond, and in 1983 received an Ed.D. in Education Administration from the College of William and Mary.

Claire has worked as a special education teacher and counselor in Richmond City Schools, bereavement care coordinator for St. Mary's hospice program, director of the WILL program, interim dean of Westhampton College, adjunct faculty in the University of Richmond education department, and in various capacities with numerous area museums.

Author of Universal and Particular Obligations, a history of Congregation Beth Ahabah and A Gem of a College: The History of Westhampton College, she has written several handbooks and guides for various organizations.

Claire is a past president of The National Conference of Christians and Jews, NCCJ, and a past president of Congregation Beth Ahabah. Today she serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Richmond, and as a Trustee of her congregation. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Richmond Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Board of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, and the Bon Secours Foundation Board.

Among the honors she has received are the Westhampton College Alumnae Association Distinguished Alumna Award, the University of Richmond Board of Trustees Distinguished Service award, the Alumni of the University of Richmond Award for Distinguished Service, and the 1999 Humanitarian Award from the NCCJ.

Claire is married to Robert Rosenbaum, class of 1952. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Robert Ryland
Robert Ryland

Robert Ryland

Born at Farmington, King and Queen County, Virginia, March 14, 1805, he was the son of Josiah Ryland and Catharine (Peachey) Ryland. Josiah Ryland planned to give each of his sons a farm, but his son Robert preferred to have his portion in money so that he might acquire an education.

Dr. Ryland prepared for college at Humanity Hall in Hanover County, Virginia, where he studied Latin and Greek under Reverend Peter Nelson from 1820 to 1823. He then attended Columbian College in Washington, D.C., where he graduated with the A.B. degree on December 23, 1826. He received the A.M. degree from Columbian in 1829.

He was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Richmond for 24 years.

Dr. Ryland was one of the most eminent ministers of his day. He was influential in the progress of the Baptist denomination, being a distinguished educator, author, and leader in denominational affairs. He once gave as the reason for his long life that some people need more discipline than others to fit them for heaven’s “pure society and employment.”

Dr. Ryland was President of the Baptist General Association of Virginia for 1862. He was chaplain of the University of Virginia, 1835–36 and chaplain of the Southwest Virginia Institute at Bristol from 1893–1897. His published writings include Lectures on the Apocalypse, and at least a score of pamphlets on religious and educational subjects. Columbian College conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

When the Virginia Baptist Seminary was established, Dr. Ryland was chosen as its first Superintendent. He took charge of that institution July 1, 1832. He was not only Superintendent but the only teacher, when the Seminary opened on July 4, 1832, at Spring Farm, with a student body that “did not exceed ten” – all preparing for the ministry. On June 8, 1841, the Board of Trustees of Richmond College elected him President.  He also served as Professor of Moral Philosophy until 1866.

Under Dr. Ryland's leadership, the institution grew from a Seminary with one teacher to a College which at the beginning of the Civil War had an endowment of $100,000, a faculty of six professors and one tutor, and an average attendance of about one hundred twenty students. He placed the College on a firm foundation.

After resigning as President of Richmond College in 1866, Dr. Ryland taught for two years at the Richmond Female Institute, and also taught for a period of time at the Richmond Theological Institute.

In 1868 he moved to Shelbyville, Kentucky. There he served as President of Female Schools at Shelbyville, Lexington and Newcastle. In addition to his education work he served as pastor of several churches.

He was married in 1830 to Josephine Norvell of Richmond, Virginia. He died April 23, 1899, at the home of his son-in-law, Mr. Frank Atkins, in Lexington, Kentucky. Funeral services were held in Richmond College Chapel, conducted by Dr. William E. Hatcher. All exercises at Richmond College were suspended during the services. He was interred in the Richmond College section in Hollywood Cemetery.

 - Excerpted from Hackley, Woodford B., Faces on the Wall - Brief Sketches of the MEN and WOMEN whose PORTRAITS and BUSTS were on the campus of the University of Richmond in 1955, Virginia Baptist Historical Society, 1972.

Herman P. Thomas
Herman P. Thomas

Herman P. Thomas

Professor of Economics, 1927-1966
Acting Dean, School of Business Administration, 1957-1959

Dr. Thomas served for 45 years on the faculty, teaching economics. He was department chairman for many years. Highly respected by his students and colleagues, he had a reputation as a demanding but eminently fair teacher. He was an active Baptist layman and taught an economics course at the Medical College of Virginia for 28 years.

