Virginia Union University Receives Grant from National Parks Service for Restoration of Historic Huntley Hall

August 31, 2018


Kiara McGowan-Powell
Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator
Virginia Union University
(804) 257-5856

(Richmond) - Virginia Union University (VUU) has received a $500,000 grant from the National Parks Services (NPS) Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grant Program to make renovations to historic Huntley Hall. This grant is given to 18 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) every year to help support special projects in order to preserve significant historic structures on HBCU campuses, many of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. VUU is one of five HBCUs in Virginia that received funding in this round of grants. “We are excited to receive this funding to restore Huntley Hall, as it aligns with our campus plans of finding innovative ways to preserve our history while improving our campus for enhanced student engagement,” said VUU President Dr. Hakim Lucas. “This grant will be beneficial in the preservation of this historic building so students can enjoy living in it for many more years to come.”

The grant was submitted through Maurice Campbell, Assistant Vice President for Business Development, whose responsibility is to create relationships to in order to foster growth and development to further VUU’s strategic mission. “The history of VUU, as well as its architecture, is rich and well worth preserving.” said Campbell. “For that reason, we applied for this grant in order to access federal funds that will continue to help us with university sustainability, and improving our residence halls for an enhanced student experience.”

The VUU campus includes original buildings designed by Washington architect John H. Coxhead that serve as an outstanding example of a late-Victorian collegiate grouping. The solid Romanesque Revival structures dramatically cluster along a shallow rise and unlike most of Richmond’s architecture of the late 19th century and early 20th century that were executed in brick or wood, the Coxhead designed buildings were made of granite.  Huntley Hall was named for the Huntley family: Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Huntley, their son Byron E. Huntley, and daughter, Miss Frances E. Huntley.  Mr. Byron Huntley was a trustee member who allocated a gift as part of his will in 1906 with the request that part of it be used for the construction new dormitory and teacher’s residences. His sister Miss Frances Huntley also provided a gift and numerous other Black individuals and organizations provided funding as well.  As a result, the four-story granite structure was added to the campus and was dedicated on November 27, 1913.

Renovations of Huntley Hall will include an installation of an elevator in the building to meet ADA compliance, updated housing, as well as enhanced building security systems and access to increase student safety and security.

Virginia Union University is a private, liberal arts institution located in Richmond, Virginia. Founded in 1865, this premier historically black university (HBCU) enrolls 1,485 undergraduate and graduate students. VUU is committed to fostering success in the “real world” by offering educational opportunities in the liberal arts, education, STEM, theology, and continuing education. Student success is supported through research, state-of-the-art laboratories, internships, and study abroad. To learn more, please visit www.vuu.edu.