By Beth Anne Spacht
February 13, 2015
It’s almost Valentine’s Day! In our neck of the woods, that means one thing: delicious D-Hall desserts.
Yes, this is an annual spread at our dining hall. And yes, I plan to try one of everything. Personal gluttony aside, I want to take a moment to reflect upon another type of sweet treat recent to the realm of Richmond.
Last week, the University of Richmond earned a spot on the Princeton Review’s 2015 list of Colleges that Pay You Back. According to Publisher Robert Franek, the criteria captures schools that “stand out for their excellent academics, impressive career preparation services and affordability to students with need via comparatively low sticker prices, generous financial aid or both. […] Plus their students graduate with great career prospects.”
The ranking got me thinking. The University of Richmond offers a stand-out “Return-on-Education,” but does the buck really stop there? In what other ways is Richmond showing the love to its students? Obviously, the dessert spread in the dining hall is at the top of my list. But beyond the boundaries of culinary concoctions, you’ll find that the University of Richmond is delivering students a full spread of enriching educational opportunities in a package fit for fun. Here are a few reasons why:
Starting this summer, we now officially guarantee every undergraduate student funding of up to $4,000 for a summer research or internship experience. The Richmond Guarantee ensures that, as a Richmond student, you'll have the opportunity to pursue the internship, research experience, creative project, or service learning opportunity that best complements your academic pursuits – in any field of endeavor, and in any part of the world.
Speaking of going global, we often talk about study abroad at Richmond as an amped up version of what most schools have to offer. Looking past standard summer, semester, and year opportunities, you’ll also find Sophomore Scholars in Residence (SSIR) programs that take the typical classroom experience and turn it on its head. Through these dynamic year-long courses students live, study, and travel (for a total sum of $0 – yes, totally FREE) on short-term trips through colorful destinations like the Dominican Republic, Cuba, London, New Orleans and Belize taking classes with crazy cool titles like “Salsa Meets Jazz,” “The Business of Science,” and “Eating Locally, Thinking Globally.” SSIRs culminate with a capstone project that gets students out of the books and into the real world, all at no cost to you.
Continuing the conversation about funded international experiences isn’t possible without a mention of our Office of the Chaplaincy. No matter your religious affiliation, Richmond offers designated on campus space for students of all faiths to worship. Outside our extensive list of campus ministries, we’re also one of the few non-religiously-affiliated Universities to offer a global approach to religious growth and education. Through fully-funded pilgrimage programs to locations like Israel, Poland, and Northern England, our religious leaders guide students through international programming designed to foster inter-faith understanding and discussion. What better way to create a community of support on campus than by learning how to love and appreciate our differences across physical and spiritual borders?
And it’s not all about leaving the confines of campus. At Richmond, you’ll also find a spirit of inclusion and acceptance fostered by our Office of Common Ground: a campus resource designed to deliver students with the mentorship, leadership, and education necessary to be advocates of diversity and community across lines of difference. This is where you’ll find students sitting side by side with professors in Safe Zone Training, taking time to become informed allies for the LGBTQ community. It’s where you’ll find student Cultural Advisors planning CA Alternatives every Saturday night from 9pm-12am. It’s where you’ll find friends eager to look beyond the “typical” college weekend scene by participating in off-the-wall activities like pool parties in the gym (complete with float toys and a showing of Jaws), visits to Jumpology (a local trampoline park), and low-key coffee houses and game nights. And these are just the events planned for this February!
If board games aren’t for you, consider the fact that all students get FREE tickets (sensing a theme, yet?) to all Division I sporting events on campus. Or that we have an in-house nutritionist ready to work with each and every student – not just athletes – to help you navigate on-campus dining options and accommodate special food allergies. Or let’s say you catch a cold and can’t make it to dinner. Did you know our dining hall will pack a to-go box for delivery straight to your residence hall door? No need to stress about making it out of bed. And lastly, while on the subject of stress, let’s not forget about the puppies! Yes, puppies. Each finals period, the Office of the Chaplaincy organizes “Study Breaks for the Soul” where puppies are brought to campus to help ease the stress of exams. Meet Murphy the Therapy Dog (pictured below). I mean, come on. Look at that face. How can you not fall in love?
I could go on about how Richmond supports its students, but my ultimate point is this:
At Richmond, no one is alone on Valentine’s Day. That’s because every single day of every single year, this school is committed to showing you how much it genuinely cares about you as a student, as an individual, and as a future member of the alumni web. It’s a constant type of adoration, not limited to one day of the year – the perpetual comfort of knowing that the school you love genuinely loves you back. If you have any doubts, spend 5 minutes with Murphy and a heart-shaped cookie in hand, and I challenge you not to feel the affection.
At Richmond, it’s a relationship that lasts.
Senior Assistant Director of Admission
A Richmond alumnus (Class of 2007), Tom has been working and blogging for the Office of Admission since he graduated. He loves his alma mater and the city that shares its name.
Beth Anne Spacht
Assistant Director of Admission
Beth Anne was a double major at Richmond (English and Latin American & Iberian Studies) and now enjoys helping prospective students discover the best of her alma mater.
The University of Richmond is a highly ranked liberal arts university offering an extraordinary combination of the liberal arts with law, business, leadership studies, and continuing education. The university is consistently named a best value in higher education by leading publications.