On April 15, 1993, Dr. Thomas was added to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff.  The following remarks were made on that occasion by Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society:

Herman Thomas taught his faith by example.  And among the many who recall his gentle influence is Robert Jepson who was among the student founders of the Thomas Society.  In the decisive way in which teachers influence students, and later, students appreciate teachers, one must wonder if there would have been a Robert Jepson without a Herman Thomas. 

James B. Thomas, Jr.
James B. Thomas, Jr.
Thomas, Jr.

James B. Thomas, Jr.

President of the Board of Trustees, Richmond College, 1872-1873, 1880-1882

Born in Caroline County, Virginia, James B. Thomas Jr. acquired his formal education at neighborhood schools in his home community and never attended college. As a youth, he came to Richmond and found employment. He was a steadfast friend, wise counselor and liberal benefactor to Richmond College in its formative years. Thomas led the trustees of Richmond College for nearly half a century and gave his time and resources to ensure the continuation of the college, especially through the lean times following the civil war. It was said of him that, next to his family and his church, he loved Richmond College best. In 1893, Mr. Thomas received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from the College.

In 1881, Thomas endowed the James Thomas Jr. Professorship of Philosophy at Richmond College. The James Thomas Lecture Fund was established as a memorial to Thomas by his family in 1885. Thomas Memorial Hall, a residence hall on the University of Richmond campus, was named for him.

Thomas’s son, William D. Thomas, was a professor of philosophy at Richmond College.

Maude Howlett Woodfin
Maude Howlett Woodfin

Maude Howlett Woodfin


Dr. Woodfin graduated from Westhampton College in 1916. She was a professor of history and political science from 1920–1947. She specialized in early Virginia history, receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her scholarly writings won recognition and she was admired and loved by Westhampton College students who viewed her as a wise counselor and stimulating teacher. She served as acting dean of Westhampton College from 1946–1947.

E. Claiborne Robins
E. Claiborne Robins

E. Claiborne Robins

E. Claiborne Robins was born in Richmond, Virginia, to Claiborne (Richmond College, 1894) and Martha Taylor Robins. He earned his B.A. degree in English at the University of Richmond in 1931 and his B.S. degree from the School of Pharmacy at the Medical College of Virginia in 1933.

He then joined his mother and two other employees in the family business, which was begun in 1866 by his grandfather, A.H. Robins, as a small apothecary and manufacturing chemist's shop. By 1970 E. Claiborne Robins was Chairman of the Board of the A.H. Robins Company, a multinational corporation engaged primarily in the manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and consumer products. He retired in 1990, following the sale of A.H. Robins Company to American Home Products Company.

In 1969, Robins donated $50 million to the University of Richmond. At the time, it was the largest cash gift ever presented to an American university, and it came at a critical juncture. Robins challenged Richmond “to become the finest small private university in the nation.”

Over his lifetime, Robins and his family gave Richmond about $175 million in total.

Robins received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Richmond in 1960 and the University's first Paragon Medal, its highest award, in 1986.

Edward Franklin Overton
Edward Franklin Overton

Edward Franklin Overton

Professor of Education 1946-1978

Comments made by Dr. Fred Anderson upon the addition of Dr. Overton to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff, January 8, 2006. 

Edward Franklin Overtonwas born in that cradle of Baptists and that nursery of old Richmond College, the county which produced so many Baptists and Spiders, old King and Queen County, Virginia, at a place called Indian Neck.  He was the son of a Baptist minister and found his way to the Baptist school in Richmond.  Once he was bitten by the education spider, he never really turned away.  He made education his life’s pursuit and the pursuit of education for others as his burning desire.

After earning his bachelor’s at Richmond, he pursued the master’s and doctorate at the University of Virginia.  In the Thirties, he began his long education career at schools at Hot Springs and Clifton Forge as well as a brief time as director of instruction for the Fredericksburg schools.

He returned to his alma mater in 1946 as a professor of education, chairman of the education department and dean of the summer school.  He remained with the education department until his retirement in 1978.

