Virginia Union University Celebrates 31% Enrollment Surge For 2023-24

August 23, 2023

RICHMOND, VA – [August 23, 2023] – VUU is thrilled to announce a historic milestone in its academic journey, with the University experiencing an unprecedented 31% surge in undergraduate enrollment compared to the previous academic year.  

More than 1,200 undergraduate and 400 graduate students have enrolled at Virginia Union for the academic year 2023-24. As classes begin this week, more than 465 first-time freshmen have enrolled at the University, bringing total first-year enrollment above 550 for the first time since 2015. 

"Virginia Union has welcomed students for nearly 160 years, and this is one of our strongest years ever," said Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President and CEO. "We know that students have choices, and we are proud they are selecting Virginia Union in rising numbers. This is especially gratifying at a time when some question the value of higher education. This enrollment is a testimony to our faculty who teach students, our alumni who inspire them, and our community that guides students to a lifetime of success."  

Students arriving on campus cite numerous reasons for choosing Virginia Union, from academic excellence to a unique history anchored by successful alumni to an exciting campus experience. The announcement comes just days before Virginia Union competes in the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic. The Classic occurs at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, over Labor Day weekend, on Sunday, September 3. Morehouse College is scheduled to participate.  

"I always wanted to stay a Panther," said Jada Byers, a Hammonton, New Jersey junior. "I believe in this culture and this environment... I'm going to stay here for all my four years."   

Byers plays as a running back for the Virginia Union Panthers football team, where he earned the 2022 Willie Lanier Award. The award honors goes to the premier non-Division I player in Virginia and honors Willie Lanier, pro football's first African American starting middle-linebacker. Lanier played for the Kansas City Chiefs and attended Maggie L. Walker High School next door to the University.   

"This is a tremendous achievement for one of the country's most important HBCUs," said Mylaka Simpson, acting vice president for enrollment management. "We are so excited to welcome so many new Panthers, and I want to thank everyone on our team who made this possible."  

The University's commitment to academic excellence, vibrant campus life, and dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive community has attracted a record number of students.

Enrollment Highlights:

Record-Breaking Numbers: Virginia Union University has achieved an impressive 31 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment compared to the previous year.  

Diverse and Talented Cohort: The incoming class is among the most diverse and academically accomplished in the University's history. Students from various backgrounds, cultures, and academic interests have chosen VUU as their home for higher education.  

Academic Excellence: Virginia Union attracts high-achieving students pursuing rigorous studies. The University's faculty, renowned for their expertise and dedication to teaching, are excited to welcome this exceptional cohort of students.  

Robust Campus Life: VUU is renowned for its vibrant campus life, offering students a well-rounded college experience that extends beyond the classroom. With numerous student organizations, clubs, and events, students have many opportunities to engage, connect, and grow as leaders.  

Community Engagement: Virginia Union University is committed to meaningful connections and partnerships, where students actively engage in service-learning, community outreach, and social justice work that align with the University's mission.