The University of Richmond is a private, nonsectarian, liberal arts university located on the border of the city of Richmond and Henrico County, Virginia. The University of Richmond (UR or U of R) is a primarily undergraduate, residential university with approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students in five schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business, the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, the University of Richmond School of Law and the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.
Founded by Virginia Baptists in 1830 as a manual labor institute for men wishing to become ministers, with instruction begun by the Rev. Edward Baptist, an 1813 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, the school was incorporated ten years later as Richmond College. After 1834, the Columbia House was the main academic building of Richmond College. During the American Civil War, the entire student body formed a regiment and joined the Confederate army. Richmond College's buildings were used as a hospital for Confederate troops and later as a Union barracks. The college invested all of its funds in Confederate war bonds, and the outcome of the war left it bankrupt. In 1866, James Thomas donated $5,000 to reopen the college. The T.C. Williams School of Law opened in 1870.
In 1894, the college elected Dr. Frederic W. Boatwright president. President Boatwright would serve for 51 years. He is most remembered for raising the funds needed to move the college in 1914 from its original downtown location to a new 350-acre campus in what is now Westhampton area of Richmond, and in doing so created Westhampton College for women. The university's main library, Boatwright Memorial Library, is named in Boatwright's honor. Symbolically, the library and its soaring academic gothic tower occupy the highest spot on the grounds. Its grounds were landscaped in 1913, by Warren H. Manning under the supervision of Charles Gillette.
School of Arts & Sciences
All Richmond undergraduate students begin their course work in the School of Arts & Sciences (A&S), which offers 38 majors and 10 concentrations in the arts, sciences, social sciences, and humanities. After one full year of study, students may decide to pursue majors in the other undergraduate schools, though 70 percent of students choose to remain in A&S. Opportunities abound in the School of Art & Sciences, as students have the chance to study abroad and pursue internships or research while gaining an education that will prepare them for a variety of careers or graduate programs.
Robins School of Business
The Robins School of Business was established in 1949 and offers undergraduate, graduate and executive education programs. It is named after alumnus E. Claiborne Robins. Ranked 12th nationally overall and tied for first in academic quality by BusinessWeek, the Robins School is the only fully accredited, top-ranked undergraduate business school that also is part of a top-ranked liberal arts university. In the 2009 BusinessWeek review of part-time MBA programs, the Robins school ranked 3rd in the mid-Atlantic region and 17th nationwide.
All students must complete general education requirements as part of the liberal arts curriculum. These requirements include a freshman seminar that all first-year students must complete. Other general education requirements include expository writing, wellness, foreign language, and one class each in six fields of study.
Noted University of Richmond traditions include: an honor code administered by student honor councils; Investiture and Proclamation Night, ceremonies for first year men and women to reflect on their next four years; Ring Dance, a dance held at the Jefferson Hotel by the junior class women; and Pig Roast, a large annual event held during the spring semester which draws significant gatherings of current students and alumni to the fraternity lodges and have featured musical acts such as Flo Rida and Afroman.
The University of Richmond's campus consists of 350 acres (1.4 km sq) in a suburban setting on the western edge of the city. Most of the campus lies within the city limits; a small section of the south campus, including the Special Programs Building (home to the student health center and the campus police), intramural sports fields, and most of the campus apartments, lies within Henrico County. The university has, with few exceptions, remained true to the original architectural plans for the campus — red brick buildings in a collegiate gothic style set around shared open lawns. Many of the original buildings, including Jeter Hall and North Court, both residence halls, and Ryland Hall, the original administration building and library for Richmond College, were designed by Ralph Adams Cram in 1910. Cram, a noted institutional architect, also designed buildings for Princeton, Cornell, Rice, and Williams, among other universities. Warren H. Manning, a former apprentice to Frederick Law Olmsted, designed the original landscape plan.