Dr. Overton probably knew more about the inner workings of the public schools of Virginia than anyone outside of the State Department of Education.  He frequently served on accreditation teams that visited the schools.  He had assisted many of the teachers when they were students in his education program.  And thus in a sense our Ed Overton of the University of Richmond was an influence upon the public school experiences of thousands of young Virginians, thereby helping to shape future generations.

Phil Cumbia, who was a beloved minister at the First Baptist Church of Richmond, once referred to Dr. Overton as one of those “warm and bright lights [which] from time to time shine among us.”  In his church, Dr. Overton was the model churchman – a deacon, Bible teacher and steady presence in the life of the church.

 I remember Dr. Overton as one of those gentle souls which populated this place.  He made the newcomer, whether freshman or faculty or staff, feel welcomed.  He took a genuine interest in each person as if your conversation, your interests, your problems were the most important thing at that moment.  I shall never forget his kind disposition and warm smile.  He personified the University of Richmond.

 Dr. Overton died in 1986 at age 75.

Jean Gray Wright
Jean Gray Wright

Jean Gray Wright

Professor of French, 1930-1966

Dr. Jean Gray Wright grew up at Lincoln University, a predominantly African-American institution in Pennsylvania for male students, where her father was a teacher.  It was from these childhood experiences that she learned to be accepting of others.  Her father also taught her the complexities of higher math by teaching her algebra and trigonometry before she even learned simple arithmetic.  But it was her mother who gave her the gift which became her life’s work.  Her mother taught her French.

Jean Gray Wright was able to receive a collegiate education in a time when it was still rare for a woman to attend college.  She graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1919 and, still pursuing, earned a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1922, during which time she also taught French, German and Latin at the Friends School in Wilmington, Delaware.

From 1923-24, she studied at the Sorbonne in Paris.  She once reminisced that her lodging in Paris was in a 16th-century palace so drafty that when she and a roommate caught the measles, the physician prescribed fresh air but told them not to open the windows.  She returned to the United States to teach English and French at a private school in Philadelphia.  In 1928, she returned to Bryn Mawr to earn a doctorate.

Armed with degrees and experience, Dr. Wright arrived at Westhampton College in 1930.  She was professor of French; and from 1947 until her retirement in 1966, she served as chairman of the Department of Modern Languages.  Throughout her long and distinguished tenure, she was known by students, faculty, alumnae and community for her “dignified appearance and charming manners.”  She was a favorite of the Westhampton students.  A contemporary once summarized:  “She has leadership status with a wide variety of students who voluntarily seek her understanding guidance and she has considerable influence with the faculty.  She uses her really brilliant intellect and her incisive wit, tempered with kindness, to implement her goals which are both forward looking and for the benefit of the college.

She valued books and considered a library as “central to the educational process.”  She was among those who founded the Friends of the Boatwright Memorial Library and served as the organization’s chairperson.

Elizabeth Broaddus Hardy, a French major at Westhampton in the early Sixties, remembered Miss Wright as “a liberated woman long before the term was fashionable” and added:  “She had done her homework; she could hold her own with anyone in her field.  This confidence, coupled with a quick mind, a delightful wit, and a self-assuredness, allowed her to set aside defensiveness.  Such an example is priceless.”

Miss Wright died in 1988 at age 92 and her memorial services were conducted on the campus where she gave so much of her life.

These remarks were made by Dr. Fred Anderson upon Dr. Wright's addition to the University of Richmond Trustee's Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff, January 8, 2006. 

William Asbury Harris
William Asbury Harris

William Asbury Harris

Professor of Greek and Latin, 1901-1941

Comments made by Dr. Fred Anderson on January 8, 2006 upon the addition of Dr. W.A. Harris to the University of Richmond Trustee's Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff.

William Asbury Harris actually grew up on the campus of old Richmond College where his father, the legendary 19th-century prof, H.H. Harris, was one of the main pillars of the old college. Henry Herbert Harris was a graduate of Richmond College, Class of 1856, and was among those who petitioned the Baptist General Association of Virginia to re-open the college following the Civil War.  Immediately upon its revival, the college turned to Harris to fill the position of Professor of Greek and German.  It was said of the father that he could teach any subject in the college at a moment’s notice.  As the long-time professor of Greek, the father earned the nickname of “Socrates” or “Old Soc”.  His reputation and his contribution lasted through the ages; and in 1980 – over 80 years after his death – he was among those placed on the first listing for the UR Trustees’ Honor Roll.

