University of Richmond

From Academic Kids

The University of Richmond (commonly known as UR) is a privately owned and funded higher institute of learning located in Richmond, Virginia. It was founded by Virginia Baptists in 1830 as a seminary for men; ten years later, it was incorporated as Richmond College, which it would remain until the 1990s.

During the American Civil War, the college was used first as a hospital for Confederate troops, then as a Union barracks. By the end of the war, the college was bankrupt and unable to continue functioning. Fortunately, in 1866, James Thomas donated $5,000 to the college, reopening the school. In 1870, the T.C. Williams School of Law was opened, and it is now one of the oldest law schools in the state.

In 1894, Richmond's official mascot became the spider, and it became the only university in the country to have the spider as its official mascot. Also in that year, the university elected Dr. Frederic W. Boatwright as its professor. Boatwright's 51-year tenure as president of Richmond College earned him the honor of having the university's main library (Boatwright Memorial Library) named after him.

Missing image
Looking out over Westhampon Lake from Tyler Haynes Commons
In 1914, the Westhampton College for women was opened. Soon after, President Boatwright moved the campus from its original location in what is now the Fan district, to its current location, on the far west of the city. This new campus is now considered one of the most beautiful university campuses in the country. In 1921, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences opened, the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business in 1949, and the School of Continuing Studies in 1962. In 1969, Richmond President George M. Modlin announced that E. Claiborne Robins, a trustee and alumnus, would be donating $50 million to the college, a record donation to a higher learning institute at the time. Today, the university's $1.05 billion endowment ranks in the top 40 of the nation.

In 1987, a donation of $20 million by Robert S. Jepson, Jr. facilitated the opening of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies. In 1990, the missions of Richmond and Westhampton Colleges were combined to form the School of Arts and Sciences, and the two colleges (Richmond for men and Westhampton for women) combined to form the University of Richmond.

On October 15, 1992, presidential candidates Ross Perot, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton held the first ever "town hall" debate on the UR campus.

The team's athletic programs compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference in all sports; UR is one of only three schools in that conference with membership in both basketball and football. UR has won the conference's basketball title many times in the past few decades, and has frequently reached the NCAA Tournament.

In 2005, UR's football program decided to leave the A-10 in 2007 and join the Colonial Athletic Association for football only. This decision soon led to the disbanding of the A-10 football conference, effective 2007. Starting at that time, the former A-10 football teams will all play in the CAA.

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