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Many Spiders, One Web

By Beth Anne Spacht

September 2, 2020

A guest post by Erica Riesbeck, Associate Director of Admission

It started with a message on January 30. Wash your hands with soapy water, don’t share spit, use your elbow to sneeze or cough, and be healthy. By March 11 the University made the decision to close the campus. It was a whirlwind spring, full of disappointment and anxiety. Richmond tried to ease the burden on students, staff, and faculty. We provided housing for those who could not return home, funded transportation for students in need, and reimbursed housing, meal costs, and parking for the remainder of the semester. Professors pivoted, research resumed virtually, and students socialized through their screens. President Crutcher kept our collective spirits high with thoughtful video and email messages.

Fast forward through lots and lots of Zoom meetings, planning sessions, and creative ideas for the successful start of the fall semester: 117 days.

What do 117 days look like for a Richmond Spider? It’s covered in colorful masks. It’s signs everywhere reminding us to physical distance. It means sharing responsibility to protect our web. We’re also smiling underneath those masks, happy to be together again and ready to make this work.

We’re fortunate to have a community at Richmond who confronts challenges with creativity. Read on for a few examples of the really cool ways that our students, faculty, and staff are keeping our web healthy, happy, and safe:

With the help of the Richmond Guarantee, 400 students complete summer research and internships

Covid Richmond Guarantee

Robins Arena and other unique campus locations transformed to classrooms

Robins Arena Classroom

Biology professor Shannon Jones mails science-themed kits to incoming STEM students

Covid URISE

COVID-19 Dashboard: cumulative data about total number of tests, active cases, and positivity rates

Covid Dashboard

The dining experience at Richmond: there’s an app for that!

covid dining

Tags: Around Campus

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Tom NicholasTom Nicholas
Associate 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
Senior 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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