William A. Harris was an infant when his father became professor of Greek.  The younger Harris also attended Richmond College, receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees.  He earned his PhD at Johns Hopkins in – guess what subject – Greek; and in 1901, a century ago, he returned to his alma mater to fill the position left vacant by the death of his father.  For the rest of his life, William Harris was professor of Greek or professor of Latin.  When the school moved from downtown to Westhampton, Harris made the transition; and the Harris family lived at the head of the lake.

Woodford Hackley, who also taught languages, described his colleague as “one of those noble souls one meets only once in a lifetime.”  He explained:  “Dr. Harris was a beloved and honored teacher, a kind friend, and an abiding influence over his students and associates.  He was modest and unassuming, both gentle and strong, with an unfailing sense of humor and a deep appreciation of the good, the true, and the beautiful.  He was a lover of humanity.  Greek was his subject, but he taught much more than Greek; he taught the finer things of life.  His students probably forgot the Greek they learned in his classes, but they never forgot him or his philosophy of life.”  And then, Dr. Hackley paid his friend the ultimate compliment by adding:  “His life truly exemplified the spirit of the University of Richmond as projected by its founders.”

William A. Harris belonged to that community which founded, nourished and enabled the University of Richmond.  He was a Virginia Baptist.  He was active in all phases of denominational life:  for thirty years he was the person who wrote the minutes for the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention; for about thirty years he was president of the board of Shanghai University, a Baptist school in China; for forty years he was a deacon at his church, Grace Street Baptist Church of Richmond; for many years he led his church’s Sunday school and taught Bible classes; and for about thirty years he was the secretary (or director) of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society which his father also had served as secretary.  In this last capacity, he was one of my predecessors.  He served the Virginia Baptist Historical Society before its present director was even born and yet I can say that not a day passes that I am not in his debt.  I will come across some reference to some archival item which was added to our collection during Dr. Harris’ tenure.

The editor of a Richmond newspaper (and we can only guess that it was Dr. Freeman) once observed that W.A. Harris, the son, followed his father in the same field at the same institution, “circumstances that might have frustrated a man of less character and less determination.”  The editor commented that “always W.A. Harris had to meet comparison with H.H. Harris, the father” yet added that after four decades had passed, “at the University of Richmond every man who had been fortunate enough to choose that subject of study was an acknowledged and enthusiastic debtor of William A. Harris, that gentle Hellenist.  The editor concluded with the following:  “The scholarly reticence of the noble, high-minded teacher in not forcing his interpretation beyond the text, coupled with his manifest but half-repressed enthusiasm for the glory of the language, made a student a breathless listener on tiptoe where ‘heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.’”

William A. Harris died in 1945 at age 80.   And now, all these years later, the son joins the father on the Honor Roll.

Frances Wheeler Gregory
Frances Wheeler Gregory

Frances Wheeler Gregory

Professor of History 1950-1980

The following comments were made by Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society upon the addition of Dr. Gregory to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff, on January 8, 2006.

Frances Wheeler Gregory joined the faculty of Westhampton College in 1950 and continued to teach history until her retirement thirty years later.  And even then, she never left the University of Richmond.  She was among the faculty whose residences were on the campus.

Frances Gregory knew the subject of history and she shared her appreciation for her country’s history and heritage with her students.  She also cared about her students, these young women of Westhampton, and used history as a means to connect with the students.  Again, Dr. Rilling recalls his colleague’s tea parties which were attended by her students and colleagues.   Dr. Rilling summarizes that “Frannie’s legacy is to be found in the young women she inspired.”  He observes:  “She expected and only accepted academic work of the highest quality.  As a consequence of her teaching and example, scores of young women left Westhampton with confidence and self-assurance that little was beyond their reach.”  In 1987 the history department established the Francis W. Gregory Award which is given annually to the best graduate in history at Westhampton College.  Through the award, Frances Wheeler Gregory is yet teaching.

Miss Gregory died in 1998 at age 85.

William Hensley Leftwich
William Hensley Leftwich

William Hensley Leftwich

Professor of Psychology 1961-1986
Chairman of Department of Psychology, Director of Center for Psychological Services

Comments made by Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society, upon the addition of Dr. Leftwich to the University of Richmond Trustee's Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff, January 8, 2006. 

