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

May 31, 2022

Dear Panther Community, 

May has been an exciting month in the life of our campus! As we transition to summer, I hope you are spending time with your friends and family, celebrating the major accomplishments of another meaningful year. Enjoy this moment and take in the feeling of your hard work paying off!  

This month, Virginia Union University displayed its Best-in-Class qualities through the accomplishments of our key leaders, students and faculty, alumni and our community. Here is a recap of some of our recent achievements:  


Commencement 2022: Making History 

After two years, we were finally able to be back in person for our 123rd Commencement Exercises. I am proud of the students who have worked hard to meet their goals and this year’s graduating class hit many milestones. The Class of 2022 made history, as 19 graduates earned a GPA of 4.0 and above, the largest number of students to do so since the University’s establishment. Over three-quarters of the graduating class earned a 3.0 GPA or higher. Additionally, we recognized students who were the first graduates of our new Executive MBA and Masters of Political Science programs. 

We continued in our tradition of molding change agents across the nation as the representative of Virginia’s 95th District, Delegate Marcia “Cia” Price, graduated at the top of her class in the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology. She is the fifth VUU graduate currently serving in the Virginia legislature.  

These history-making moments are only a few highlights from an impactful celebration of achievement. To see more of the 2022 Commencement ceremony, click here

VUU Partnerships: The Steinbridge Group & Paragon VTOL Aerospace 

In an effort to fulfill our value proposition, it is imperative that we give students the tools to achieve success after they graduate. Our partnership with The Steinbridge Group will allow us to equip students with the tools they need to become homeowners. Moreover, our collaboration with Steinbridge will aid in our partnership with the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) which will offer programs to students who are interested in the real estate industry. Homeownership is a crucial next step for our students on the path to generational wealth and VUU will continue to play a role in helping students achieve that goal. 

Beginning this summer, VUU will partner with Paragon VTOL Aerospace to research the use of Urban Air Mobility. Through the Center for Technology and Innovation, students will gain hands-on experience testing innovative passenger and cargo transportation methods using drones to sustainably meet the needs of our evolving world. Partnering with Paragon VTOL will not only expose students to newer technological innovations, but also position them to be ahead of the curve as leaders of the transportation evolution. 

Award-Winning Achievements 

Congratulations to VUU Golf Team member, Hayden Garcia, for being named the CIAA Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. Hayden, a biology major and Presidential Scholar, was named Salutatorian of this year’s graduating class. Click here to watch an interview with Hayden as part of the President’s Top 13 Scholars interview series. Keep up the great work, Hayden! 


I am also pleased to announce that VUU has received award-winning recognition for our work in social video and television production with two films, Virginia Union University Vision and the Community Leaders Celebration to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The university received a regional Murrow Award, two Silver Telly Awards and an Emmy nomination for our excellence in storytelling and video production. Each of these pieces of work are vital to the story of our institution and our community, challenging those that come after us to think bigger and serve better in their “beloved communities.” To our production team and partners, job well done! Click the links above to watch VUU’s award-winning stories. 

Looking forward . . . 

2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration 

Mark your calendars for our 2nd Annual Juneteenth Sounds of Freedom Celebration on Saturday, June 18th. The event, hosted by the Hezekiah Walker Center for Sacred and Gospel Music, will feature Grammy Award-winning gospel artists as well as local gospel groups. The concert will take place from 3 PM to 7 PM and is free and open to the public. Stay tuned for more information.  

As always, I thank you for your continued support of this university. The impact we make in this community is clear and we are only getting started. For those who have graduated, looking forward to the next leg of your journey, continue to passionately pursue your calling. For those who are next in line, keep pushing toward your purpose. 

Again, I appreciate your support and look forward to celebrating our continued success.