Dear Panther Community,
This February, Black History Month, has been an exciting and educational month, filled with thought-provoking discussions, reflections and celebrations of how far we have come.
This month, we celebrated the Richmond 34, a group of Virginia Union University students who were arrested in 1960 for non-violently demonstrating against segregated businesses right here in our city, Richmond, Virginia. Their bravery and willingness to stand against injustice led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This month has also been one of caution, as we saw an increased number of bomb threats to HBCUs across the nation. While we are not strangers to acts such as these, as we have had to remain vigilant throughout our history, it is increasingly important to be vigilant about our surroundings as well. Despite these threats to our great institutions, though we may be shaken, we are not stirred. We will continue to support and uphold the honor of HBCUs.
News from the Board of Trustees
I am pleased to announce the Board of Trustees’ approval of several major initiatives that will strengthen our partnerships within the community and position us as a leading innovator among institutions. Here are a few developments that were approved during this month’s meeting.
Virginia Union Technical College
This summer, VUU will launch the fifth tier of our institution, Virginia Union Technical College (VUTC). It is vital that we continue to meet the ever-changing needs of our current and prospective students. VUTC will do this by offering a 2-year degree program that allows students to obtain their associate degree or certification in a specialized field. The programs will also prepare students to continue working towards their bachelor's, master’s, and even doctoral degrees.
Virginia Union Academy
The re-establishment of Virginia Union Academy will allow us to forge partnerships with organizations to provide access to education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This much needed initiative allows us to maintain our commitment to serving our community by delivering a quality education to those who would not have the opportunity otherwise.
Investment Policy Strategy
A first-of-its kind policy for HBCUs, our newly solidified Investment Policy Strategy will ensure that funds are invested into African American, diverse management firms with 60% of endowment investments managed by minority firms. These partnerships allow us to make a generational impact on the lives of those who are a part of the VUU community as well as an economic impact in our city.
VUU’s Inaugural Legislative Day
On February 10, 2022, we held our inaugural Legislative Day at the Virginia General Assembly. During this time, Virginia Union University had the opportunity to share the amazing progress we have made in becoming “Best in Class” as well as hear from VUU alumni Delegate Delores McQuinn and Delegate Nadarius Clark. As the first HBCU to visit and be recognized by the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates during the General Assembly session, it is important that moments like this continue to happen, giving students and other university delegates the opportunity to advocate for funds that will benefit our students, institution and community at large.
This past week, our VUU Men’s Basketball team made their way to Baltimore for the 2022 CIAA Tournament. It was an exciting week as our team fought their way to the Championship game. Although we did not come out on top against Fayetteville State University, I am proud of the determination, talents and work ethic of our athletes on and off the court. To be a student athlete is not only about talent but also about character. Our men’s basketball team finished the season with a record of 23-7, the most wins since the 2006-07 season. As they look forward to the possibility of competing in the NCAA Tournament, let’s show our team how proud we are of them and how proud we are to be Panthers!
Looking Forward . . .
On Saturday, May 7, 2022, VUU will celebrate the Class of 2022 at our 123rd Commencement ceremony. In addition to celebrating the class of 2022, we want to honor the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021. Stay tuned to your university communications for more information.
As we continue our journey to become “Best in Class” by 2025, I want to thank you for all your support of our university. We are able to make such a great impact on our students and community because of you. In our efforts to continue providing a quality education to students, I encourage you to make a financial contribution to our university. You can click Support VUU to give. As always, I appreciate your generosity and look forward to the progress we will continue to make TOGETHER.
Hakim J. Lucas, Ph.D.
President & CEO