William Hensley Leftwich enjoyed delving into the study of why people act the way that they do.  Sometimes we call that field “psychology”.  After graduating from Richmond with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he pursued the PhD at Purdue.  In 1961 he returned to alma mater to teach psychology and soon became chairman of the department and director of the Center of Psychological Services.  He also began sharing his skills as an administrator and was named as associate dean of the summer school.

In 1973 the still-new president of the University of Richmond, E. Bruce Heilman, selected four vice-presidents who would report directly to the president.  Bill Leftwich was one of those four, becoming vice-president for student affairs.  As such, he interfaced with every phase of student campus life.  He supervised counseling, orientation, career placement, social organizations, activities, health services as well as sharing responsibilities in the area of student housing and food services.  It would be easier to list the areas for which he was not responsible.  And all the while, he remained a professor of psychology.

Bill Leftwich died twenty years ago this March at a young age of 54.  When he was gone - way too soon to be gone, the school newspaper carried the following statement:  “For those students who knew him well, Leftwich’s greatest assets were that he listened and cared.  He was sensitive to student concerns and worked hard on their behalf.  He assumed the role of advisor, administrator and mentor.  Perhaps the best thing one can do in life is dedicate himself to an institution that will outlive him in order to better it for later generations."

Pat Teachey, a long-time UR staff member was for awhile secretary to Dr. Leftwich, and she once summarized him in a single sentence:  “He loved his alma mater and his family and took such pride in both.”  For many of the alumni, faculty, staff and administrators who served this institution over the long years the thought of alma mater and family are very intertwined.  For many, the Latin meaning of “fostering mother” placed alma mater, this particular and beloved University of Richmond, whether or not it was the source of their own education and degree, as something akin to family.  Some of those honored today had little or no actual blood-kin and they found those family relationships through the University of Richmond.  I have known of professors and staff members of this institution who left everything they owned to the institution, thereby repaying every dollar they had earned.  UR was their next of kin.

Now for Bill Leftwich, he has family and the UR students and community were just an extended family.  The concept of family and the inherent values which are associated with it also spilled over into the classroom.  In 1968 Bill Leftwich reported on a series of faculty seminars on teaching and summarized the campus of that period:  “Ours is an enthusiastic, dedicated faculty concerned about providing the very best possible instruction for the very best student body.” 

Dr. Leftwich was referring to that slice of University history from the Sixties but the same thought could be applied to any decade in the 175 years of the institution.  In every age, even from the beginning, the academics were rigorous – the Seminary men of the 1830s studied Latin and Greek and Geometry and Moral Philosophy, Logic and Rhetoric, all of the classics as well as rising before day to work in the vegetable garden.  Whenever you talk with one of the students from a distant class, you learn anew that each student generation experienced the best possible higher education for the times and that each student generation excelled to the best of its ability.  But what they found here at the University of Richmond was more than academics.  They found a place of values where there was a caring staff, administration and faculty, all of whom were concerned about the development of the whole person.

Helen Monsell
Helen Monsell

Helen Monsell

Registrar, 1922-1961

These remarks were made by Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society upon the addition of Dr. Monsell to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff, on April 15, 1993.

Helen Monsell capably mastered the demanding job of registrar, keeping track of classes and profs, of course requirements and students, and she did this for 39 years or three generations of students.  But she did more than maintain records.  She was a favorite counselor and confidante for students and faculty.

Benjamin Clark Holtzclaw
Benjamin Clark Holtzclaw

Benjamin Clark Holtzclaw

Professor of Philosophy 1929-1965, Dean of Graduate School 1938-1965
Dean of Richmond College 1942-1945

On April 15, 1993, Benjamin Clark Holtzclaw was added to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff.  Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society had the following remarks:

A native of middle Georgia, Benjamin Clark Holtzclaw attended the Georgia Baptist Jerusalem, Mercer University, was selected a Rhodes Scholar and became a master of Greek and philosophy.  He was a natural fit into this Virginia Baptist school and for nearly40 years he gave of himself in teaching and in administrative duties.  He earned a reputation as a "hard-nosed [yet] charitabl, get-it-done sort of administrator."  He was such an odd mixture--this small-town Southern boy turned philosopher--that it led one wag to observe that he was "a liberalized conservative who is a pessamistic optimist."

