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15 Reasons to Join Richmond's Class of '15

By Tom Nicholas

April 20, 2011

We have twelve days to go until the national enrollment deadline of May 1. Many students have already made their college selection, but an equal or greater number are still weighing the final pieces. If Richmond is one of your top choices, here are 15 reasons you should consider joining our Class of 2015:

#1. Talented and dedicated peers. To describe Richmond students as “high-achieving” would be an understatement. More than half the Class of 2015 will choose to double-major; at least 50% will do original, independent, non-class-related research before graduating; 65% will study abroad; 70% will pursue an internship; and the 770 members of the class will help keep more than 250 student organizations running on campus. Admission this year was more selective than ever before, and the Class of 2015 will comprise students with a huge diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and interests. (Keep up on geographic enrollment with our Class of 2015 Google Map.)

#2. Small school, big opportunities. On the one hand, you’ll never sit in a class of more than 40 students, your class size will average 17, and you’ll never find a grad student teaching a class or lab – a full professor will always be in the room. On the other hand: 75 study abroad programs, 250 student clubs, hundreds of internship and community engagement opportunities in the U.S. and around the world, more than half a million dollars in undergraduate research funding every year… you get the picture.

#3. Liberal Arts and D-I Athletics. Looking for a liberal arts college that can boast two trips to March Madness, a Sweet 16 appearance, and a national championship in Division I football, all within the last two and a half years? I haven’t checked officially, but I’m pretty sure we’re the only one.

#4. We’re hot. Not just the “hottest school for international studies,” or hot in terms of the temperature (which is actually more of a pleasant warm during most of the academic year), but on-the-rise-hot. We’ve got new majors, new buildings, and our national reputation is skyrocketing (as reflected in our upward trend through many top rankings).

#5. Undergrads are central. You’re the center of our attention, the main population we’re serving here at Richmond. Where else can you take a first-year seminar taught by the president of the university, by a law school professor (five of ours are teaching first-year seminars next year), or by some of the most distinguished faculty from a top-ranked business school or a cutting-edge leadership school?

#6. PPEL. Our new major, integrating Politics, Philosophy, Economics, and Law, is just one example of how the University’s strategic plan fosters connections between all our schools and disciplines, to better study how things really work in the world (see also: IQ Science, Arts Management, Leadership Studies).

#7. Our mascot. The only Spiders in the country. Tiny but deadly, much like our size vs. Division I athletic presence.

#8. A new international center. Open since August, the Carole Weinstein International Center brings all things international — study abroad, international education, international studies, modern languages — under one roof. Also, an amazing new international café right across the street from the admission office. (Not that I’m excited about it or anything.)

#9. A twelfth-ranked business school with a brand new wing. The Robins School has placed in the top 25 since the inception of BusinessWeek‘s undergraduate b-school rankings, coming in this year at #12. We’ve also consistently received A+ grades for facilities and services – and this was before Queally Hall opened in January, doubling the physical size of the Robins School and including a new capital markets trading room, café, auditorium, and lots of collaborative space for professors, students, and employers. What’s the next step up from an A+?

#10. A new football stadium. Spider Football has come home to campus: Robins Stadium opened in August and was the new site of another winning season. Student attendance reached all-time highs, and game-day atmosphere was electric. It’s a great time to be a Spider!

#11. Even more new buildings. As long as we’re listing new buildings, keep in mind that in the last four years we’ve opened a new science center, a new dining hall, a new recreation and wellness center, a new residence hall for Living and Learning Communities, and a newly-renovated student commons.

#12. Leadership Studies. The first and only institution of its kind in the world (with a full-time, multi-disciplinary faculty dedicated to the pursuit of new insights into the complexities and challenges of leadership), our Jepson School is coming up on its 20th anniversary of going where no school has gone before.

#13. Living and Learning. The newest addition to our thriving living and learning communities is our Sophomore Scholars in Residence program, which gives you the chance to live with other students around a common area of interest, take a class downstairs with a professor who doubles as your hall’s advisor, and probably do some related travel on the University’s tab.

#14. An awesome city. Sure, you get the beauty (and close-knit community) of a residential suburban campus, but you’re only 15 minutes from downtown Richmond— state capital, home to six Fortune 500 companies, largest center for federal court activity outside of D.C., and the only U.S. city with Class IV rapids inside city limits. Richmond’s got it all, from abundant outdoors opportunities to rich history to an incredible restaurant scene to a burgeoning non-profit sector to vibrant culture, arts, and festivals. And it’s a city full of surprises, too — who would’ve thought that Richmond, VA is the third most tattooed city in America?

#15. Dessert. Well, delicious food in general. With the opening of Passport Café in the International Center and Lou’s in the business school, there are more choices than ever before. But seriously, where else can you find a college dining hall with a full-time pastry chef? Or vote annually for next year’s cereal choices?

Tags: Why Richmond?

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Tom NicholasTom Nicholas
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.

Learn more about Tom


Beth Anne SpachtBeth 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.

Learn more about Beth Anne

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.

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