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History of Virginia Commonwealth University

A guide to resources related to the history of Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University Timeline

1968 Virginia Commonwealth University is created through the merger of Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia
1969 Warren W. Brandt becomes the first president of VCU; The university adopts black and gold for its colors; The School of Allied Health Professions is established; Lyons Building is opened; Program in nurse anesthesia is organized; School of Community Services is organized
1970 Fraternities and sororities are sanctioned at VCU; James Branch Cabell Library opens; Department of Family Practice is established
1971    Pollak Building opens; Edward A. Wayne Medal for distinguished service is established
1972      VCU conducts its first self-study; School of Business Building, now Harris Hall opens
1973 VCU ranks in the top 100 institutions receiving federal grant funds for the first time
1974 MCV/VCU Cancer Center is established with a grant from the National Cancer Institute
1975    T. Edward Temple becomes VCU's second president
1976 Gay Alliance of Students is given recognition as an official student group; Department of Gerontology is established; Oliver Hall opens
1978 Edmund F. Ackell becomes VCU's third president; School of Mass Communication is organized; VCU makes its first appearance in Men's Basketball National Invitation Tournament (NIT)
1979 School of Social Work begins program in Northern Virginia
1980 VCU makes its first appearance in the Men's Basketball NCAA Tournament
1981    Distinguished faculty awards program is created; MCV Hospital is designated a Level I trauma center
1982 Main Hospital opens; Performing Arts Center, now the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts opens; Annual faculty convocations are begun
1983 Massey Cancer Center opens; Honors program is established; Cary Street Gym and Athletic complex is opened
1984 Smith Building opens; Student Commons opens; Hospital Hospitality House (now The Doorways) opens
1986 Renovated North Hospital (former E.G. Williams Hospital) opens; First capital campaign for $52 million begins
1987 Temple Building opens
1988 VCU celebrates its sesquicentennial
1990 Eugene P. Trani becomes VCU's fourth president
1993 School of Medicine and School of Basic Health Sciences merge; French Film Festival begins; Stony Point outpatient facility opens
1994 Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) are established
1995 VCU Adcenter, later VCU Brandcenter, is begun; Six year Doctor of Pharmacy Program adopted to replace the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree; Ambulatory Care Center opens; Virginia Premier Health Plan, Inc. is established; Virginia Biotechnology Research Park opens; 
1996 School of Engineering is established; Kontos Medical Science Building opens; "Partners for Progress" $125 million capital campaign begins; Carver Neighborhood VCU Partnership begins
1997     Medical College of Virginia Hospitals Authority is created
1998 VCUQatar is establish in Doha; School of Engineering West Hall opens
1999    School of the Arts Building on Broad Street opens; Stuart C. Siegel Center opens;Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute is established
2000 Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences is created; VCU Life Sciences is initiated; Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Authority is established; Massey Cancer Center at Stony Point opens; Richard T. Robertson Alumni House opens
2001    Eugene P. and Lois E. Trani Life Sciences Building opens; First fall commencement ceremony held; Center for Human and Animal Interaction created, the first in the country; Ackell Residence Center opens
2002 Chemistry professor John B. Fenn, Ph.D., wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry; Gateway Building opens
2003 School of Government and Public Affairs is established and becomes the L. Douglas Wilder School a year later
2004 Board of Visitors changes the name of the VCU Academic Campus to the Monroe Park Campus; Shafer Court Dining Center opens; School of Government and Public Affairs is named for L. Douglas Wilder; Campaign for VCU fundraising begins
2005 Center for Health Disparities is launched;Monroe Park Campus addition is begun; Brandt Hall opens
2006 VCU Health System receives Magnet Status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center; University College opens; VCU receives Community Engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
2007 School of Nursing Building opens; Center for Clinical and Translational Research is organized and becomes the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research in 2015
2008 VCU is designated a Tier 3 university; Snead Hall and the School of Engineering East Hall open; Critical Care Hospital opens; VCU celebrates its 40th anniversary; da Vinci Center for Innovation is created; 
2009 Michael Rao becomes VCU fifth president; the W. Baxter Perkinson, Jr. and the Molecular Medicine Research buildings open
2010 VCU Children's Medical Center and Children's Hospital join to form Children's Hospital of Richmond; Brandcenter building is named Mike Hughes Hall
2011 VCU Rams make the Final Four of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament; "Quest for Distinction" strategic plan  launches
2012 VCU ASPIRE living-learning program is launched; VCU joins the Atlantic 10 Conference; Adopts a new seal featuring the Egyptian Building and the names of the two schools merged to form the university; First Lavender Graduation is held 
2013 VCU Globe program is begun; James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center opens; Academic Learning Commons opens; School of Nursing building is named Sadie Health Cabaniss Hall; School of Mass Communications becomes the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture; The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs becomes an independent school; East Marshall Street Well Planning Committee is created 
2014 VCU Health formalizes relationship with Community Memorial Hospital; da Vinci Center building opens
2015 James Branch Cabell Library extension opens; VCU Health is adopted as the brand for the health system
2016 Children's Pavilion opens; VCU Police move to new headquarters between the two campuses; VCU Health Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Wellness Center at Short Pump opens
2017  Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation, also known as iCubed is launched
2018 Schools of Allied Health Professions and Engineering become College of Health Profession and College of Engineering; Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) opens; VCU marks 50th anniversary of its creation
2019 College of Health Professions Building opens; VCU Health Hub at 25th opens
2020 VCU makes operational changes to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic; Board of Visitors votes to de-commemorate buildings named for Confederates