Woodford Broadus Hackley
Woodford Broadus Hackley

Woodford Broadus Hackley

Professor of Latin, 1933-1962
Professor of Latin, Emeitus, 1962-1978

On April 15, 1993, Dr. Hackley was added to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff.  Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society had this to say about Dr. Hackley:

Woodford Broadus Hackley was my predecessor at the Virginia Baptist Historical Society and I am forever in his debt.  Whenever I research a topic and find notes signed GR for Farnett Ryland or WBH for Hackley, I know that there is no reason to search any further.  For 20 years he performed a labor of love by leading the VBHS, operating literally on a shoestring.  He used the backs of old test papers for his research notes and required his small staff to bring their own pencils and index cards.  He began an annual scholarly journal for the Historical Society and today the Virginia Baptist Register is in its 31st year and its subscription list includes leading research libraries around the country and beyond. 

Spencer Delancey Albright
Spencer Delancey Albright

Spencer Delancey Albright

Professor of History and Political Science, 1946-1971
Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, 1973-1983

On April 15, 1993, Dr. Albright was added to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff.  Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society had this to say about Dr. Albright:

Spencer Delancey Albright, Jr., was not a native Virginian.  He lived in several states and taught in several major universities far removed from Virginia, but when he landed here just after World War II he put down roots in Virginia.  He became a respected analyst of the Virginia political scene and his life's work on the American electoral process and the ballot system made him a recognized authority.  And yet his quick mind allowed him to relax with word games like Scrabble and he could figure all kinds of complicated patterns from words.  He maintained a running correspondence with Charlie McDowell, the columnist, telling him his latest mind game.  And Dr. Albright was one of those profs of whom the students reflect as one of their favorites.

Joseph Elritt Nettles
Joseph Elritt Nettles

Joseph Elritt Nettles

Public Relations Director, 1936-1970; Alumni Secretary 1936-1970; Instructor of Journalism, 1940-1973; Director of Journalism Program, 1970-1973; Alumni Secretary, Emeritus, 1973-1982; Lecturer in Journalism, Emeritus, 1979-1982

On April 15, 1993, Dr. Nettles was added to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff.   Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society had this to say about Dr. Nettles:

There is a legend that when Joe Nettles retired, he was replaced by three men.  That's absolutely false on two counts: it was five men, and frankly, nobody could replace Nettles, he was one of a kind.  He was alumni secretary, PR man, journalism teacher, fundraiser; I would call him a whirlwind but that implies disaster; actually Guy Friddell, one of his many successful students, has already aptly labeled him as "a constructive hurricane."  I came to know Joe late in his life, but the drive was never diminished.  By then, he was obsessed with writing the biography of another giant, Solon B. Cousins.  I truly believe that book project kept him alive and hastened his end.  And I survived several trips in his automobile and for once in my life I exercised good judgement and declined an invitation to go boating.  Paul Duke once observed:  "Joe has that rarest of qualities to make each of us feel more important than we really are."

Malcolm Upshur Pitt
Malcolm Upshur Pitt

Malcolm Upshur Pitt

Assistant Football Coach, 1928-1933; Basketball Coach 1933-1953; Baseball Coach, 1935-1972
Athletic Director, 1941-1967; Director of Athletics, Emeritus, 1971-1985

On April 15, 1993, Dr. Pitt was added to the University of Richmond Trustees' Honor Roll of Distinguished Faculty, Administrators and Staff.  On that date, Dr. Fred Anderson of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society had the following remarks:

Frequently I put on a costume and makeup and portray some character from history and one of my heroes is Robert Healy Pitt, who was editor of the Religious Herald and dean of all religious editors in the United States.  This very afternoon I have to gray my hair, glue on a moustache, put on wire rim glasses and portray Pitt for a video production.  Everytime I would ask his son, Mac Pitt, about his father, the coach would light up like the bulbs on a Christmas tree.  That very reaction spoke volumes about the relationship between father and son and the types of men both were.  Coach Malcolm Pitt was athletics personified but he was more than a legend and a star coach of winning teams.  He was a gentleman who used athletics to reach into the character shaping chambers of young men.  His Sunday school class at First Baptist Church was as popular as the playing field.  He coached as if it were a ministry!