Office of the President, Message from Dr. Hakim J. Lucas

September 30, 2021

Dear Panther Community, 

There is excitement in the air at Virginia Union University. I am proud to report that we are moving forward on our Best-In-Class strategic vision. Our September flash report indicates that we have reached our highest enrollment number in four years and the highest retention rate in the history of the University. We are now ranked #48 amongst HBCUs by U.S. News & World Report, and VUU is a Top 50 HBCU! 

Highest Enrollment Since 2017 

VUU's total enrollment is 1,660 students. The highest enrollment for the University since 2017. So far, we've welcomed 577 new undergraduate and graduate students in Fall 2021, which includes a 12% increase in graduate student enrollment over last fall. Students are continuing to be enrolled as VUU offers seven academic terms as part of the fall semester. The team looks forward to reporting its final enrollment numbers after students are registered for terms E and F. 

Highest Retention in VUU History 

The University experienced 86% retention across all degree programs, a 10% increase over Fall 2020. 76% of graduating seniors, in the Class of 2022, have returned to complete their degrees. 70% of the first-time freshmen during fall 2020 have returned for their sophomore year in fall 2021. 

Historic Investment Strategy

I am excited about the outstanding leadership of VUU's Board of Trustees. They have unanimously voted to revise our Endowment Policy, mandating that minority-owned firms manage 60% of the investment portfolio. This decision is the first of its kind, making VUU the first HBCU to mandate that the majority of its endowment be managed by minority firms. This action ensures the University can attract and partner with the increased number of successful billion-dollar minority investment firms. We will show the success of this strategy and encourage other HBCUs to do the same. VUU's first strategic partnership is with global investment firm Advent Capital under the management of President Tracy Maitland. 

Homecoming – Love, Union. 

Homecoming 2021 will be held during the week of October 3 – 9 with the theme: LOVE, UNION. We are excited to have our alumni and supporters back on campus and to feel once again the energy that comes with our Homecoming Like No other (#HLNO). Several in-person events have been planned. We appreciate your attention to our policies for social distancing and proof of vaccination so that we keep everyone safe while enjoying the festivities. Everyone planning to attend Homecoming events should register at: https://www.vuu.edu/about-union/homecoming2021.

Remember that the Homecoming football game kicks off on October 9 at 1:00 p.m. vs. the Lions of Lincoln University (Pa.). Our Panther football team is undefeated in conference play. We are cheering them on to a championship title this year. 

Love, Union.,

Hakim J. Lucas, Ph.D. President & CEO